Hudson pastor column: Change occurs whether we like it or not

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Ecclesiastes 3:1, "For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven."

I hate change. There I said it. I try to pretend like I don't hate change, like I'm just a "go with the flow," easy-going person who just takes life as it comes. That's who I would like to be in my mind; but the truth is maybe harder to admit. Change is difficult.

My husband and I have moved to a new country, a different state and several different homes over the years. Each time, it was exciting and yet each time there was also a feeling of dread. It's a lot of work to start over, to go through your "stuff" and decide what to do with it, to leave a place that holds memories and friends, and to face the hard work of re-establishing one's self or family in new surroundings. Even today, thinking about it is daunting — making new friends, finding a new church, finding new places to shop, a new school for children, a new job or jobs - everything will be different.

I grew up in the same small town my whole life and I never even thought about what it would be like to move and start over. Having done it now a few times, I have a new respect for those who have occupations that necessitate this kind of change on a regular basis.

Now, my husband and I are facing a new challenge. Our youngest child is starting her senior year in high school and my husband (who incidentally moved a lot as a child) is excited about all the free time this empty nest will bring when she goes to college. I'm not looking forward to this at all! I enjoyed the chaos of children, crazy schedules and the challenge of trying to find time for a meal together as a family.

The Bible tells us that in the midst of any difficult change, the Lord will remain with us. Change can be hard, but it can also be positive. While our children probably do not appreciate facing going back to school, each year of education draws them closer to adulthood, finding their passions and branching out into the world.

Every time we moved, while we left behind things we loved about each place, but we were able to embrace a new adventure together as a family and find other special people and places. Change occurs whether or not we like it and whether or not we are ready for it.

Fortunately for us, we have a God whose love remains constant and who assures us that no matter what changes occur in our lives, in society, or in the world, we will not face them alone. Time and time again, we are told in the Bible not to fear and that God is by our side. Malachi 3:6 says, "For I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, have not perished." Even though we may feel overwhelmed, confused or distraught, we have a constant in our life and that is our Lord, who will never forsake us. And who knows, maybe the future holds something incredible or beautiful, if we aren't afraid to face it.

Isaiah 43:19, "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."