My life has been so full of changes the last two years. Not simply the cancer but that was a factor. It would seem change in every area of my life; health, personal and work. Wow, a lot of change I couldn’t control . . . both sad, scary and exciting. Change that was uncharted, unfamiliar, uncertain. At times I have difficulty with change. I’ll share a short story with you on change and a role that ‘rats’ played in my attitude towards change. Yes, I said ‘rats’ . . . rodents.
We were in Madagascar and by this time, we had my sweet daughter. She was just a baby. I was a first time mom and was so freaked out about the germs. We hadn’t built a home for us yet and we were living in a mud hut in the fields in Majunga, Madagascar. Throughout the night we would have visitors from time to time and we would set traps to welcome them. They (rats) were so big that they would wiggle out of the traps so when we heard them we would have to get up and take them outside or take care of them in another way.
I was looking forward to settling and loved the Malagasy people and culture. Such warm and beautiful people. We had started to settle a little, making plans of building, setting down roots, programs, establishing relationships, etc. My husband had a translator with him all the time but I was learning the language (I had to if I was going to go to the market and eat). While living was not easy . . . filtering water, no running water or electricity and a lot of physical work, it was still becoming home. Then we ran into a snag and couldn’t get our visas to stay. I wasn’t so happy about this. With a new baby we would have to pick up again and move. I’m usually pretty easy going but this was difficult. Inside I was putting my foot down and said . . . I don’t want to move, I don’t want to go. While nothing was going to change this situation, I still had a frank talk with my husband that day about not wanting to go (like a I had a choice – no visa, so stayee). That night when I went to sleep (with Abby next to me because of creatures and protection), I was awoken by what seemed like an invasion of rats. I got NO sleep. Yuck!!!!!! I felt like they were running all around the rafters, behind me on the window sill . . . everywhere. We did have a mosquito net which I was thankful for. That next morning . . . in my mind . . . my bags were packed and I was ready to go on the next boat out of there. Those rats symbolize a push to change. Sometimes I need that push so I’m still learning not to fight so hard. Sometimes I realized God has to send in the rats to push me forward. Whether literal rats or other circumstances, sometimes I need it to find greener pastures full of opportunity and purpose. We did have to leave Madagascar and spent one year in South Africa. We were able to start a Bible school and boot camp there and then moved back to Madagascar after such time.
Sometimes change is forced. Sometimes change is hard. Sometimes change is scary. Sometimes change is sad. Sometimes change is an adventure. Sometimes changes provides new opportunity. Sometimes change means starting over again. Sometimes change is good.
I could have a pity party as some of the changes have been some of the most difficult in my whole life. I could look at it with a different light. I want to embrace the change and learn and grow from it. I know but have to remind myself of this at times, that God has a bigger and better plan and through change He is working on a grander scale than I can see. So I can kick and shout or I can give in to change that can be good. I can make the most of sad situations or brave through scary ones. I can look at those changes as new opportunities! I have to believe in faith that there are good things ahead. Will you believe with me? Rainy seasons don’t last forever.
I think about the butterfly . . . what if the butterfly didn’t change? Oh the color we would miss; the flight we would miss; the adventures we would miss and the miracle we would miss.
Attempting to take take on change with an expectant heart in 2015.
Warmest creative wishes,Cheryl