“So whoever is in Christ is a new creation: the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
“I can’t do this again,” I sighed to myself as we entered our new home. There had been too much transition, too much unknown, going on in recent days. We had to say goodbye to our friends and neighbors in our sleepy rural town, one in which we had resided for nearly ten years. After building meaningful relationships and establishing secure resources in our area over the span of a decade, I couldn’t face another heart-wrenching goodbye.
“I hate saying goodbye, and I hate starting over,” I mumbled to no one in particular, as the moving helpers unloaded truckload after truckload of our stuff. Feeling overwhelmed and uncertain, all I could think about was what we left behind. It was impossible to embrace the possibility of what lay ahead for us.
I suppose being eight months pregnant with our third daughter didn’t help the situation, either. It was the first experience I’d had moving while being pregnant. It was the first of many things, just as most of my life has been.
I prefer routine and regiment, not spontaneity. I like to know what’s going to happen and how to best tackle challenges by being prepared. With every major milestone in life since I entered adulthood, it seemed that some dramatic adventure (and not always a fun one at that) was awaiting me behind every corner. I didn’t want any more drama. No more unforeseen excitement. I wanted a quiet, calm life, one that made sense and could be handled with precision and prediction.
But, of course, life doesn’t work that way. Cognitively, I am aware of this, but at the heart level, I still prefer what’s familiar. Explaining to our young daughters about moving was altogether painful. They didn’t quite grasp what was going on until it actually happened—and then the interminable questions and waterworks began.
But Eastertide reminds me of the Scripture in the beginning of this article: that we are a new creation. I pondered this word “new” in a novel way, trying to reframe what I had unfortunately deemed as doom. All things are new, aren’t they? I look outside our new home and marvel at the evensong of the birds each night, grateful for the cool spring breeze and radiant sunsets. I see flowers popping above the ground in all sorts of vibrant colors, reminding me that we are a new creation.
Behold, God makes all things new. To Him, newness is equivalent to beauty. Why can’t I see that through my jaded lens? All I know is what I don’t like, don’t want, and hope and pray doesn’t happen. I am missing the glory that surrounds me, the glory of Resurrection. And I want to be a woman of the Resurrection, not of death.
We, as Christians, know that death does not have the final say. Regardless of how I handle change, I must see each point of suffering as merely transitional. It is not the end, only the means to the end, which is new life in Christ. To live as a person who is a new creation means that I must trust God with every step—every uncertain step—rather than cling to the comfort of what is familiar.
“I want to be a woman of the Resurrection,” I tell myself, however small and frail that hope may be inside. It’s because I know that God is always good and always wills what is best for me. “I am His beloved daughter,” I continue, as I unwrap family heirlooms that have been tucked inside cabinets and cupboards for years. “I am cherished. He gave me all of this.”
And, suddenly, what has changed is not my situation. It’s not that parting ways with dear friends becomes easier, because it doesn’t. What has changed is that, when I am flooded with gratitude for all that God has done for me and all He has given me, I see the hope and beauty of resurrection glory all around me. Most importantly, I see it in myself and in the new life that stirs within my womb.
Metamorphosis is never easy and can be incredibly frightening. When we travel from Calvary to the tomb, we aren’t quite sure what will happen in the waiting, after we have died in a mystical sense. Heroic trust is what must prevail. In the waiting, in the tomb, we await Him who promised us that He would rise again—and so will we, if we only cling to His hand tightly and allow the newness to unfold in its time and way.
Text © Jeannie Ewing 2017, all rights reserved.