That’s where I find myself, and it’s confusing. Although I’ve been through much bigger changes than I’ve seen over the past six months, I’ve been surprised to find disappointment rattling around amongst my hope for the present and future. Intellectually, I see the necessity of the changes. They make sense and needed to be done, and I’m glad the “powers that be” had the wisdom to know and act on it. It’s also made my life much less stressful, for which I’m endlessly grateful. In fact, I’ve taken advantage of the release of stress to attempt personal improvements. If things are going to change, I thought, then let’s do it right. Let’s take advantage of the new and make it the best it can be. The Lord permitted it, so there’s opportunity here that I need to act on. The advice to “do what’s in front of you” has been coming to me over and over these past months, so that’s exactly what I’ve done. It’s the small, everyday things that build you up to the bigger blessings to come. That’s why attending to your daily tasks with diligence is so important: it’s using the present to build the future.
Well enough, because we live by faith. Then the melancholy set it, and I didn’t know why. It took some soul searching (and a couple of vicious bacterial infections) to realize the source of it: there are people that I won’t be working with anymore, and I’ll miss them. There are also experiences I won’t have again, and changes to relationships with others due to my new role. I see the blessings that have passed, and while I didn’t know the last time would be the last time, I’m glad that I made the best of it while I had it. That’s a lesson I learned during my last major life change: enjoy what you have now, because it can go away in the blink of an eye. I blinked, and there goes a few things that meant more to me than I realized. I’m glad I was wise enough to put that into practice quickly.
There’s also the disappointment that change was necessary again. You hope that the last time was the last time. That this is the Promised Land you’ve been seeking, and it’s going to stick. But alas, that’s not the nature of the world we live in. Change is a constant, and even though I know that intellectually, accepting it on an emotional level is something else. The thing that makes it confusing is that you tend to ask yourself “what went wrong with the way things were before?” If something was wrong, you can have faith that the Lord will reveal it and show you how to make it right. But sometimes, the answer is that nothing was wrong. Change doesn’t always mean that somebody was in error. In fact, it may happen because things are right, and it’s necessary to keep them on the best path. When you deal with preparation for things you can’t see, there’s always the confusion that comes from faith and doubt battling over what’s going on, and what it all means.
I trust the “big picture.” Nearly forty years of experience on planet Earth has taught me that God’s ways are better than mine, and I trust him much more than I trust myself! I believe the Lord permitted this because the changes are necessary for now and for preparing everybody for the future, which will be good if we walk in faith. I know that when something is taken, it’s to make room for a better blessing to come. Still, the loss leaves you with an emptiness that’s hard to reconcile with a present that you’re adjusting to and a future that you can’t see. I described in in Splinter as being a tin can with a paper clip rattling around inside. Hope opens you to accept that better things will fill that space, but that bit of loss is making a lot of noise.
The key to dealing effectively is being honest about having mixed emotions. It’s natural to mourn for blessings lost, but it doesn’t mean I’m ungrateful for the good coming out of the changes I’ve faced these past few months. I must take time to mourn what has passed so I can let it go, and fully appreciate what I have and what is to come. It doesn’t mean I have doubt – it means there were things that blessed me, that I loved and learned from them, and that they contributed to making me a better person. I’ll miss those people, those things, and those experiences, but I’m glad I had them and that I enjoyed those blessings to the fullest. Yes, I feel empty in some ways, but I trust that the Lord has a purpose and is bring me to life again. In my experience, the life He brings is greater than the life that left, which leads me to another emotion: excitement for the future. That’s what hope is all about!
That’s all today. Take care, and have a great rest of the week.