“I am just looking forward to my emotions being steady again.”
“But Liz, what we are going through is hard.”
Oh, I love and hate change. I am still waiting for the manual, “Change for Dummies,” or, “How to Change on a Dime."
Sometimes I find change exciting, and other times I find it hard.
I love looking ahead and seeing possibilities.
I love feeling brave.
I love feeling strong.
I love feeling settled and together.
But. . .today, and yesterday, and the day before, I have been struggling with change.
7 months ago, Rob and I, with three kids, boarded a plane not knowing when we would step back onto Hungarian soil. We left our home with pictures on our walls, toys in the cabinets, drawings on the fridge, clothes in the closets, and bikes in the garage. We left hoping it would just be a just a few weeks. It has not turned out that way.
We left everything.
On Tuesday, Facetiming with some teammates, I saw my home. I saw the paint on the walls that took me weeks to pick out. I saw the curtains I fell in love with the moment I saw them. I saw pictures of my family. I saw the bed Rob made for Lilly, Alec’s crib he was supposed to grow up in, and Caleb’s desk we bought him for his birthday.
I saw our things. I saw our memories. I saw our home.
I miss it.
Change can be hard. It is hard to see what could be while missing what was.
For months I have been trying to embrace an immense amount of change.
Some days are easy. Some days are hard.
But. . .I know I cannot move forward with change without grieving what I and my family have left behind.
Grieving is actively mourning and saying, ‘good-bye’ to what was so you can move on to what is.
Grieving is good.
Grieving is healthy.
Grieving is important.
Grieving does not last forever, even though some days it feels like it will.
I miss the time with just Alec when the big kids were at school.
I miss praying for God’s work in Hungary during walks in the forest behind my house.
I miss my girls in the Friday night youth group.
I miss my neighbors.
I miss dreaming from security.
I miss . . . different things on different days.
Grieving is vulnerable.
From dating to marriage, Rob has pushed me to cry in his presence. To let my tears make his sweatshirt wet and give him opportunities to hug me in the hard moments.
Vulnerability is not something I am good at. After 16 years of marriage I still try to hide in the bedroom and cry.
Psalm 56:8 is a powerful verse opening our eyes to the intimate relationship God desires to have with us,
"You have taken account of my wanderings;
Put my tears in Your bottle.
Are they not in Your book?"
God is not afraid of grieving.
Though I may not want to grieve with him, God wants us grieve with him.
Giving ourselves space to grieve is hard.
There are moments in the midst of grief I feel so alone. I just want to know. . .
Is there anyone who understands what I am going through?
Is there anyone who has left it all behind?
Is there anyone who has. . .
The excitement and anticipation of January 1, 2020 seems like ages ago.
Friends, many of us have had our lives uprooted. Some have left homes, some have lost jobs, some have lost family members, and many have lost a sense of assurance for the future. "Another in the Fire" by Hillsong United reminds me there is another. . .
"There's a grace when the heart is under fire Another way when the walls are closing in And when I look at the space between Where I used to be and this reckoning
Here it is. . .when the tears erupt. . .
I know I will never be alone
There was another in the fire Standing next to me There was another in the waters Holding back the seas
Friends. . .
"There is another in the fire"
There have been moments when the amount of change Rob and I have walked through seems overwhelming. Sitting in these moments, grieving what was, is helping me to see what is.
God is so faithful . . .
. . . My kids’ spiritual growth is growing by leaps and bounds.
. . . Rob, Caleb, and I learned Greek this summer.
. . . Lilly, Alec, and Caleb have new sweet relationships with their grandparents.
. . . Rob has found his place with training leaders and the Lord is great blessing the ministry.
Change is. . .hard.
Grieving change is. . . hard.
Giving ourselves permission to grieve is. . . scary.
Grieving is good.
Grieving is important.
My prayer is for each of us as we continue to engage, grieve, and see God’s work in 2020, remember, “you will never be alone, there is another in the fire standing next to you.”
Giving ourselves space to grieve is hard but leads us to “finding our hearts on the alter again.”
What things are you grieving from 2020?