I have asked a few of my friends who have recently gone through change and transition to share with you part of their story of growth. I am inspired by these women, their stories, and how they are trusting The Lord in the Midst of it, and I am confident you will be too.
Today’s post is a guest post from my dear friend Yana Conner. I met Yana on a mission trip over 10 years ago and our friendship has grown deep over the years. Through our friendship God has taught me a lot about truth and grace. She is my friend, Moe’s little sister, and a Aunt to my boys. We had the blessing of living in Raleigh, doing campus ministry together for over 4 years (and a few before that in Orlando). She is still in Raleigh (I miss her soooooo much), where she now attends seminary and works at her church. She loves God’s Word and desires to see people grow up in it. Please lend her your ear and be blessed by her authentic words and story of growth in the midst of change.
As I had just finished helping to pack up the third moving truck of the month, the words that I had been pushing down for days finally emerged to the surface and I couldn’t help but admit that “I have lost a lot.”
The first moving truck was due to an unexpected loss. On July 7th, my sister called to tell me that our father who had just undergone a routine surgery to remove his appendix was coding. I watched enough E.R. growing up to know that coding meant that his heart was not beating and that they are trying to bring him back to life, but in that moment I couldn’t accept it.
I had just kind of gotten my dad back. For most of my life my father struggled with alcoholism. When he was sober he was in my life and when he wasn’t sober, he was not. In May, we had finally had the much-needed conversation about his absence in my life. I forgave him. He forgave me. I left that conversation with much hope about our future. I had hoped to get to know him. I had hoped to finally accept his invitation to go fishing. But now, that’s all gone. He’s gone…
The second moving truck belonged to the woman who hosts this blog. For the past 7 years, Sandy and I have lived in the same city, shared so many laughs and tears over cups of coffee, served in ministry together, trusted each other with the ugliest parts of ourselves, and talked each other off so many cliffs (insider). She is my friend. No need to put the word “best” before the word friend because she has been a friend in the truest sense. I miss her…
Then there was the third moving truck, which represented so much. It represented the mark of a new journey for me in seminary and serving part-time in a church plant after serving for several years in campus ministry. My whole life was changing (is changing) and the sweet friend that had been helping me walk through all this change was leaving…
I have turned to the Lord and asked him, “Why? Why now? Didn’t you know that I needed more time with my dad? Didn’t you know that I would need Sandy to be in Raleigh, right now? Didn’t you know that this would hurt me?”
He recalled to my mind the words that have rocked me in moments of discontentment, “The Lord is my shepherd, I have everything I need” (Psalm 23:1) and said to me, “Yana, you have more than anything that you have lost.”
With God as my shepherd, I have more than I have ever lost. I have more than I will ever lose. He is my inheritance. He is my undeserving portion. The boundary lines have fallen in pleasant places for me (Psalm 16:5-6). With the Lord’s help, I am moving from the questions of “why” and “didn’t You know…” to a place of belief that He did know and that he has provided Himself as everything I need to walk through the pain of change and grief.
The Lord’s presence is forever my good. In the darkest of valleys, He is with me (Psalm 23:4).