By Melanie Redd
God's Brave Women - Melanie's Story
It turns out I like a pretty steady routine without a whole lot of change. Of course, the change in the seasons is nice. I also like to mix up what I fix for dinner or what we watch on television. For the most part, however, I’m a person of habit.
Maybe you are too?
For example, I live by a regular schedule. My days start with prayer and devotions, coffee, and a walk outside. Then, I work for several hours, fix dinner, and hang out with my family and friends at night. Most of the time, my days are pretty ordinary. Weekends may vary a little, but our lives are rather predictable. However, over the past few months, a storm blew into our lives.
It was the unexpected storm of change!
"I live by a regular schedule... However, over the past few months, a storm blew into our lives. It was the unexpected storm of change!"
Change 1.) My Mom Took a Bad Fall.
On June 6, my mom took a horrible fall and began a month of stays in the hospital and in rehab.
She went from reaching for her pajamas in her high boy, to lying face down passed out on the hardwood floor. My father watched the whole thing happen and could not get to her in time to prevent the fall.
After having eight stitches placed just above her left eyebrow, the doctor sent her to the hospital where they cut her head open to stop a brain bleed.
Then, as healing was beginning to take place, she suffered a horrible seizure and several strokes.
It was a long summer of tests, prodding, medicine, doctor visits, and rehabilitation.
Happily, I can report that my mother is feeling so much better. Her thinking is clearer as is her speech. She is regaining progress in her dexterity and motor skills. However, she is confined to a wheelchair and may never walk again.
This is a huge change for all of us. She went from living a normal life, driving, walking, and hanging out with friends to life in a wheelchair and assisted living facility.
"This is a huge change for all of us. She went from living a normal life, driving, walking, and hanging out with friends to life in a wheelchair and assisted living facility."
Change 2.) My Only Daughter and Beloved Aussie Moved to a New City
During all of the hospital visits for my mom, my daughter was offered a wonderful new job in a city about three hours away.
She and our five-year-old Australian Shepherd had been living with us during COVID. In fact, they had been back with us for almost five years. We had grown very attached.
But our Emily wanted to take the dog with her to her new city and her new job. Indeed, she has moved to her new job and city and loves it. Also, the dog loves it and has a new roommate. His roommate is a five-pound Shih Tzu. The two of them are the best of friends!
All in all, it's been a wonderful move for her. However, it's been a huge change for us. And we miss her! (And the dog.)
Change 3.) My Dad Got Very Sick
Also, during the crazy season with my mom's illness and my daughter’s move, we discovered that my dad is very sick.
Doctors have uncovered the fact that he now has advanced Parkinson's disease. He still has his sense of humor, but he has lost a lot of weight and doesn't process as clearly as he used to.
Although he tries to take great care of my mother, he's not as strong and energetic as he once was. His strength diminishes each day.
"Doctors have uncovered the fact that he now has advanced Parkinson's disease... Although he tries to take great care of my mother, he's not as strong and energetic as he once was."
This change has been huge for us just as all the others have been.
Change 4.) Our Beloved Pastor & His Wife Retired and Left Our Church.
Another unexpected change that happened for us this summer was the retirement of our pastor and his beloved wife from serving at our church.
My husband serves as the music minister. Indeed, we have dearly loved working with this couple. He has been a wonderful teacher, and she an amazing servant.
We are so excited for what God has next for them, but the change has left us sad. And we miss them greatly.
Change 5.) The Change in Me!
So, this brings me to the final thought regarding all these changes. Over the past few months, the greatest change has come in my own life as I’ve learned a few things:
Change is going to happen. There is nothing we can do to stop it. In fact, it's just a part of life.
The change will hurt, but it doesn't have to break us into pieces. Yes, life is a challenge sometimes. But God is always with us, walking beside us, holding us close and making us brave.
"The change will hurt, but it doesn't have to break us into pieces. Yes, life is a challenge sometimes. But God is always with us, walking beside us, holding us close and making us brave."
When change comes, I am learning to take the frustration, the questions, the hurt, the emotions, and everything that makes it difficult to the feet of Jesus.
"When change comes, I am learning to take the frustration, the questions, the hurt, the emotions, and everything that makes it difficult to the feet of Jesus."
Truly, Jesus is the only one who can fix what's upsetting me. The only One!
"Jesus is the only one who can fix what's upsetting me."
Over and over this summer, God has taken me back to this one passage in Matthew 11:23-30 (Message Version).
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion?
Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life.
I’ll show you how to take a real rest.
Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.
I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you.
Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
My prayer for you and for me today is that as we go through storms of unexpected change, we will run courageously to the feet of Jesus. May every moment of change push us closer to Him!
Brave Woman Manifesto
Make sure to check back next week as another courageous Sister shares her story.
And by the way...
You are Brave!
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Melanie Redd is a woman who loves to encourage, equip, train, and motivate other women. She wrote Sunday school curriculum and magazine articles for Lifeway Resources before launching her own speaking, blogging, podcasting, and writing ministry.
As a speaker and as a writer, she inspires others using the Bible, practical applications, a little wit, and a whole lot of common sense. She’s known for taking complicated biblical and relational concepts and making them simple to understand and put to use.