So, I cried a little while loading the washing machine this morning…
No, it wasn’t because I was frustrated by the never-ending pile of dirty clothes or the fact, that more washing meant more hanging out and more folding.
It was because I was washing my son’s school uniform for the last time. I finally let the emotion of him finishing school, reach down and grab hold of my Mumma heart.
I didn’t have time to process all the feelings, but as I picked up each piece of clothing an overwhelming sense of thankfulness seeped into my soul. I know washing clothes isn’t something we are generally thankful for, however in this moment, it wasn’t so much the chore of washing that I was thankful for, it was the fact that God gave this boy to me and now I get to watch him become the young man he was created to be.
My perspective changed from thinking or not even really wanting to think about the fact that he is growing up. Or that I am losing my boy to the big wide world. It shifted to being thankful…thankful for the little things like…
I still get to wash his clothes. (Even though he is responsible for bringing them to the laundry – or they don’t get washed – just keeping it real!)
I get to see him off to work each morning.
I get to hug him as he walks through the door at the end of the day.
I get to listen to him tell me all the things he has learnt.
I get to watch God’s plan for him unfold before my eyes… and now I am crying again as I write this.
Perspective is powerful.
As my perspective changed, my heart changed.
I could have dwelt on my sadness, the perceived loss of my boy. He is the first one to finish school, out of my four babies. He is my firstborn, my only son. I could have dwelt on all the “finishing” feelings and focussed on all that has been and is now over. However, I don’t believe that would be honouring the new season that God has called him to.
I am not saying that there isn’t a grieving process. In some sense we do need to say goodbye and let go of what was our normal for so many years, and that can be hard – I know!! This is an important step, but it is not the only step. I know each parent will process these changes differently, and that’s right, as God calls each of us on a different journey.
Changing your perspective doesn’t mean you are denying the pain or the reality of the situation. It means you are not giving it more power than the faithfulness and goodness of God amidst the situation.
We can look at the season of change as unwanted, we can fight against it, and we can be undone. Or we can choose to see the good that God is growing. I know all things are not good, but in all things, we are able to see God is working for good when our perspective mirrors His. (Romans 8:28)
We all have seasons of change, and collectively we have all experienced massive changes this year. How we choose to respond, where we place our focus, changes our perspective.
And a change in our perspective changes the attitude of our heart and atmosphere of our home.
How you ask?
Philippians 4:8 (NLT)
8 And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honourable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.
And when we do this, when we fix our thoughts and set our perspective on these things, God promises us peace…
Isaiah 26:3 (NLT)
3 You will keep in perfect peace
all who trust in you,
all whose thoughts are fixed on you!
And as we allow His peace into our hearts, it flows through to our homes.
Lasts and firsts come and go, sometimes unnoticed, often times embraced. The last time you washed their hair, the first time they fed themselves, the last day of training wheels, the first time they made their own bed.
Sometimes, however, they come like a rushing wind and rip our hearts open and lay us bare.
Can I encourage you my friend to breathe these changes in. Take time to grieve the last, take time to embrace the first and choose to focus on the good. Focus on the truth and set your perspective in the direction of the One who never changes. He will hold you in peace and hold you through these changing seasons.
Laura Jane Anslow