“Change is Toxic.”

So, that is not “exactly” what it said.

A few months ago, I was reading a book on writing that had been highly recommended by many. I have been struggling with my words for a while now. They feel trapped inside of me.  Too, I am a little nervous at what will come out if I begin to try and pry them loose.

When I came across this quote,  I was very excited to have something in print that I did not write but supported how I felt inside. I am being asked a lot of right now in this area, and as you recall, I am an oak tree.

I went to highlight it in order to show all of the people who were encouraging me towards leaving my home church of 8 1/2 years in order for  my husband to pursue a year-long pastoral internship with our sister church 30 miles up the road. When I went to illuminate the words of wisdom and truth, I noticed that it did not say, “Change is toxic”, but that “Change is a tonic.”

Isn’t it funny how the brain works?

We’ve been gone two weeks now from our home church, and I miss it. Terribly. We have very close relationships there that are not normal for our day and age, for they run very deep into the heart and soul of who we truly are as children of the living, saving God. There are people there who only have to know a few words of where I am, and they can see my bigger picture. For they have been let into the story of my life.

I once heard a speaker say that “Evil is very content losing your soul for eternity, if it can render you ineffective and helpless in this life.” I believe there is merit to this, and the way it is accomplished is by whispering the lie in our ears that if someone really knew what was going on inside us or the truth of our pasts, they would reject us. I have always believed this as a ‘true truth’ until I was invited into a community that was honest about living life together. It isn’t always pretty, but it is often redemptive.

I think my fear is that something so special could never be replicated.

Yet, in the midst of my deep fear and quite frankly….anger at God for such a change, something amazing has happened. God is meeting me in that fear and anger, just like He said He would. And my prayer is that if I can only have the courage to be honest with Him, and invite Him into a heart and mind that views change as a poison, He will not abandon me, but gently take me out of it. That He will transform it into something that is for my good.

How is He doing it? Well, ironically by dispelling the myth of my biggest fear.

Yesterday, we were invited to lunch with some of the members of the new church. This couple and specifically this woman has been very kind to me since we began visiting with my husband as a perspective intern. She and I spent the afternoon as kindred spirits discussing writing, mothering, teaching, redemption, and my favorite…..being female’s with a cooking impediment. Even though, we are new friends…there was something so very familiar and comforting in the afternoon.

Dare I even say that tasted like a refreshing ‘tonic.’

With this transition, I am continually reminded that it was not God’s church that saved me. It is merely an instrument in His hand to help me believe in the healing power of His grace.

And so I wait. And I hope. And I drink not the ‘tonic of change’, but from the well Living Water.

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