“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland” (Isaiah 43:19 NIV)
Friend to Friend
It hit me hard one August afternoon.
Our youngest had married eight months earlier and while I’d been enjoying my newfound freedom after 33 years of parenting five children, I was also very aware of how life had changed. My heart was sad, grieving, and even fearful of all the changes.
This particular afternoon, however, I experienced a tsunami of emotions. Scrolling through Facebook, it seemed that everyone was talking about back-to-school-specials. They were sharing deals on notebooks, paper, markers, pens, and crayons. That’s when it hit me. My getting-kids-ready-for-school days were definitely over.
The tears began to roll, and I silently said to myself, I don’t like this. Not one little bit. I used to love getting the kids ready for school. I loved the rhythm of the school year and the summer break. And as I thought about it more, I realized that I loved being responsible, being needed, and feeling the sense of accomplishment and the fresh start that happened every August as the new school year started.
Change is hard.
Most of us like familiarity. We like our “normal.” Even if we value spontaneity, we prefer life to be somewhat predictable.
It doesn’t matter if it’s a job change, a move to a new city, experiencing a new normal after the loss of a loved one, or navigating a new season of parenting, when we experience change we usually can feel the loss more than we see the gain.
As I was sorting through my feelings with the Lord, He took me to the book of Isaiah. As I read chapter 43, verse 19, the words, “See I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?” leaped off the page to me. I was so wrapped up in my grief, there wasn’t any room to see anything new. God’s truth pierced my heart and my perspective was challenged at that moment.
When life pivots in some way, we naturally want to grab onto what we know. This is why we tend to look at what was more than what is or what could be.
That’s what I was doing. I was looking at my entry into the empty nest season of life as a loss when really it was the beginning of something new. God was doing a new thing and I was missing it!
Those words of truth reminded me that God wanted me to look ahead through the windshield of my life rather than peering through the tiny little rear-view mirror. I was not perceiving it at all, but now, for the first time, I was starting to see it.
The second half of the verse, “I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland,” spoke to my heart too. When things feel unfamiliar, we can trust that God is actively at work blazing new paths in our lives. He’s got plans that we’re not yet aware of.
How we think about something makes a very big difference in how we perceive a situation. This is why God’s word tells us to “take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5). It’s also why we’re called to “renew our mind” (Romans 12:2).
Moving my mindset from loss to gain made such a difference! I stopped seeing my life through the lens of scarcity and started seeing it through the lens of abundance. In doing so, I began thanking God for the possibilities rather than lamenting the losses.
Are you feeling a bit disoriented in life? Navigating a transition? Trying to figure out what a new season is going to look like? Let me reassure you that your best life isn’t behind you, it’s in front of you!
God is doing a new thing. Keep your eyes open and your heart ready. The past was good but the future promises to be exciting and full of possibilities!
Lord, change is hard, but You are good. Help me to trust that You are at work, making a way in what feels like a wilderness in my life. Show me how to keep my eyes open to what You want to do now in my life. May I be grateful for the past and excited about the future.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Now It’s Your Turn
Turn your losses into gains in your mind. What new opportunities are available to you in the change you are navigating? Thank God for those opportunities.
Write out Isaiah 43:19 and post it somewhere you can see it daily.
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