I sat in utter disbelief. I couldn’t believe my ears. ”We’ve decided that you, Kristi and David will no longer be attending school in Polk County. Beginning in the fall, you will be going to Tryon. We just feel like this is the right move for your education.”
As the words tumbled from their mouths, anger boiled inside. How could they do this to me?
I’m not sure when they made the decision but they decided to wait until we were on vacation to inform us. Talk about a vacation spoiler. Good thing they waited until near the week’s end to spill the beans. I knew better than to argue because their minds were clearly made up.
Finally, I got up and walked out. I walked toward the beach. Tears burned my face. I muttered every curse word in the book and then some. ”Didn’t they realize I already had my Freshman year of high school mapped out? I didn’t need or want a change.”
I found a payphone and called one of my friends. She, too, was unhappy about the decision my parents had made. I’m pretty sure during the course of my conversation with her I called my parents every horrible name my angry brain could muster. Talking to her did calm me down.
Now, here I sit thirty-six years later and I realize that my parents knew what they were doing. It was not a decision they made lightly but it was the best decision for us.
Winston Churchill says, ”There is nothing wrong with change if it is in the right direction.”
Change is hard. It often causes fear and anxiety because of the unknowns. It also pushes us out of our comfort zones into the world of the unfamiliar. It causes the direction to change
What I’ve learned over the years through this experience is that sometimes the direction of our lives must change because in order for us to learn and grow.
Change is hard. It’s much harder if you’re a control freak, like me. It just doesn’t bode well for us Type A personalities, does it? Change eliminates our ability to control. It forces us into different patterns, new routines, new ways of thinking, even new ways of doing. It forces us out of our element and into the unknown.
As I think back over the past few years, I realize change has been a way of life for me. I barely had the chance to deal with, or not deal with one thing before another thing happened. Hard is an understatement It’s been almost unbearable at times. Those who’ve known me best and loved me most have the seen the struggles, the heartaches,the disappointments and even the times of loneliness and sadness.
I will admit I have been very selective in allowing some close enough to witness the dark cloud of pain my heart has endured. Selective because I have to protect myself. Selective because there was so much grieving my heart had to overcome. My heart needed time and space to heal. I needed time for God to remove the dark cloud of grief and restore my joy.
Here’s what I’ve learned during this time of restoration and healing. God will heal the the broken-hearted.(Psalm 147:3) He will restore joy to one’s heart.(Psalm 23:3) He will bring peace, even in the midst of great disappointment. (John 16:33 , Eph 2:14) It will not happen all at once. It normally is not a quick fix. It will get really ugly before it gets better because that’s where the real healing begins. It is within the crevices of our heart where deep pain and sorrow tend to dwell and need to be laid bare and open before healing can begin. That’s why it’s ugly.
Think of it like this: when Ryan was three he had an accident on the playground at preschool. He burst his chin wide open, stitches were necessary. I watched carefully as the ER doctor first of all cleaned the exterior of the wound. Then he carefully pried open the wound to see how deep it was and cleaned it out more. In doing so, the wound was deeper and required more stitches than initially thought. It also hurt Ryan more when he pried it open. The same with us. We can clean the surface of our hearts for a brief period of time but we’re only bandaid fixing the problem. It’s when we allow God to penetrate through the top layer and get to the real wound that true healing can begin.
The scar he has on his chin is barely noticeable. I don’t even know if he remembers the fall (probably does). The scar will always serve as a reminder of the accident, but it no longer hurts or causes pain because it has been fully healed. And so it is with us, in the fullness of time He makes all things, even the messy, beautiful in His time. (Ecclesiastes 3:11)