I've spent most of my life dreading change. I like my life predictable, comfortable, and sane. None of this globetrotting, job-changing, fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pantsing for me. In fact, I was such a homebody when I was younger that I didn't even like sleepovers. I remember several slumber parties where partway through the night I just wanted to go home. No tears, no gnashing of teeth, just the simple truth: I would like to go home now. The hosts called my parents and I went to sleep in my own bed.
Wow, God has a way of upending our lives, doesn't he? I don't dread change anymore, but not because I've learned to accept it. I tolerate, no, I anticipate change now because I've been forced time and time again to face my biggest fears.
Here are a few of the trials by fire that have slowly shifted my perspective:
- I married a pastor. Something I swore I would never do. Best thing that ever happened to me.
- I moved to another country. Something I was sure would break my heart in two. I loved it.
- I quit my full time job to be a full time mom. Something I thought would drive me insane. Nothing prepared me for the indescribable joy and challenge of being the center of a little one's universe.
- I lost four babies. Something that nearly did break me in two. But it opened my eyes to grace, surrender, and ultimately peace in the knowledge that what God has planned for me is infinitely better than what I have planned for myself.
- I adopted a baby from Ethiopia. Something I always wanted to do, but never fully understood until the day the case worker told me, "We can't guarantee that your child won't be sick. We can't even guarantee that he won't have HIV." In that moment I realized that it didn't matter. AIDS baby or healthy little boy, he was my son. And now, almost four years later, my gorgeous, healthy son is still one of God's greatest reminders to me of his faithfulness.
Guess what? These days, I don't just anticipate change. I think I love it. It means that God is actively working, that my life isn't standing still. It's like turning a new corner and peering around the bend to see what awaits just out of sight. How exciting is that? Scary, yes. But scary in a roller coaster, thrilling sort of way. It makes me want to close my eyes and feel the wind on my face.
The last few weeks/months have been full of change for the Baart family. Since I consider you my friends, I'd like to share a bit of what's been going on with us.
- Probably the biggest change we are experiencing right now is that my husband is no longer a full time pastor in a church. A couple weeks ago he accepted the position of Dean of the Chapel at an amazing, liberal arts college in the midwest. Though we don't have to move, this is a huge change for our family. It was such a tough decision, but we have utter peace with it and we are eager to see what God has in store.
- We have a baby on the way! I saw my peri yesterday and we've set a tentative induction date for my due date: July 15. Though I don't really want to be induced, we don't have much of a choice... I live over an hour away from the hospital, and my delivery with Isaac was only 20 minutes. You do the math! Aaron is not impressed with the idea of delivering a baby on the side of the road. Also, I need to stop my lovely blood-thinning injections at least 24-48 hours before I go into labor. The only way to ensure that I do that is to know when I'm going into labor. So... the official countdown begins. :)
- This isn't necessarily a change, but it was a life-altering scare. Several weeks ago Aaron discovered a lump on his tongue. An oral surgeon decided it needed to be removed immediately, and shared with us the possibility that it could be malignant. Almost one-week post surgery, we are so relieved to know that everything looks okay and Aaron should make a full recovery. Right now he's still in a lot of pain, and it's difficult for him to talk, but hey--I'm not going to complain! I'll take slurred words and repeated requests for milkshakes over meetings with an oncologist any day.
Yikes. I didn't mean for this post to be so long... Seems like I have lots to say this morning. Anyway, thank you for letting me share a bit of my life with you. I'd love to hear what's going on with you! Are you afraid of change? Or do you embrace each unexpected curve in the road? Have you faced any trials by fire that proved to be an agent of change in your life? Are you facing any big changes yourself these days? Take a moment to comment. I'd love to say a prayer for you.