The past few years I have known great change, yet it creeps along so subtly that it is only during moments of slowness and reflection that I realize just how different the landscape looks now.
My children are teenagers, vastly different people than who they were not too long ago. They change daily. Our home is fifteen years old, in need of everything new. My body is slower and weaker; I have to be more careful.
Connections with others have changed or are lost. Loved ones are gone now, after periods of illness or infirmity which seem to last a long time in suffering but in retrospect are only months or weeks long. Formerly strong attachments to others have weakened and fallen away.
Other relationships have deepened; marriage and friendships grow stronger through life events that test bonds. New conversations are shared within established relationships, drawing us even closer together, making life sweeter and more grounded.
During all these changes, the Lord has been with me through it all. I am grateful, because change is hard. I need something solid to rest upon. I’m not afraid to admit it.
God is with us all the days of our lives, even when we don’t know him. He watches out for us, and has unique plans for each of us. He waits for us to answer his call – he has infinite patience! He cries in sorrow when one of us turns our back on him. He wants us all to know Jesus, to be saved, but he will never force us to accept his gift.
This kind of grace is unknown to us on earth – not one of us is as selfless as God, ready to let others in our lives grow in directions that go against what we want for them, what we think they should do. We hang on as if our happiness depends on how they conduct their lives.
We each have been given a life of our own. We are given different bodies, gifts, and circumstances that we must figure out how to use to craft a way of life in this world. We each have choices to make that are ours only.
When I think about what God has given me, instead of reflecting on all the ways that my life has changed recently, I am thankful. Thankful for this life that was made to fit me perfectly. Thankful for the choices I have been given, even though some have been difficult. Thankful for arriving at this point in life and faith - it hasn’t been easy.
There have been some things that I could have done without. Some wounds take a long time to heal, and some sorrows are hard to ignore. Even today, I could be more charitable, more helpful, softer with my words and gentler with my attitude. I’m not done yet.
I have no doubt that God will be with me during the rest of my life and all its stages. I have no doubt that there will be more of the growth that has brought me here, even though I sometimes miss it while it’s happening.
At the end of this life, I hope to still be able to look back and say Thank You to the God that saw me through it.
Every single stage.
Give thanks to the because he is good, because his faithful love endures forever.
1 Chronicles 16:34