A Change of Heart
A Change of Heart
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
Until I was twenty-four years old, I had only lived within a one-hour radius. I grew up on my parents’ farm in central Pennsylvania, went to college 40 miles away, and then got married and lived nearby.
When my husband began applying to grad schools, he applied to three – two near where we lived, and one in southern California. To me, it was a no-brainer where we’d end up. Besides being expensive, the west coast school was so far away that, in my mind, it felt like Outer Mongolia.
But God had other plans – my husband ended up only being accepted into the California school. I was devastated and confused. My prayer life turned into daily hissy fits toward God as my heart kicked and screamed against leaving everything familiar. I was fully supportive of my husband’s goals and knew that we WERE going to move. But I kept praying that somehow, things would change.
Father God, thank you for gently pushing us when we need to grow. May we continue to trust You, even when things don’t go the way we hope. Help us to see You at work in our lives, in big and small ways, and to give You the glory for the ways You are transforming us.
Gradually, as our move day grew closer, I noticed a shift. I started to think less about what I would be leaving and more about the adventures we’d experience in sunny, SoCal. By the time we were saying our farewells and loading up our belongings, I was eager and ready to go. In just a few short months, my heart had experienced a complete turnaround.
Our four years in California ended up being some of the best of our life. Moving away from my comfort zone stretched me as a person and widened my perspective. In fact, since our initial move to the west coast, we’ve had several more long-distance moves, including a stint overseas.
If I had been the one in charge of my life, I would have chosen the safe plan – and missed out on so much. God knew I needed the stretching, the pushing, the growing that moving across the country would provide. But like the gentle Father that He is, He didn’t force my hand. Instead of sending me to California kicking and screaming, He softly, slowly changed me. He didn’t change my circumstances, He changed my heart. As Psalm 46:1 says, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”
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