Stepping into New Places

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Photo cred: Jonathan Morgan

We are stepping into new places, Denny & I. And stepping requires volition; it calls for action. If I don’t lift my foot and place it in front of where it currently is, I won’t move forward. I’m no physicist but I do know this much to be true.

This week, one of our three children is getting married. The first of our kids to marry, as a matter of fact. It will represent a big change. And although Alana has been living on her own for some time now, marrying means that she is stepping into a new covenant and will be living under a different covering – that of her husband. While as parents we will always be there to love, encourage, protect and care for her, this will no longer be principally our role in her life. It will be Charlie’s responsibility and honor. In the same way, Alana steps forward into a deeply significant commitment to do and to be the same for Charlie, as she embraces him in marriage.

I recently came across a quote that I had heard before from my friend Daniel Tocchini:
It seems that change is inevitable while transformation is intentional.  Isn’t that the truth!

Alana & Charlie’s marriage is, more or less, inevitable: they have made this choice after much time, prayer and consideration together. They’ve planned every detail of their (wild and wonderfully unusual!) wedding ceremony and party with great care and commitment. Walked lovingly (and maybe painfully, at times) through months of marriage counseling. And next Saturday, it will happen. They will become one flesh.

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A big change is coming for both of them, and for our families and those surrounding us. But will we allow ourselves to be transformed by it? How will Alana & Charlie permit God to use this in their lives? In what ways will Denny & I let Him grow us through it? And the rest of our family? We are acquiring a loving, generous and creatively unique son! I have no doubt that he will transform our lives, and we shall do the same with his. But we must be intentional about this! I don’t just want our lives to be changed in terms of this new “relationship status”. I desire transformation from our Father… the One who is a giver of good gifts.

Denny & I have been in a season of many other major shifts, in which God is asking us to step into very new things, to move in unfamiliar spaces and inhabit fresh environments with unfamiliar people. Shifting is not always easy. Yet as we step and move and inhabit, there will no doubt be transformation. In our lives and in the lives of those around us. And this is what we desire.

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I don’t want to
become sterile
or barren, just because I’m moving on in years. God hasn’t blessed me with this wealth of life experience and growth in Him just to call me to sit down in a proverbial easy chair and bide my days away. I want to see new life birthed from mine! I want to be continually transformed and to allow my precious Lord to transform others through me!

So although I will admit that with the passage of time, major life shifts become somewhat more challenging to navigate, I will continue to be willing and allow my Lord to make me able. While my amazing God is unchanging, He is NOT static. He doesn’t stand still. He desires the very best for his children and his deepest yearning is for the redemption of all creation – his creation. I want to play whatever role I can in that: whatever role He asks me to play.

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Photo cred: Marina Bolobon

I see that once again
I must affirm it:
this life of mine is
not actually “mine”
at all.
Almost forty years ago,
I placed it in the hands
of my Savior,
my Rock,
my Master.
And when He asks me
to take a step,
I choose to do it.
I may waffle a bit,
even wrestle with
questions and uncertainties.
But once I know
beyond any doubt
that I am hearing
his voice, I move.
Denny and I together –
we move.

Why would I want to be anywhere besides that place where my God desires me to be? No matter how challenging or unseemly or contrary to logic it may appear.

So lead me, my Jesus. I am yours. Hide me under the shadow of your wings. Transform me and make me new every day. I want to bear a deeper reflection of your glory, so that when this world looks upon me, it knows that I have been with you.

My Hope. Their Hope. Come, Lord, and overtake me.

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Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High 
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord,
“He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”
Surely he will save you
from the fowler’s snare
and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. 
You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day, 
nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.
Psalm 91:1-6

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