He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them. (Psalm 145:19 NIV) Has life ever dealt you a slap across the face or just sucker-punched you in the gut when you were just doing life and minding your own business? Have you ever said this to yourself on more than one occasion when something took your kneecaps out and you were already limping, “why is this happening to me” or “what did I do to deserve this?”
I recall a conversation I’d had with an old friend some twenty years ago. I’d traveled cross-country for a much-needed visit and we stayed up late one night catching up and laughing into the morning discussing our lives. We’d just really hit our stride in our careers and things were taking off especially for my girlfriend. I know she couldn’t fathom my unglamorous life as a suburban mom with a classroom full of teens as I flourished as a sixth schoolteacher. She was a doctor with clientele that rubbed shoulders in the finest country clubs and venues in their bustling city. Yet, we both glistened with the newness of youth, success and dreams that were unfolding as we’d planned it.
We talked about relationships, workplace drama, and the church we’d both grown up in. We compared it to the ones we'd joined. Just reminiscing about the quiet conservative rhythm of our old church sent us into peals of laughter as we compared it to the charismatic places we now worshipped where we were free to raise and claps our hands, say amen as loud as we wanted to and even dance on the praise team without hearing we’d go to hell. Then, my friend shook her head and said, “I just don’t have anything in common with all those emotional people though. I mean it seems like they’re always crying and going through stuff that the preacher is talking about and I just can’t identify. I mean apart from not being able to find a husband right now my life is drama-free.”
Before answering, I pretended to hear my two- year-old daughter wake up and rushed off to check on her while buying myself the time I needed to wipe away tears that escaped notice. My friend and I lived in different states, attended different churches but in actuality I represented the people she spoke of who were crying and carrying on in church because my life was beginning to unravel from the blueprint I’d built all my dreams. I wanted to tell her, “I’m physically afraid of my husband.” I wanted to tell her, “The good-looking face you saw at the wedding turns scary-ugly to me when we’re alone.”
However, when I returned to the living room I said, “I can’t believe you ate all the chips!” I think she finally realized something was wrong when I went to her hairdresser my last day of the trip and without explanation cut my lengthy locks off. I even shaved the back and sides of my head only keeping a layer of funky bangs over my eyes. On my way out the salon, several women asked me why I cut my long hair. I offered no explanation but inside I was shaking the huge bag of my own hair in their faces and screaming, “I want to give something to my daughter to symbolize that she needs to cut everything out of her life holding her back!”
I think about that incident and the silence in the car after my friend picked me up before she said, “Hair grows back, and soon you’ll have a new look all over again. I mean people and life are always changing, it’s the only constant in life.” I now realize after failed marriages, friendships once solid that dissolved, illness, and the wisdom that takes twenty years to create, I finally have the perfect comeback. It’d be this, “If the only constant in life is change then I’ll take a dollar please.”
What part of this true-life story had the most impact on you? Which of the following statements would you say best describes your life right now? ❑ I enjoy change in my life when I’m the one making them. ❑ I enjoy change in my life even when I have little or no control over the changes. ❑ I trust God with every detail and change in my life but I acknowledge things seems unfair and difficult to understand at times. ❑ I resent the changes in my life that have me where I am right now. I need God’s help to direct my path so I’m in His will. I’d like to pray for anyone reading this post, who needs God’s hand in their lives in a special way right now. God your word says that you fulfill the desires of those who fear you and that you hear our cry and you save us based on Psalm 145:19. I ask that you reveal yourself to each of us and make your way plain to us. Help us Lord to go to your word and read what it says for ourselves. Help us father to begin, continue and end our days in prayer as we cry out to you for direction. Keep our hearts thankful and help us to reject negativity and evil from our thoughts. Thank you for the peace and hope your wise counsel in prayer and meditation offers us when broken, misunderstood and burdened. Thank you for being with us through all of life’s changes as a faithful friend who will never leave us or forsake us. Amen.