Monday, October 1, 2018

Change

Photo by Mike Labrum on Unsplash
Change.

Some people really love change, some people really hate change. I haven’t met very many people who take a neutral stance on this idea. 

In the past six years or so, I’ve had a few changes in my life. I’ve had three or four times that the configuration of my youth group small group (leaders or other students or both) has changed. I started Jr. High (not a huge change, since I’m homeschooled). I started High school (bigger change). I started taking college classes (okay, that was kind of a big change). I started driving (yikes!). And just this past summer, our youth pastor of ten years had to step down, and our whole youth group is going through a change as we adjust to our new youth pastor.

All that to say, I’ve had plenty of opportunities to learn lots of things from God about change. And believe me, it took several times of going through change for me get these things through my thick skull! And, every time I'm presented with another possibility of a change, I have to remind myself of these truths. 

I'll share two truths about change with you today. 

First, God uses change for good. For too many of us, change has a negative connotation to it. But change isn’t always bad. Admittedly, we don’t always see it right away. But I believe (now) that God always uses change for good. 
My small group had been through three or four re-configurations of our group in five years. At the time of each change, no one thought that anything good would come out of it. We lost leaders we loved and trusted and had to build relationships with new leaders. But here are two good things that came out of it that we see now (two years removed from the last switch around). 1) We got to know a whole group of girls we probably would never have had deep conversations with if they were not in our small group. We are a very naturally reserved and shy group of girls and probably never would have talked to anyone outside of our group if we had been left to ourselves (I wrote another post last year on a similar topic). 2) This summer/fall as our whole youth group goes through a change, transitioning to a new youth pastor, my small group realized that because we had been through big changes before, we were at peace. We describe it as this amazing sense of peace that we don’t understand. Even though it kind of shakes our world to have this change, we know it will be okay because God is in control. That leads me to the next truth:

Second, I believe that God uses change to teach us to trust him. I found a quote on pintrest that says, “God often calls us to places that frighten us so that we will fully trust him.” The same is true of change. God puts us through change so that we grow closer to him and trust him.
When I went through the first change at the end of 7th grade and lost a much-loved leader, I was angry and I certainly didn’t trust God. I thought that somehow his plan for me had got messed up. The second time (end of 8th grade) wasn’t much better. I was angry at God and angry at some people around me. How could this happen to me again? My plan would have been so much better than God’s right now!
But as I look back now (again, two years removed from the last switch around), I see that each time, I trusted God a little more and a little more. I learned through each experience that God has good plans and he can be trusted.

So, even when change is hard, and even when you want to did your heels in and refuse to go along with God’s plan, remember that he trustworthy and he has a good plan for you. I don’t deny that it is rough, and God’s good plan may look different than your good plan, but he is going to work all things out for good according to his plan, purpose, and will. Take comfort in that. Trust God, even in the storm of change. 

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