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Facing Changes

Caleb Grimm

Days before the start of my senior year in high school, I learned that what I thought was important to my identity—concert choir, drama club, track team, youth group, church praise team—could be taken away in a blink.

devozine Caleb Grimm-full-lengthI remember it vividly. My sister and I had just returned from youth group when Dad called us into the living room. The unmistakable seriousness of his tone was frightening. For my entire life, Dad had been the pastor of our church; but I sensed that was about to change. Dad began to fight back tears as he and Mom attempted to explain the details of a difficult situation at church. When they finished, my father spoke the words I feared: We are moving. I was devastated. I was a week away from starting my senior year of high school, and everything I knew was about to be stripped away.

Five days later, I was sitting in a new school, hundreds of miles from home. I felt bitter at my parents and God. I didn’t understand how they could let this happen. Deep down, I knew something bigger was being fashioned in my life and the life of my family; but I didn’t want to see it. I wanted to be angry. I hated my new school and made no effort to make friends.

 

Two months after we moved, I had a huge argument with my parents. I told them that they had ruined my life. It was the biggest, loudest fight I remember ever having with my family. After the storm had calmed a bit, Mom said with a trembling voice these words I have never forgotten: “Son, I am sorry that we’ve hurt you. I wish more than anything that we could have prevented this. But now you have two choices. You can continue to be angry and bitter. Or you can hold your head high, accept your circumstances, and make the best of this situation.”

Later that night, when I was alone, I made a decision and I prayed: “God, I’m hurt. I miss the way things were. I don’t know why this had to happen, and I don’t understand what you’re trying to do; but I trust you. I’m going to do my best.”

I began to let go of the bitterness. I stopped resenting my parents. I started opening up to relationships at school. I began performing at school and playing in the chapel band. I got the lead in the school play. I was even voted winter homecoming king. Amazing blessings made my senior year exciting and memorable. It was as if God were saying, “Caleb, trust me. I know exactly what I’m doing.”

I learned that God’s plan is always better than mine. Change hurts, but the growth I experience because of change makes me stronger and more reliant on God. I learned that my identity isn’t found in the place I live or in the social groups to which I belong; my identity is in God and the work God has begun in me. God has a perfect plan for all of us and will be faithful to see it completed.

 

DIG DEEPER

These four steps will help you through a difficult transition:

  1. Accept that you can’t change what’s already happened. You can change your attitude.
  2. Realize that God’s plans are always better than yours.
  3. Know that you are not alone. Feeling sorry for yourself is easy if you’re the only person in the world who has ever gone through hard times, but that simply is not the case.
  4. Remember that it’s not about you. God wants to use you, but your personal comfort is not the issue. You’re an important piece of God’s greater plan.

 

devozine AnthemLights_cover-hi-smallTake time to listen to “Outta My Mind” by Anthem Lights. “The lyrics of this song always remind me to think outside my own little world and to focus on what God is doing. If we forget about our problems and realize that God wants us to be part of a bigger plan, our pain and struggles can help other people and glorify God.” —Caleb

Caleb Grimm is a singer/songwriter in the Christian music group Anthem Lights. He currently lives in Nashville, Tennessee.

—from devozine (September/October 2012). Copyright © 2012 by The Upper Room®. All rights reserved.

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