My son and I were in PreOp, waiting for him to be wheeled back for sinus and lung procedures, related to his cystic fibrosis.
Micah’s much-loved pulmonologist arrived to answer our questions, bring a smile to Micah’s face and let us know what to expect post-surgery.
And then she dropped the bomb.
“Micah will be seeing Dr. Greene for follow-up. I’m moving out of the state soon, but am starting to transfer my patients now to make the transition process easier for everyone.”
Easier?? What are you talking about, woman?!
Easier would be you staying put.
Easier would be this conversation never happened.
But there it was—the kind of change I hate the most. Unwanted, out of my control and thrust upon me at a vulnerable time when I wanted the reassurance of the familiar.
I know my hope is not in doctors. Yet I believe there’s immense value in a good one.
A certain kind of security comes from a doctor who knows all the nuances of your child’s health. Who is caring and compassionate and rejoices with you when things go well and shows compassion when test results hit you hard. She is that kind of doctor.
Not too long ago, this doctor had also delivered some unexpected news. At a recent appointment, I had braced myself for disappointment. Micah’s weight and pulmonary function numbers had been trending downward for several visits.
This time, though, they showed a significant and positive move in the right direction. Now that’s the kind of unexpected change I can embrace!
Isn’t that the way it is?
Life is a never-ending love-hate relationship with change.
On the one hand, I crave change. So many times I have longed for God to change my circumstances, change other people or change my pain.
I can easily convince myself that change is all I really need. Change would relieve my anxiety. It would make me a better, more effective wife, mother, person.
Change is the answer to all my problems.
Then on the other hand, change is my enemy. I hate the change from a great doctor to the unknown. I hate the recent change of my daughter living an hour away to across the state—too far for me to jump in the car and have dinner with her on a moment’s notice.
Change is part of life.
But what if I quit craving or fighting a change of circumstance, and focused on praying for a change of heart? What if I started saying, Change me, Lord.”
God recently brought fresh insight into a verse that I have long held dear: “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
I’ve clung to this verse over and over again as I’ve struggled with my long journey with chronic illness. As I wrestle with difficult parenting challenges. As I’ve grappled with marriage and other relationship issues.
I always craved that “new thing” I believed the verse referred to … change of the external. Heal me. Make parenting easier. Make marriage easier. Fix my finances.
Years of struggle and old childhood views of God had slowly caused me to doubt God’s goodness, to believe perhaps the depth of His love for me didn’t extend quite as deeply as it did for some others.
I thought if He really loved me, He would wave relieve my pain through a transformation of my circumstances.
Instead, He has used all those struggles and suffering to do something better.
He transformed me.
He changed my perspective. He assured me of His love. He purged long-held lies I’ve held about Him that created a barrier between us in my heart.
It sounds crazy and can’t fully explain it, but desperation can give us hope. It can strip us of all our confidence in circumstantial security and solutions and drive us to the foot of our only true hope, Jesus Christ.
Like the desperate woman with the issue of bleeding in Matthew 9, I reached out for the hem of His robe.
So can you.
The Savior meets us there and calls us “Daughter.” He gently tells us that while we crave results, He craves relationship.
He reminds me that I don’t have to be anxious about the future. My Father, the One who died for me is already there. He will give me what I need when I get there.
I don’t have to pin my hopes to the “right” thing happening. I can trust the One who promises He will work all things together for my good. (Romans 8:28)
I’m no longer a hostage to the winds of change: good or bad. Instead, I’m in a much more secure place … totally dependent on a God who is trustworthy. The “new thing” was what He did in me.
The Savior met me and I am changed.