Change Is Never Easy But It Is Necessary For Growth

Change is Never Easy

Change is never easy. Any positive change with the potential of greatly improving your life always comes with sacrifices and challenges. My wife Janet and I were reminded of this fact recently. In the early spring of this year, we made the decision to sell our home in St. Louis Missouri and move to the foothills of the Smoky Mountains in East Tennessee.

This relocation required that I quit a job in St. Louis Missouri after eleven years of employment. Until the end of last year, I was fully anticipating working at St. Luke’s Hospital until the day I retired. This relocation also meant Janet would have to close her medical recruiting business that she started from nothing in 2009. Janet’s business was an LLC incorporated in the state of Missouri. Unfortunately, the state of Tennessee has no allowances for what is called a “domestic transfer” of an LLC that was originated in another state. So, to even consider continuing her company in Tennessee meant closing it entirely in Missouri and starting from scratch in Tennessee.

There was yet another challenge to all of our impending change. We discovered early this year that our newest grandson would be born in early September of this year. Moving away would mean moving away from our children, grandson, and our soon to be born grandson in St. Louis. Change is never easy.

Most of our family and friends in St. Louis struggled to understand the urgency we felt in moving to Tennessee. We had always planned on retiring near the Smoky Mountains when we were in our late 60’s.

The Time For Change Had Come

The area where we lived in St. Louis Missouri was in unincorporated St. Louis County. Our home was sandwiched between Dellwood, Missouri and Ferguson, Missouri. From our house we could drive to either Dellwood or Ferguson in less than two minutes. Statistically, St. Louis Missouri has one of the highest violent crime rates in the nation. If you can remember news reports that were coming out of Ferguson, Missouri a few years ago, I don’t think I need to elaborate on how the safety of the surrounding area had eroded. We came to realize it was time to leave.

We could have moved to a better part of St. Louis 15-20 miles away. That was definitely an option. Doing so would have allowed me to stay at my current job and would have allowed Janet to continue her business. But after much thought, it didn’t make sense to move 20 miles away. This would require moving again in 12-13 years in order to be where we wanted to retire. Moving is expensive, exhausting, and stressful. It was time for a change of scenery. We decided to step out in faith and make the move to Tennessee.

After making the decision to sell the house and move to Tennessee, it soon became abundantly clear to us God was leading our steps. Because our house was located in a high crime area, we thought it might take several months to sell our house. I wondered if we would be able to sell it period. After placing our house on the market, it sold in three weeks. That in itself was a miracle from God.

God Was With Us Through It All

I could tell you instance after instance how God intervened on our behalf during the process of our change and move to Tennessee. Some of the details about the miracles God performed for us during the transition will be a topic for another post sometime. The process of walking away from everything in St. Louis was definitely stressful, scary at times, and it required some tough decisions. As I sit and write this today, I can say we have no regrets. We know we made the right decision and we are now living in a place where God was calling us to go.

Change is part of life. Growth cannot take place without change. Without change growth ceases. When growth ceases in any living thing it begins to die. Change requires tough decisions. One of the toughest aspects of a major life change is allowing God to handle all of the details. Too many times we want to figure everything out on our own. We must be willing to follow God’s direction and trust that He knows what He is doing. I can assure you God makes no mistakes.  Psalm 37:23 tells us the steps of a righteous man are ordered by the Lord. This means if we will surrender control of our situations to God, He will lead us in the right direction.

I like what Martin Luther King said. Dr. King said, “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”  There were many pieces to our Tennessee move that needed to fall into place.  We didn’t know how God was going to work it all out.  But, we KNEW he would provide everything we needed in His timing.

Are You In Need Of Changes In Your Life?

What changes do you know you need to make in your life? Are there major aspects of your life that need changing? Perhaps the changes you need involve relationships, your career, or the location of your home. If the changes you need are major, rest assured the process will not be easy. Nothing great in life ever comes easy. Everything that has the potential to improve and enrich your life comes with a price. There may be sacrifices you must make to get to the place God wants you to be. What is holding you back from doing what you need to do or going where you need to go? Is fear holding you back? Fear is a liar. Fear will hold you captive and keep you from becoming all God created you to be. Don’t forget what fear really is. False Evidence Appearing Real.

Change can be a good thing. Change can cause us to grow, expand our horizons, teach us things we need to learn, and place us around people that we can help.

Our New Home In Tennessee

Janet and I love our new community and the place we call home. We live in Greenback Tennessee and we are less than an hour from the Smoky Mountain National Park. As we drive down the highway into neighboring Maryville, Tennessee, we can see the mountains on the horizon. I see the mountains off in the distance every day as I drive to work. We see the mountains every Sunday as we drive to church. The sight of the mountains on the horizon serve as a constant reminder to us that God created everything that is beautiful and good. It reminds us that He is always there through every change and challenge we face in life. Trust God through your changes in life. He is always there.

I look unto the mountains; does my strength come from mountains? No, my strength comes from God who made heaven, and earth, and mountains. He won’t let you stumble; your guardian God won’t fall asleep. – Psalm 121:1-3 (Message Bible)

Thanks for reading!

Until next time,

Mark

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1 thought on “Change Is Never Easy But It Is Necessary For Growth”

  1. I too find those changes become necessary. We all need to listen to the Holy Spirit and follow our dreams. We will not be mislead if it is truly the Spirit that guides us. I am no longer a slave to fear, I am a child of GOD…

    May GOD continue to bless you both. May the peace of the LORD be with you.

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