All her worldly belongings arrived two days prior so JP, Kylie and I could get her possessions unpacked and ready for her arrival. We hung her clothes, put away kitchen necessities and waded through old family pictures. “This stuff smells like Grandma” Kylie laughed. JP’s mom left all things familiar—her home, her friends, her community—to be near us, her family.
The move is a good thing. It’s something my mother-in-law has wanted to do for a few years, but the timing has never been right until now. This past year a second bout with cancer led to a leg amputation. Being nearer to us just seemed to make sense.
As I watched her survey her new surroundings I realized afresh something I’ve known all along –moves, even desirable ones, are not usually easy.
Moves mean change.
And change is hard.
But without change we wither. We stagnate. And eventually we regress. So we must move. No, not always physically, but spiritually, emotionally and relationally. If we’re still the same person today as we were five years ago, something isn’t right. If we’re still circling around the same old issues, or reliving the same old dramas or handling life’s hardships with the same old habit patterns, it’s time to sit up, take notice and do something different.
Kids change as they grow, right? And so must we.
Nearly a year ago I stood in our master bathroom, putting on makeup when a song that was popular twelve or so years ago popped into my mind. When it was first released I listened to the song almost daily, sometimes cranking up the volume so loud I wondered if people in cars next to me thought I was certifiably crazy. But, honestly, if you have a voice like mine, drowning out pitiful off-key vocals is a kindness to humankind no matter how loud the music. So, with the volume up high, I sang.
And as I sang the lyrics became a prayer.
This year the lyrics became a prayer once again.
Standing in my bathroom on that warm May morning something in me felt compelled to find the song on YouTube and listen. After twelve years I wondered if the song would seem a little hokey but the words resonated as deeply as they had before. I loved it. As I listened I prayed the words of the chorus:
“Lord, move in a way that I’ve never seen before. Or move me.”
Only this time I prayed just a little different. A slight change that has had big implications.
“Lord, move in a way that I’ve never seen before. And move me.”
Not or. And. Not You move, or me. But you move, and me. Both of us, Lord.
This is my heart. My soul.
Since May I must have prayed this prayer a hundred times, maybe more. Really. I’ve prayed this prayer myself, for the Bible study women I teach each Thursday morning, for my kids, for my husband, for our church, for our nation, for our parents, for women I speak to at conferences. Even now, as I type, I’m whispering this prayer for you.
For you. For your loved ones. For your life.
Lord, move in a way she’s never seen before. And move her.
Yes, a move can be hard because it takes us out of our comfort zone into a place of the unfamiliar. But isn’t that exactly where God does His best moving?
Following Jesus is never about staying; it’s about going. It’s not about stagnating; it’s about growing.
Pray this prayer with me for you, for your loved ones and for me, will you?
Let’s watch God move in a way we’ve never seen before. And let’s allow Him to move us.
About Donna Jones
Rarely does a speaker relate as easily to seekers as with veterans of the faith, but somehow Donna Jones does. Described as “a pro on stage but with the warmth you’d expect from a close girlfriend” Donna is “about as authentic and genuine as they come”. More than a Bible teacher, Donna is a self-described Bible explainer. A colorful storyteller who combines Biblical truth with real-life anecdotes, her messages not only help listeners understand God’s Word but, most importantly, grasp how to live it out in real life.