Navigating Change (Part 2)
To catch us up, here is a quick summary: In the span of two months, all plans related to my sabbatical had been canceled, including no trip to Spain, no visit from my mom, and no “time off”. On top of that my parents had made the decision to move to Nebraska…
Shortly after my parents announced that they were planning to move out of state I spent some intense time in conversation with God. I knew that if I tried to process this news on my own, I would emotionally throw-up on somebody and it wouldn’t be pretty. While praying about my feelings and the changes that would come with my parents be far away, I sensed that God had a message for me, dare I say a word of warning. He impressed upon my heart that I was entering a “season of disappointment”. I had no idea at that point in February how truly difficult that season would be. But I trusted that God was preparing me to handle some big news, so I leaned into Him. As I have accepted this word from the Lord, this season of disappointment, I found a verse in Hebrews that has been powerful for me. It says, “This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary.” (Hebrews 6:18)
You know, when you’re sailing a boat or are the captain of a ship, you don’t rely on your own sense of direction to find your way. You use devices, radar, maps, and various other tools to guide your journey. As I have navigated this season of disappointment, I have found that my own strength and will-power are not enough to guide me in the right direction. If it were solely up to me, I would have allowed anger and frustration to rule my thoughts and decisions. With Jesus as my compass I have found a healthy way to process my feelings. It truly has been a journey of grief, and I have experienced most of those stages, from anger, to denial, to sadness. But, when I trust in the Lord and look forward to what He has in store for me, and remember in the past how He was already cared for me, I am confident that His anchor is strong enough to hold me secure.
Often our spiritual journeys don’t go as we had anticipated. I had imaged walking the Camino in Spain, taking in nature, foreign cultures, experiencing Christ in a different context. At first I felt the grief of losing that opportunity, but now I can see that I am on a spiritual journey right here in Modesto, CA. I have been walking through neighborhoods and parks, I have been appreciating the nature around my house, I have been experiencing a new “culture” of pandemic, and I have absolutely been experiencing how Christ has impressed peace upon my heart and soul.
I don’t know when I will get a chance to visit Nebraska and see my mom and dad. I don’t know when I will get to reschedule my sabbatical and if that will still include walking the Camino in Spain. But what I DO KNOW is that as long as I follow Jesus, and trust in Him to be my strong anchor, I will not be left adrift in the world. His compass is true, His love is everlasting, and His promises never fail…Amen.