Teach me to welcome change, instead of fearing it...

I was doing the Morning Prayer from the Northumbria Community site this morning and noticed this short prayer at the top of one of the pages: Lord, teach me to listen to my heart; teach me to welcome change, instead of fearing it.

It hit me like a load of bricks. The first part seemed so closely connected to the phrase that has struck me at the beginning of Lent: “look for Truth deep within me”… “teach me to listen to my heart”… hmmm…

Then I read the second part… “teach me to welcome change, instead of fearing it.”…. I’ve never been very good with change. I like to be in control and I don’t like the loss of control that change brings. In the past few years realized how much I don’t like change but also how important change is so I think I’ve sought out change a lot in the last few years and purposely put myself in positions of change. But, lately I’ve been craving stability again… craving staying in one place and putting down roots. But, God seemed to have one more time of change and instability up His sleeve… A 3 month long trip to the states. Sure we choose to take this trip but it always felt like the decision was sort of already made for us. Even as we were trying to decide I think we both knew that we were going to go and that it was what we were supposed to do.

As I have shared here before I have been feeling a sort of tug-of-war of feelings regarding this trip. Some days feeling really excited about people I will get to see in the states and things I will get to be a part of and other days feeling really sad about leave Prague and friends here. But, it wasn’t until last night when after snapping at my husband for the 100th time in the last two days when I finally realized the dominant feeling I was really feeling about the trip. My heart suddenly became so loud that I couldn’t help but listen to it… I was scared. When I thought about the trip I felt sadness about leaving and excitement about being there sure, but what I was really feeling was FEAR…. Deep fear.

So, Lord, teach me to listen to my heart… teach me to listen to my heart and pick up more quickly on what my heart is really feeling so that I don’t let these hidden feelings lay suppressed under the service only to bubble up in anger to hurt those I love. Teach me to welcome change, instead of fearing it… once again teach me embrace this ever changing life. I can’t control my life, I can’t control other people. Even You, Lord, choose not to control, choose to let us go our own way. Lord, help me to embrace mystery. Lord, this trip is going to be a lot of change, a time of constant change, we won’t be in our own home, we will be traveling a lot, we will be with a variety of different people (some who I know and love well and others who I don’t know much at all), there will be little that is constant in the next few months. Teach me to cling to you as my constant companion and fellow journeyer. Teach me to not take out my fear on Bryan but to instead cling to him as my fellow partner in this journey. Lord, I am scared. I am afraid of many things about this trip, but teach me to listen to my heart, recognize my fear, and then surrender it to you and move bravely into the unknown that you have before me. In Jesus gracious name. Amen.

Rejoicing in the journey - Beth Stedman