Changes

by Krystal Grant-Crutchfield
Lizy Heard

I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. – Isaiah 43:19

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to throw away; a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace. – Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8

 

The season of fall is now in full swing. One of my favorite activities during this time is to look at the leaves change from green to shades of red and yellow. Watching the leaves change color and the thermometer drop to cooler temperatures reminds me of the natural rhythm of change within nature and our lives.

Fall is a season where the theme of change is vividly displayed throughout everyday life. During this time of the year, many parents send their children off to school, from pre-school to college. New sports and old traditions begin, and we mark the beginning of the holiday season. Within churches, change can be seen in the appointment of a new pastor, new officers for various church ministries, new curriculum for Sunday School or Bible study, or perhaps even a new facility.

As much excitement and anticipation change may bring, there is also an understanding that fear and uncertainty may come along as well. It is natural for people to be comfortable with the familiar and to desire things to remain the same. New changes may cause some people to feel uncomfortable or anxious. Thus, such changes are often met with resistance and an unwillingness to change from the past. Examples of such situations include a historical church with declining membership in rapidly changing neighborhood, the loss of a job, changing relationships, and living with the diagnosis of a new health condition. In seasons of change and uncertainty, we have the opportunity to trust in the words of Ecclesiastes, to believe that God will help diminish our fears and to steadily live into the new reality of our lives.

The Church Health Center is anticipating a big change as the organization prepares to move into a new home within the Crosstown neighborhood in Memphis, Tennessee. With several other partners, we will moving in to a 1.5 million square foot building that formerly held a Sears department store, distribution center and regional office. It will be one of the largest urban redevelopments in the country, and the Church Health Center is at the heart of the project.

From my office I can see all the changes that are happening to this massive building and can witness firsthand the changes to the surrounding neighborhood as well. As I watch all of the construction that is being done on the building, many questions come to mind: Will construction be completed on time? What will it be like for all of the Church Health Center staff to work under the same roof, given that we operate at 4 different campuses now? How will we interact with our new partners at Crosstown? Even the small, trivial things come to mind: Will there be enough parking spaces for everyone?

While I do not have all of the answers to any of these questions yet, I refer to the passage of Isaiah 43:19 to calm any concerns and wait in anticipation for this exciting change that will dramatically improve the Church Health Center’s mission of serving the underserved in Memphis and beyond.

May God grant us wisdom, patience, and grace we experience change within our lives. Help us to calm any fears and anxieties that may prevent us from seeing new blessings and opportunities from you.

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