Change: A transformation or modification.
That's the dictionary's definition. Here's mine...
Change: When something or someone is different than before. Another mountain to climb, ocean to cross or obstacle to overcome.
Where am I going with this? Well, the year 2009 has been a year of "changes" for me. It started with a change in priorities. My priorities prior to 2009 were related to keeping up with my two jobs and my finances, with some effort put into friendships but a focus still on my career goals. But, when 2009 rolled in - God had other priorities in mind. He reminded me that people, not finances, were why I was here. I was here to give to others and to receive God's blessings through others. He used a number of "obstacles" or "changes" to show me this. He showed me how I could be a friend to someone who needed my prayers and my love - her dad was battling lung cancer. He showed me how I could move on from a friendship which no longer thrived and did not serve the new me - the me who had priorities other than boyfriends and wedding rings like they did. He showed me that I was needed for who I was and not what I could do at work.
As if these changes weren't enough....God had more in store.
It has been my experience, as a believer, that God does not speak to me the way people on Earth do. With "Hey, Rachel, I think you should change your career." or "Hey, Rachel, you need to change your friends and realize that your true friends are back in Florida." Instead, he uses mountains, oceans and obstacles. Analogies, of course, for the real deal. After we've climbed the mountain, crossed the ocean and overcome the obstacle - we look back and say "Oh, wow. This is the beautiful valley you wanted me to see, the new land you wanted me to discover and the feeling of success you wanted me to feel." Much stronger than any words a person on Earth could ever tell me. This year, my mountains, oceans and obstacles involved deciding to end long-term friendships upon realizing how much that friends had "changed" and we were SO different, watching a best friend endure one of the biggest loses a person ever has to endure - the loss of a parent, and realizing that a job wasn't all it could have been and wasn't all that important anyways. At the end of this, I came away seeing that God wanted me to change my priorities and my outlook in life. So - that's what I did.
The old me would have never thought the friendship would end, and if it did not in the way or for the reason it did. The new me saw that "true friendship" was something other than what I was experiencing and with God in my life, I didn't need to be kicked to the curb a few times and try crawling back for acceptance to be loved. The old me would have cried and then run away from the friend who needed me during her time of loss. The new me saw that this was an opportunity to use the strength that only he gave me to wipe away tears and give unlimited hugs. Of course I still cried my own tears and had my moments of weakness, but still gave her all God gave me to give. The old me would have been devastated when the career she thought she'd started with a company came to a hault at the realization that there was more out there for her than what was there, and that God would force her out to show her the other side. The new me took it in stride and said "Well, God, I know you have something wonderful blossoming here. I'm going to hold onto you and trust you through this." I did - and it worked. The valley is beautiful, the new land I've discovered is like North America for Christopher Columbus and the feeling of success is mine - thanks to God.
Whatever "change" you are going through - the mountain you're climbing, ocean you're crossing and obstacle you're overcoming - keep at it. With God's help, you too will discover the valley, the new land and the feeling of success.
I'll continue to update the blog with news. Coming soon - my change in career.
I end with a verse.
"For I know the plans I have for you," says the Lord. "Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11