by Tricia Goyer
I’m a person who thrives on routine. Every morning I make coffee, slip away for a few minutes of Bible study, shower and eat the same breakfast — a bowl of oatmeal with milk and walnuts. For date nights with my husband, John, I want to eat at the same restaurants. (And once there, I order the same thing.) During the day, I visit the same websites, read the same blogs, interact with the same friends. And in the humorous way life works, my life seems to be one of constant change. I homeschool my kids, which means new subjects and assignments daily. Under various deadlines, I write books about ever-changing topics. I can’t count on summer breaks, Saturday lazy days or even, on occasion, sleep.
As if that wasn’t enough, change happened when I felt drawn to launch a crisis pregnancy center. After that, my heart was tugged to lead Teen MOPS. (And deal with teenage moms who are in a crisis of change in their lives!) And for the last two years, our family has traveled to the Czech Republic where we taught English at a family camp. New culture, new food, new language, oh my! In fact, the only thing that hasn’t changed as my children have grown is the realization they still need me. (And I have a feeling that will never change.)
Without change always happening, I’d be happy within my four walls — left picking lint off the floor with my fingers and stressing over fingerprints on the windows, which I’ve been known to do. You may think I’d be feeling a little perturbed with God by now. I mean, he made me one way and pushed me to act another by stirring my heart and my compassion. But instead of being mad, I’m thankful.
I’m happy there are times that I’m pushed out of my comfort zone because it’s where I find God. And I discover he not only equips me and meets my needs, he’s present through every change: comforting, guiding and encouraging me with his joy and peace.
Looking back, perhaps all these minor changes have been in preparation for the bigger ones to come. As I write this, my family is preparing to move 2,000 miles so my husband can accept a new job. We’re also eagerly awaiting the birth of our fourth child. No, I’m not pregnant. Instead, my husband and I have been connected with an amazing birth mom who has chosen us for her child’s forever family.
To say our lives are gonna change is an understatement. With my youngest in high school, things were getting easy. Now we’ll be back to diapers, bottles and spit-up on my clothes. This summer I’ll be planning a wedding and a graduation from community college, while also dealing with teething and middle-of-the-night feedings. Who would have thought?
The one question I’ve been asked is, “Why? Why start again when your kids can cook, clean and care for themselves?” The first (and obvious) answer is that I get to be part of a local MOPS group again! But two other answers follow: 1) John and I know there is no greater job or greater joy than raising children. And we see it as a privilege and a gift. And 2) Through change God will show us his amazing ways. I’ll be changed as I change diapers.
Is change happening in your life right now? Yup, that’s to be expected. Are you eager yet scared, hopeful yet anxious? That’s understandable too. Just remember that even though you’d rather keep everything the same, God is waiting for you — often just beyond your comfort zone. He’s there with open arms, prepared to walk with you, every step of the ever-changing way.
And that’s something that will never change.
Tricia Goyer has been married to John for 20 years and is the mother of four, including a newly adopted baby. She cares for her family and writes in Little Rock, Arkansas. More info about Tricia can be found at triciagoyer.com.