I was known as the queen of tradition. Well, my siblings would probably call me more of a stickler for tradition.
As we grew old enough to question traditions, my siblings started to want to change some of our long-established modes of doing things. It began with Christmas—the most sacred traditions of all. Suddenly, my brothers wanted to make a change here and another change there.
I fought against those changes with all I had in me.
My siblings thought I was too hung up on tradition. But what they never seemed to understand was that I wasn’t fighting to uphold tradition for its own sake. I stood between them and those traditions because I loved those traditions.
In my mind, the way in which we celebrated Christmas, and other elements of our lives that they wanted to change, were already perfect. Any change to something perfect would necessarily be negative, or at least inferior to the long-standing tradition.
As I’ve grown older, I’ve come to understand that not all change is so unpleasant. There are some things in my life that I hope will change, that I eagerly anticipate will change some day. But these are areas where I know the change will be an improvement.
There are still aspects of my life where I dread change. I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in this. Most of us, if we have something precious in our lives, don’t want to welcome a change that will take that treasured thing from us.
Perhaps you have a child, sibling, or grandchild you’ll have to see move away from home or grow into someone you don’t recognize. Maybe the boss who made your job great is going to leave. You may have to move or face a change that breaks up your happy family or ends a special tradition. You may face divorce, illness, or death.
These are the changes we never want to see happen. These are the changes we fear.
Entering a new year, I can already feel the threat of changes looming. Yes, some changes in 2017 will be positive, but some will be quite the opposite. For you and for me, some changes this year might bring us grief and pain.
My tendency is to let anxiety and fear cluster in my heart as I anticipate those negative changes. As I brace to encounter them around the next corner.
The scary thing is that I know they’ll be there. Change is inevitable. Everything in life changes.
Or does it?
Reading through Hebrews a couple days ago, I encountered this astonishing statement—a promise to cling to:
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. – Hebrews 13:8
Can you imagine? Something good that won’t ever change! And not just something good, but the ultimate good—our Savior, Protector, Friend, Brother, Priest, Redeemer.
The fulfillment of every desire of our hearts, of everything we will ever need in this life and for all eternity will never change.
…for he has said, “I will never leave you, nor forsake you.” – Hebrews 13:5
The God who said that will never change, so His promise will never expire or fail. For a person like me who doesn’t like change and who is afraid of difficult changes, this promise—this fact—is incredible.
If we can grasp this truth, we can face any change that comes our way without fear, no matter how negative the change may be. Our powerful and loving Father promises to always be with us, giving us strength to face what we must.
If you don’t feel you have the strength to handle the latest negative change in your life, or it seems like everything you held dear has been changed for the worse, remember that it’s not true that everything changes.
Remember that the best thing in life will never change. He’s right there with you, unchanging, forever.
Have you had to face a difficult change in your life? Do you worry about the next change that might come? Please join the conversation!