Raise your hand if you just love, love, love change? Not the “change” you get when you hand the cashier a $20 bill for your purchase of a candy bar and a Dr. Pepper but the “change” that throws you from the comfort of your little place in the world into something brand new and different….something that might be a little bit scary. Are your hands raised yet? I’ll give you a minute to think about this…(Cue up the Jeopardy music please! Doo doo doo doo doo doo doo) ……OK, didn’t think so.
Change can be H A R D!!!
She was 2 months away from her 2nd birthday when I first met her. Cute as a button. Tiny, petite little blonde thing with big blue eyes and a huge, sweet smile. Simply adorable. She had a very definite comfort zone that was tightly wrapped around two people…..Mommy and Daddy. I was neither of these things for her. Yet in spite of that, it was time for some ch-ch-ch-changes in the life of this little sweet pea. And well…..
Change can be H A R D!!!
Our first few days together were…well… difficult. She had known no other life beyond getting up in the morning and spending the day playing with her Daddy. With no explanation suitable for her little almost 2 year old self, she was suddenly being dropped off in the morning at my house….no Daddy. No Mommy! This did NOT make her happy to say the least. I believe her little personality completely changed with this one movement out of her cozy little box of comfort. Her world had just been rocked off it’s foundation and she dealt with this by producing rivers of tears…..and cries for something very unique and special to her. In all my years of caring for the children of other mommies, this was a first for me. This precious angel cried very loudly and very persistently for her Golf Cart. Yes, you read that right…..she wanted her golf cart! Not a baby doll…not a paci…not a blanket…but a golf cart! What was I to do? I didn’t have a golf cart!! How would I ever comfort this child and make her feel loved in this place that wasn’t her own?
Change can be H A R D!!!
I was so completely certain that God had sent this little girl to me. That’s another story for another day but I trusted totally and completely that this child was a humongous answer to my prayers. I knew if I didn’t do something to make this new relationship work out that I would totally be shoving this little gift back into God’s face with a “thanks but no thanks” sort of attitude. Something had to change….and this time it was me. I very clearly felt that my little at-home business was about to hit the road. I knew in my heart that if this relationship was going to work I was going to have to bend and meet her where she was…and not vice versa.
So I did . I met her where she was by going to her house every morning. I found her in HER space, where she was most comfortable. I learned to drive a golf cart! And you know, after the first few rides in that golf cart, I totally came to see and understand her obsession with this little activity! We’d go out in the morning while it was still relatively cool (this WAS June in Georgia!) . The bunnies would be out hopping around in the dewy grass. The birds would be singing. The breeze was cool as we raced golf cart style down the hills of her neighborhood. There was peace and calmness in our rides. And most importantly, there were NO TEARS! There were smiles and giggles. She’d snuggle up next to me as we rode side by side and I could feel her slowly entering a new comfortable place with me as the face she’d see between 9am and 3pm every week day !
It took a few weeks of me greeting her at her doorstep every morning before we started making the gradual transition back to my house. Slowly but surely, though, as I met her where she was her comfort zone expanded and she was ready to try new things. Oh we could’ve kept up this new routine longer but the goal was to get her to leave her old comfortable routine and move on to this new “big girl” routine.
Because change may be hard…but change is good!
This all happened nearly a year ago and we all lived to tell about it. Little girl is now months away from her 3rd birthday. She happily leaves the comfort of her own wonderful home to step into mine every day. There are no more tears, no more anguished cries for rides on her golf cart…only hugs and “I love you’s” every day. Her comfort zone grew as she felt assured that this once perfect stranger could really and truly love her back.
As I’ve pondered Easter coming up this Sunday, this experience came rushing back to me. Why, you ask, would a crying , nervous child and a golf cart make me think of Easter?? Well, I’m so glad you asked!
Most of us, whether we’re in church every time the door is open or we’ve never graced the doorstep of a steepled building know the first part of the verses I’m about to share ….
”For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world but to save the world through Him.” John 3:16-17
Y’all, Jesus had to have been quite comfy in Heaven with His Dad. God must’ve loved every minute of having his Baby Boy with Him all the time, sitting next to Him on His throne. Streets of gold, constant angelic music….nobody off key! Living the good life! Yet in spite of this, God sent Jesus out of His comfort zone into ours. And He came willingly! If this part hadn’t happened, the all important Easter part wouldn’t have happened either.
He meets us right we are…no matter where that place is.
Then He hangs out with us as He gently pursues us.
He doesn’t condemn us.
He doesn’t judge where we’re at.
He simply loves us and longs to save us from being stuck in whatever self imposed pit we find ourselves in.
We find ourselves comforted by His presence and well….we change!
And it’s a change that’s easy and comfortable and welcome!
I know most of you reading this now are in your “happy place” with Jesus. This is all old news….Good News…but still news you’re very familiar with. So my challenge to you this Easter and beyond is to find someone you know or even some new friend who needs the hands and feet of Jesus to step up beside them. Love them where they’re at but love them too much to leave them there. Help them to see Jesus through you.
Then sit back and watch this beautiful thing happen as they crawl up beside Jesus in their own proverbial “golf cart” to find that He’s not so bad after all!
Happy Easter Y’all!