I am thrilled to have Hannah Collins from To Raise An Ebenezer on the blog today. When Hannah first emailed me about the post ideas rolling around in her head, all I wanted to do was sit down with her over a giant cup of tea and swap stories about change, freedom, and transition. Since we live states apart, this post will have to do. Her wisdom came at exactly the right time for me, hopefully it does for you too.
Within the past month a lot of things have changed. I quit my old job, got a new job, got a new house, watched my best friend get married, broke up with my boyfriend, got back together, broke up with my boyfriend again.
I’ve heard when it rains it pours.
I resisted the changes for as long as I possibly could. I didn’t want to be that girl who had her life turn upside down. That girl is dramatic, unpredictable, and emotional. I wanted to be steady and stable, working the same job in the same house with the same people.
For a lot of post grads we leave college with the expectation that life will look pre-programmed. Our entire lives function in chunks. First middle school, then four years of high school, then four years of college, and then what should be four years of post grad life.
But no one tells you what post grad life is supposed to look like. No one tells you that the years after you walk those hallowed halls for the last time will look radically unpredictable. I thought I would work the same job in the same city with the same people for at least the next four years.
It made me feel like I was doing life all wrong. It made me resistant to the change I should’ve been embracing. For one reason or another I had the self-imposed expectation that I should have it all “figured out” by now. But the beauty of not having a predictable four years is you get to spend time figuring out how to figure it all out. There’s no map or formula or unspoken rule that your life has to look the same.
There are seasons for everything. Seasons for growth and for change, seasons for stability and consistency. Somewhere in me I viewed change as not only a bad thing, but also a shameful one. I couldn’t get myself to rest in the freedom of seasons.
I thought that a new season would cause a lot of anxiety, but turns out holding onto a season you aren’t meant for can cause even more undue emotional burden. Sitting in a season I had outgrown when the Lord was calling me to change made me feel trapped and ill equipped when really God was calling me to freedom and dependency on Him.
So yes, change is hard. But not changing can be even harder. Trying to fit a mold or stay stagnant when you’re being asked to move and grow can really be worse than the very change we fear. Moving forward requires a lot of dependency on Christ, but thankfully He goes before us and we’re able to look to Him. Thankfully He doesn’t change or move but instead He is constant and stable in the places that feel foreign to us. I think that’s so we can recognize Him in the midst of the unrecognizable.
There’s this scene in one of the Lord of the Rings movies where the son needs to slay the dragon. He’s terrified; it is a daunting task and seems too overwhelming. It would be easier to not take the risk and kill the dragon. And yet the dragon would destroy them. The father, ever wise and ever patient says one key phrase, “Eyes on me.”
In the midst of transition and seasons of change, when everything else looks different and scary, when it would be easier to “not” than to “do” may we hear that sweet reminder. “Eyes on me.” Eyes on Christ. Eyes up and ahead, not down or behind.
Eyes on Me.
Hannah makes her home in Memphis, TN and enjoys putting words on the screen. She eats eggs and sausage every morning, owns the world's worst dog, and might be one of the last people still watching The Real World. When she's not blogging you can find her struggling through a tennis match or laughing too loud in public. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.