Winds of Change

I’m one of those people who loves fall. For me, that love is a lot more than just a serene, “Oh, fall is so pretty” statement...it takes on more of a hardcore, “Fall is epic!” broadcast.

There’s simply something special about that new “crispness” the air takes on as the temperature falls a few degrees. Maybe it’s the way the sun hits the changing leaves from behind, igniting those classic fall colors that have just started to take residence.

Maybe it’s the anticipation of what’s coming next: those cold winter nights where snuggling up with a cup of hot cocoa and a book couldn’t sound any more perfect.

Fall is a season that exemplifies change.

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Fall_resized

Yet, I despise change.

Change can be difficult and it’s often uncomfortable. The things you’ve come to know or have planned out are suddenly different and you’re stuck trying to figure out “now what.” I don’t know too many people that truly like change, yet everyone deals with it in some form or another in our day-to-day lives. Maybe you changed jobs recently. Maybe that friend you were going to meet for lunch today just called and wants to know if you could meet a some other time. We all experience change.

I, likewise, am no exception to the “change” rule and I guess you could say I have experienced a bit more change in my life than the average 23-year old.  You see, a week after I graduated college, I incurred a spinal cord injury in a freak accident when a dead tree fell on me as I was standing in the front yard of a friend’s lake cabin on a picture perfect day. That one moment changed the course of my life forever, altering not only the way I get around in the world—with wheels instead of legs—but the ways in which I experience and view life in this world.

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Hospital_resized

Handling a change like going from walking to wheeling is something that’s pretty challenging to describe. How does one grieve the loss of that ability to stand tall and proud? How does one grieve the loss of friendships and a romantic relationship that stem back to something so physically rooted as paralysis? How does one handle that much change in life? How does one handle ANY amount of change in life?

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. –Romans 8:28

What a beautiful promise. What a comforting truth.

Those words are a wonderful assurance of the loving God we all have, even in those moments when we think He’s not around or paying any attention to tiny little me. Those words are beautiful reminders that God can use and does use change for good things. Notice how that verse never says change is easy (because it’s not) or how it never says we’ll understand why something happened (because we often don’t).

But it does say God works for OUR good. He cares about me and He cares about you and He plans to use whatever change you’re encountering in your life for great things.

Paralysis was certainly not on my list of “life goals,” but the things I’ve been able to accomplish with God’s help since that one fateful day are things I could have never fathomed. It has inspired a new appreciation of what faith actually means and what trusting God really is all about.  It has allowed my eyes to be opened to all the false perceptions I once held (without even realizing it) about persons with disabilities. It has allowed me to travel the country as Ms. Wheelchair America 2015, advocating and educating others about those very lessons of the abilities of persons with disabilities. It has even pushed me to race in my first ever marathon (yep, I pushed all 26.2 miles of it) which I completed in a qualifying time for Boston.

Wheelchair_resized
Wheelchair_resized

Those things I never could have done without God’s help and guidance.  Those things I never could have done without coming to embrace the unexpected change in my life.

Yeah, I’ve always loved fall, but now the season holds a bit more of a special place in my heart.

With a simple push out the door, a glance around at those vibrant leaves, and a deep breath of fresh fall air, God never fails to send me a reassuring message.

Change can be beautiful.

Sam_Headshot
Sam_Headshot

Sam Schroth is a perpetual learner, loving to live life to its absolute fullest each and everyday the Lord blesses her with. Currently in the midst of applying to medical school while adjusting to life as a paraplegic, Sam is “Never Sitting Still” as she learns and grows in God’s grace and never ending love.

www. samschroth.wordpress.com

Capacity for Change

 

Almost every morning my 16 month old daughter wakes up between 5-6am. I roll out of bed, get her out of her crib, grab her milk cup, and turn on Sesame Street while I snooze on the couch with her in my arms until about 7am when we go in to wake up my husband for work. It’s a terrible routine. I hate that this is my routine, but I’m so tired that I just can not get myself to change it. Every time I think about it, it reminds me of all the other things I want to change about who I am or how I live.

 

I should read my bible WAY more often than I do.

I should incorporate exercise into my life, because I know how good it would be for my energy level.

I need to put more effort into the 2% of my marriage that isn’t already perfect ;)

I should clean and organize more.

I should, I could, I need to, I would be better off if...

 

But change is hard. Change is really, really hard. For as well as I adapt to change in the world around me, it seems an insurmountable task to even lift a finger to work toward actively changing myself. I absolutely know how much better off I would be if I would just work toward certain changes... and I just don’t.

We live in a sinful world, so I imagine there is something you wish you could change about your life, too.

Let me lead you to a few places in scripture which address our capacity for change.

 

Ezekiel 36:26-27

I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.  And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.

 

2 Corinthians 5:16

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, that person is a new creation: The old has gone, the new is here!

 

Philippians 1:7

...being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

 

God is not cheering us on from the sidelines, He is bearing the brunt of the load. He has not written a “self-help” guide, but promises to help and guide us so we don’t have to go through life ourselves. When God addresses our ability to change, “our ability” has no place in the process. We CAN do all things, but ONLY through Him who gives us strength.

 

Do you want more patience with your children, motivation to lose weight or get fit, or freedom from the snares of a secret sin?

Draw near to Him who has “loved you with an everlasting love, (and) drawn you with loving kindness. (He) will build you up again. And you will be rebuilt.” (Jeremiah 31:3).

 

It's funny how we put so much pressure on ourselves to make these changes in our lives, and forget to utilize the Master and Creator of life itself when He has made himself so accessible to us! When your desire is to grow into the person God wants you to be, to grow your life into one that reflects and serves Him better, it only makes sense to involve Him in every step of the process. Let the Gardner do His work, and stop getting in His way thinking you need to do it all by yourself.

growHHH

 

One of the ways God works to grow us is by giving us encouragement through each other! Do you have a story or helpful hint from your life that has helped you change into who God wants you to be? We'd love to hear how God has worked to grow YOU! 

 

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