Into each life some change must fall. I am not referring to loose coins falling out of your pocket when you stand on your head, but rather to the fact that in this lifetime change will fall into your life, often with a sudden and resounding thud. Sometimes you will embrace it, sometimes you will rise up in stubborn opposition to it, and sometimes you might try to flee in terror from it, but it is inevitable that change will come.
Change recently dropped into my life when I lost my mother unexpectedly. I use the word “unexpectedly” because although she was three days shy of her eighty-third birthday, everyone aware of her situation expected her to regain her strength and return home after a short stay in a nursing home.
I awoke early that morning, thinking of Mother and praying for her. The unspoken words, She’s going to be all right, were clear and unmistakable. They brought me peace in those last moments before starting the day. Yet less than three hours later, the wail of the siren grew in volume as I waited in front of the local emergency room and listened to the ambulance speeding toward the hospital.
In God’s scheme of things, Mother is, indeed, “all right” now. It was not, however, the “all right” I assumed. I assumed it meant time for mother-daughter talks, where she would finally talk about herself and her extended family, name the strangers in her photos, and grant me the privilege of serving her in an expanded capacity.
Instead of realizing a lifelong desire of my heart, I was suddenly faced with two weeks in which to clear out her house. She saved everything! Working long hours helped me to deal with the shock and pain. When my older brother’s wife got her first glimpse of the confusion I faced, she said, “This is a one-person job, but there is no way you can finish it in just two weeks.” The few days they visited, we hauled Mother’s things two carloads at a time. Another brother helped where he could, but the disorder was so great that two or more people only created more chaos and so most of the job fell onto my shoulders. Unbelievably, the deadline was met, but I am still recovering from the physical overexertion and emotional stress.
I tossed out mountains of what I hope was trash without anything of value mixed in with it. Still, my home quickly filled with numerous bags, boxes, and various containers of paperwork to be sorted, laundry, and miscellaneous items to find a place to store. All this will keep me busy for many months.
Mother’s death brought major changes into my life and at this moment circumstances do not appear promising to continue investing time in writing stories for the newspaper and to post on www.mercyandpercy.com But with God leading, no experience is wasted and there are no dead ends, only bends in the path and this is definitely a wide bend. I do not know what the future holds or what I will be doing next week or six months from now. My writing “career” might well be ending. If it is, the sense of happiness and achievement derived from this short stint will remain. Hopefully, my ramblings have touched and encouraged a life or two.
Yes, change is inevitable, faith is tested and matured, and storms rage in every life at one time or another. I love the analogy in the song “The Anchor Holds” by Lawrence Chewning and Ray Boltz (© 1994 – Word Music). For those whose anchor is Christ, their anchor will never fail.
The Anchor holds, though the ship is battered.
The Anchor holds, though the sails are torn.
Well I have fallen on my knees,
as I faced the raging sea,
But the Anchor holds, in spite of the storm.
If you are facing change in your own life, trust the Anchor.