I wrote this blog back in September of 2015, but I never posted it anywhere. I edited it for the purpose of this blog and I am using a fictional name.
As soon as I entered the lobby there were a dozen of Janet’s friends welcoming me.
Janet introduced me as, “this is my pastor from New Jersey.”
My relationship with Janet got stronger after her husband died a few years back. We would meet for lunch or coffee once or twice a month – we would talk and pray. Months later her daughter asked Janet to move closer to her. That would mean moving to another state. Janet didn’t want to leave at the beginning. She didn’t want to leave her friends, church family and the home where she had so many memories with her husband and children. In our conversations, I said to Janet that the Lord would give her comfort and peace when the time would come to make that decision. We prayed and continued to meet.
Months later Janet said to me, “Danny I am ready to move. It is the right time, and I am at peace.” I was shocked and at the same time happy for her. She had traveled for months back and forth from her daughter’s state to make the transition smooth. Her children found a really nice senior facility two miles from her daughter’s house.
I still remember her farewell. Janet was a long-time member in the congregation I was serving. She knew it was the right decision and the right time to move, so she could be closer to her family.
A few months later I had the opportunity to attend a Pastor’s conference near the town Janet moved to. I emailed her a month before but didn’t hear from her. I worried but didn’t think much of it. She called me back the Friday before my trip and was so happy to know that I was visiting.
Once I arrived, I called her to let her know that I would be at her place by noon. She was really excited. I hit traffic and made a couple of wrong turns and finally made it to the senior center. I met all her friends and every time she introduced me, she said, “this is my pastor from New Jersey.” Someone said, “wow, I want a pastor that can visit me that way.” Janet and I had lunch and then she gave me a tour of her apartment. In our conversation, Janet said, “Danny I found a home here and I have so many friends. Everyone is so nice.” I can attest to that. Janet was excited to be there and told me many stories that happened in the months that she had been there.
Janet also said, “Danny I didn’t find a home church. I visited a church, and they sang 7/11 songs.” I didn’t want to ask what that meant, but she explained later that 7/11 songs were songs with 7 notes, sang 11 times! In addition, she couldn’t find hymnals under the chairs and no bulletins!
Changes are hard for all of us. It could be a move, change of workplace, death or simply growing up and adapting to the changes around us. I had seen how Janet adapted to each change in her life since her husband’s death. I had seen how she learned to write checks, use a laptop, and show me pictures of her grandchildren on her iPhone. All those changes came later in life. Janet has been and is an example for me to follow. Her determination in adapting to the changes is contagious. Her faith is also an example to follow. Even with all the changes in her life, there was someone that didn’t change – God, the creator of heaven and earth. Her baptism reminded her that she belonged to God and that He promised to be with her even in the hardest changes of her life.
What are the changes in your life? No matter what you are going thru, there is that One person that never changes – God. He is the same yesterday, today and will be the same tomorrow. Trust in Him alone.
Photo Credit: Photo by Michal Balog on Unsplash