When God Endorses Change

karen-morerodI took myself to the attic and left her there.

Maybe it was because I was tired. Or – maybe, just maybe – God told me to leave her there. I’d like to think it was about obedience. But here’s how it all went down.

I had performed dramas for churches and women’s gatherings for over ten years. Exhilaration soared when I performed. Audiences varied in size. Sometimes over 100. Other times, small, quaint women’s events.

The number of people didn’t matter. After each performance, as I walked off the stage, I thought, That’s what I was made for.  

I could slip into Esther’s royal clothes or Rahab’s PG-rated costume and assume their life stories. I wrote the scripts to help their faith message come alive in the 21st century. I felt like I knew them.

Sometimes I thought I was them – at times wondering what name I should put on my grave marker: Here lies Karen/Esther/Rahab. 

Then life got messy. My dad unexpectantly passed away. Eight months later, my beloved 96 year-old aunt that I helped care for died. Within the week, Mom’s death blindsided us.

I went from being Karen/Esther/Rahab to not knowing who I was, where I fit in, or how I could take the next step.

I was tired. Sad. Grief-stricken.

In the middle of this introspection, I had forgotten I scheduled a performance for what would be five months after we buried my mom. No problem, I thought. Surely I would be recovered by then.

Not.

Anxiety built as the performance approached. Could I speak in front of people? Would I remember my lines? Could I be a believable character with everything I had just gone through?

I had made the commitment, so I started praying. I prayed through the fear. I prayed about my attitude of simply not wanting to do it.

In my car one day, it seemed as if God whispered, “It’s okay to quit. You don’t have to keep doing this.”

Maybe it was God’s sense of humor adding, “It’s time to let younger women tote around scenery, cake on layers of make-up and dress up like somebody else.

My heart shouted, “REALLY? I don’t have to keep doing this?

It seemed strange to want to release something I was made for. But, after more praying, I knew this season was over.

The last performance was well received by a warm, friendly group of women. I fought a few tears as I left the stage, but I knew this was right. And it felt good.

A few days later, I gathered all my props, costumes, and scripts. I boxed them up and took myself to the attic and left her there. Another season finale.

Changing seasons can be hard, although sometimes they are met with excitement. Either way, I know God endorses change.

He will help me – and you – through those changes. He will love on us, calm our fears, and even show us what’s on the next season’s schedule.

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1

©2016 Karen Morerod 

Karen Morerod lives and writes to encourage others, to point them to the One who knows and loves them more than they can imagine. You can find her on her front porch, with her family, or sneaking chocolate at www.karenmorerod.com and on Facebook.

 

 

 

 

How to Hang On to Possible Endings

Judgmental responses seem to abound in the faith community. Have you ever heard one of these?

Just get over it.”

   “You must be in sin.”

   “You just want attention.”

   “You don’t have enough faith.” 

imbalanced scale - attributed to FlaticonWhen my daughter left our home to live with her boyfriend, my faith was shaken. I had experienced many answers to prayer and now suddenly – God was silent.

I didn’t know how to respond. I believed I had enough faith for God to answer my prayer to bring her home. When He didn’t, I was undone and felt myself slipping into depression.

Since the Bible says faith as big as a mustard seed (about the size of a pencil point) can move mountains, I concluded that my faith must be pitifully small. So I read the Bible, journaled my prayers, talked to a counselor, even reviewed the “Passion of the Christ.”

In the end, my faith remained the same. Unable to just get over it, I dealt with the sin the Lord revealed to me. After checking to be sure I wasn’t seeking undue attention in the midst of drama, I was left with what I thought to be a lack of faith.

That’s when I found Romans 12:12. “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”

My journals documented my faithfulness to prayer. But I was not patient in this affliction. And I definitely wasn’t joyful; I was a sobbing mess!

So I began to pray the Romans scripture over my life. “Lord, I hate the situation I find myself in. I don’t know what to do. I am without resource for this. But You are my source and strength. Please show me how to be joyful in hope.” 

“Hang on to Possible Endings” was the answer to my prayer. I had no idea what the future held but I knew God held that future in His hands.

It isn’t healthy to deny emotions and pretend that everything will be fine, i.e. to just have enough faith. It’s also not healthy to be ruled by emotions, because sinful responses typically result from emotional living.

Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes that the man who fears God will avoid ALL extremes. I needed to get balanced.

Instead of focusing on how to get my daughter home, I focused on the One who could lead her back.  Faith combined with hope could work through my emotions.

I cried less each day. I began to trust God in ways I hadn’t before. I left the hopeless feelings in the pit and felt the delight of hope springing in my heart.

As I held onto possible endings for my unwelcome circumstance, I found that I welcomed the Lord into places in my heart that needed healing.  Healing brought freedom, and freedom initiated joy.

May the God of hope fill you up with joy as you trust Him.

©2015 Cindy Richardson