Saturday, July 9, 2016

Honest Thoughts: When Things Change



Life has a funny way of changing. I'm not sure if any of you have noticed this. No? Oh, well then, it must just be me.

It's strange really. At one moment you're heading in one direction thinking, well this is nice, and the next you're making a turn you never saw coming. It too can be nice--maybe even better than nice--but sometimes the unexpected nature of it overshadows its nice-ness. And sometimes it doesn't and that unexpected change is just the thing you've been wanting.

For me, one of those big changes came last year in May. Many of you were part of my journey when I made the big move from California to Washington, D.C. in July of 2014. Whew boy, that was a biggie. It was not only a change in location, but a coastal change, job change, and cultural change.

Then, in May, I felt called to switch churches. If you remember, I had moved out to DC to be a part of a church plant and to work with them as a photographer and writer (you can read more about opportunity here). It was a good experience but the Lord made it clear that I was to attend a different church--Redemption Hill Church in Capitol Hill.

Believe me, the change was not expected and for a time I found myself...floundering. The new church was great--wonderful even--but it wasn't what I was expecting. I felt as if suddenly everything I'd known had been snatched away and I was left bare and purposeless. Of course that was not the case, but it was a feeling I had to wrestle with. What was I supposed to do if I wasn't volunteering at church? If I wasn't working for a church? If I didn't know more than a handful of people? If I didn't know where or how I belonged?

I decided to embrace the sudden lack of direction and petitioned the Lord to show me what was next. Was I to plug in and volunteer immediately? Was I to wait? I spent time in this "limbo"attending the church but not in any other capacity. It was actually a very sweet time of learning, but I grew restless. I'm not one to sit by and not help when there is a need.

from @leighmunsil
Funny enough, a few weeks into this the worship pastor told the church that they were actively seeking out new members for the team. Then several of my friends "happened" to mention this to me at key points during the week. You see, I had also led worship at the church I'd moved to DC with, as well as leading at my previous church. I distinctly remember taking a run one morning and praying--asking the Lord if this was where He wanted me to plug in (if they could even use me) or if I still needed to wait. His answer was, "Go for it." So I did - and I've been serving on the worship team ever since. I've even gotten the chance to help with the women's conference (pictured to the left) and at another church plant in the area leading worship for them on a few Sunday's here and there.

You see, I wouldn't trade these last two years for anything, despite the fact they there were parts of them that were very hard. I'd left California with the phrase, "don't live safe" embedded in my mind and heart, and I think along the way, when things got hard, I forgot that. I sometimes forgot that God is the ruler and director of my life because, at those times, it felt like He'd forgotten that I needed Him. As if the tides of change had washed away His hold on me.That, of course, was not true.

He never let go.

Now, I'm facing another move. Yep, that's right, come August I will be moving to Dayton, Ohio. There'll be more details on that move come another post, but I want to encourage all who may be in a season of change to stop and reflect on what the Lord may be teaching you. I know He is teaching me patience and to release control because there are so many details to work out for this move that only He can control them. It's easy to forget in the moment though. To get side tracked by what would (in my mind) be best rather than what He knows is best.

I'm excited to share more as exciting things are on the horizon: the move, the Realm Makers Conference, the ACFW Conference, and fun things concerning my writing, but above all of that is the reality that, when things change, the Lord is in control of it all.

What have you learned from change in your life? I'd love to hear in the comments below!