Last week as I sat in the waiting room before an appointment, an older woman struck up a conversation with me. She asked me a few simple questions, and I gave her a few simple answers. I don’t remember exactly what the questions were, but they centered on a change going on in my life that she had known in her own. She listened to my basic answers with a genuine interest and kindness I found remarkable for someone who’d never met me before. I smiled back at her and then quickly turned to look out the window as tears came up and over my tired eyes.
I surprised myself at how a stranger’s kindness made me cry instantaneously. Thinking about it more, I believe it’s because her gentle words and demeanor fed something in me I didn’t know was hungry.
I’ve been in such a tender spot lately, one where I cry easily and keep looking down at my hands in my lap. It seems that if you barely touch me, something in me shifts. I keep asking God afresh to be my strength and my song, but this has been a season where the music is a tad harder to hear. Not because God isn’t faithfully wrapping me in his care as much as ever. Of course he is. There have just been several distracting difficulties clanging like cymbals in my ears, and I haven’t been good at tuning them out.
And you know what? I don’t think I want to tune them out, at least not all the way. But I do want to turn down their volume.
Like so many, I find myself in a season of transition right now, and I’ve been neglecting to give myself breathing room to acknowledge the difficult parts of that change to trusted folks. One might think that giving the hard parts of change room to breathe pushes Hope away. But instead, it becomes the window Hope enters in. That woman who asked and listened to what I said about my own difficult change? She cracked the window open and the relief of the thin sliver of fresh air overwhelmed me.
Today, I give myself permission to sit with my own steely change and the vulnerability that comes with it. I give myself permission to cry. I give myself permission to not get over it but just get through it. We all need that sometimes, I think. We need to acknowledge that the hard stuff gets to have a seat at the table, too, and the best way to give it a seat is to name it and talk about it first with Jesus and then with those safe people in our lives.
Some of you may be feeling the way I am about a change in your life and hunger for your own safe place to process it. If that’s you, then I pray you find a space available to ponder it all with Jesus and God’s Word today. I pray you have safe people in your life who give you the gift of ready ears and kind words. And I’m also inviting you to consider my upcoming book, Girl Meets Change, as another safe place to mull over and process your own change and transition.
Right now, you can find Girl Meets Change: Truths to Carry You through Life’s Transitions for $10 and some pocket change on both Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Buy it now and give it as a gift to your future self in September! (It releases September 15th). If difficult change is on your life’s landscape right now, it is my fervent hope and prayer this book is a place where God meets your sense of anxiety with his sense of purpose.
We all need safe people who hear our struggles without assuming we’re blind to or ungrateful for the abundant good in our lives. We all need people who point us to Jesus’ for us love and faithfulness, who turn down the noise of distracting difficulties so we can hear His music in our soul. Whether in written or spoken words, may you find both of these in the midst of the change in your days and life.
Much love to you, friends. xo