There is a song by Rascal Flatts called “Changed” that has been running through my mind. The lyrics and the melody have sort of gotten stuck in my brain. Changed—yes, I am changed because of what God has been doing in my life, but I have started asking myself, “How have I changed?” Why is this song playing over and over in my head, even keeping me awake at night? In the middle of one of those sleepless nights, I finally got up to tackle this question.
When I got up, I felt a real need to write about this issue, but I was not sure where to begin. Eventually I decided to begin by examining the prayers that I have been praying for my children. For weeks, I had been praying specifically for their physical healing, because each of them was dealing with ailments that were causing real distress in her life. But, rather than seeing positive results from my prayers, I was seeing disasters in their lives instead. It was crazy. One of my daughters seemed to come down with a new ailment every week and had even been diagnosed with a mild heart problem. The other daughter suddenly came down with the flu and sent me an SOS for help. Of course, I immediately packed a bag and headed out the door to take care of her, but before I could leave the house I received a text from my daughter-in-law (my third daughter) saying that she was in the midst of a miscarriage. I could not go to be with her, unfortunately, because of distance, but I did begin to pray for her and her family.
But I almost felt as if my prayers were jinxing my loved ones rather than blessing them, and I really struggled with what was happening in their lives. And there’s that word again—“Changed.” How does this word fit into what is happening in my life and my daughters’ lives? I asked God for an answer. But at first there was no answer, only silence. It was the middle of the night, so I thought about something else that had been keeping me awake. Maybe God wanted me to write about lost jewelry.
I do not wear much jewelry because I am allergic to most of the metals that are used in jewelry. But there were two particular pieces that were very special to me, a ring that my grandmother had given me and a necklace that my husband had given me as a wedding present. Some years earlier, I had given these items to my daughters as symbols of our bond and pledges of our love. But sadly my younger daughter later lost my grandmother’s ring during a very stressful and challenging period in our relationship. Even now I want to weep when I think of the heartbreak that she caused me, not because of the lost ring but because of the alienation and betrayal that I felt during that time. My older daughter, on the other hand, cherished the necklace that I handed down to her, until it was stolen. She was devastated, and I want to weep for her, too, because of the sadness that she experienced when the necklace was lost to her.
Changed. Oh, how I have changed. The ring represents a time of depression, bitterness, unforgiveness, and hurt as my younger daughter moved further and further away from me emotionally and spiritually. The necklace, though, represents a tender and loving heart moved by loss and sadness but full of hope, joy, forgiveness, and healing. I am beginning to see the change. I am not the person I once was. Now I am the mom who diligently prays for the healing of my children and believes that God will make a difference in their lives no matter what the circumstances seem to say.
Changed. How thankful I am that I don’t have to stay stuck in the misery and depression of yesterday. Instead, God is at work in my life, changing those things that I cannot change. I Thessalonians 5:23-24 promises, “Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass” (NASB).
Oh, what a promise, that God Himself will sanctify us, will change us, because He is Faithful. Dear Lord, thank you for the changes that You have brought to pass in my life. The road to recovery is full of changes. Can you see them? Believe, even when your prayers seem to jinx your loved ones, believe that He can heal hurt and broken lives and make us blameless at His coming. We are changed!
Blessings – Lisa