Jane VanOsdol

Jane VanOsdol

One of the constants in my life over the last two years has been change! That may sound a little funny, but I’ve had changes in my job, my health, my calling and my kids. Each one of these things by themselves is enough to shake you up a bit, but when they all happen relatively close together, it really gets your attention!

About two years ago, I decided to stop teaching at the Christian school that I had been at for eight years and decided to pursue my dream of developing a freelance writing career. I had been praying about it for awhile and by the fall of 2008 the timing seemed right, so I made the plunge. It’s been an interesting time of developing clients and finding projects, and I love it, but it did cause me to make some adjustments.

First of all, I’m the type of personality that doesn’t always take to change happily. My identity was tied up in the school and my position there and the people I knew and in my students. Losing all that was harder than I thought it would be. That was compounded by a change in my health at the same time. I began having frequent bouts of vertigo, which often left me sick and not comfortable leaving my house. So I went from a busy, bustling school as my daily routine to a quiet, empty house.

I struggled with discouragement because of being sick, but God had something in mind with all that time I spent resting. At that time He was also putting in my heart a desire to start a blog about prayer. So for that year, I spent a lot of time reading and studying about blogging and podcasting and researching what resources I would need to do all this. It was a tough year, but God was busy laying the groundwork for future plans.

The BIble verse that became my theme for that year was the following:

“Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him.” Psalm 37:7a.

Now, I was impatient and just wanted to feel better and get on with things, but I had to learn to WAIT. I had no choice.

During this time, my kids were also going through many changes. My daughter finished college, moved back home for the summer, moved to Argentina for four months and is now back home again starting a job. My son is doing the opposite. He is graduating high school in two months and leaving for a 15 month auto mechanic training program this summer. Kids coming and going, in and out of the house, quiet and chaos. I can sense it’s the end of child rearing and the beginning of new relationships with them.

So, how do we handle all these changes that come into our lives–some from our own decisions, some from Life? It always helps to talk them over with a friend, a spouse,or a parent who has been through it before. I’ve also found that wrestling through them in prayer is the best way for me to handle them. I say wrestling because it ususally is not a quick solution, but a repeated bringing them before the Lord, seeking His will and His solutions and His plans. I like to write this all down in a journal, so I can add any insights the Holy Spirit gives me as I pray through these things. Then as answers start to come, I combine the praying and waiting with action as God shows me what to do.

try journaling your prayers

try journaling your prayers

Over the years, I have learned more of what it means to wait on the Lord when I sense He is calling me to make changes. Mostly I have learned this from my own painful blunders of charging ahead and then having to undo my mistakes because I acted too soon or took on too much and made a mess of things.

What kind of changes is God calling you to make right now? Where are you in the process? LIstening to Him? Not wanting to change the status quo? If you feel like it, share a little bit about your “winds of change.” And, of course, pray on!