thankful for change . . . ?

While Aaron was in Philadelphia taking the BAR, I wrapped up work and my time in Nashville at the home of my friends, Rebekah and Adrienne. We celebrated my last night in Nashville at the Germantown Cafe (delicious!) and then attempted to take a self-timer portrait of the three of us in the parking lot afterwards. Though, a little off-centered, we finally got one with all three of our heads.

(Danielle, Rebekah, Adrienne)

I worked in the pediatric intensive care unit (pccu) with Rebekah and worked part time over the summer with Adrienne at church with the kiddos. The three of us were a part of two community groups together and also another group where we learned how to study the scriptures. Rebekah has reflected on how intricately our lives were woven together in Nashville - work, church, play. We were learning what it looks like to live in true community and how messy that is - getting into each other's dirt and loving one another through it by means of the gospel and grace. Now that I've moved away to Philadelphia, my community has changed. What will community look like for me in Philadelphia?

In the meantime, I miss my friends in Nashville. The "newness" is not fully sinking in as I'm spending the week at the beach on vacation. Once I'm back home in our unpacked and unsettled Philadelphia row home again, I think it will start to realize everything that has changed, is changing, and will change.

This reminds me of the sermons I heard the last few Sundays. God is the author of history. It is God who is at work. It is not about me or what I bring. He is the one on the move. He is the one working. He is advancing his kingdom and using people (me) to do it. Because of all of those things, I am going to be thankful. God is sovereign, and God is in control in the midst of this change, as easy or hard as I might perceive that change to be.

"Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights." Habakkuk 3:17-19.

Truthfully, I feel embarrassed to reflect like this; my problems are not problems. This (whatever "this" happens to be at the moment) is not a big deal. I used to work in a pccu. Those people have sick and dying kids; they have real problems. Yet, God continues to show me that every situation and every story and every problem is unique and different. It is not about the size or severity of the problem. It is in the journey of struggling through whatever the "problem" is that he reveals himself to me.

Randy, one of my pastors in Nashville, said it two weeks ago, "Freedom doesn't necessarily mean you are cut free from the struggle. Something remarkable happens when you are set free: a greater desire steps in. You live in a new reality of joy in the midst of the struggle."

Thus, I'm thankful for the change and these struggles. . . or at least I know he will reveal himself to me as I struggle through being thankful for these changes.


  1. This is from Billy Cerveny's Reason and Rhyme. Some of the lyrics made me think about you all restarting community and this next leg of the journey. Miss you guys!
    ...taken like a season gone by, still don’t know the reason why; You say to love again is a song you teach me over time; Pain is writing out each line, nothing ever seems to rhyme;
    Can you promise your love knows another way?
    Can you make my heart sing, can you give me tears to cry, make hope spread wings, lift my soul to fly Take these broken dreams, take this wasted time, make it beautiful, turn it into reason and into rhyme

  2. Danielle- I'm so excited about this blog. Thank you for being so open and honest about the way you feel. I could not agree with you more that pain and suffering are all relative. It isn't about the size or our ideas about severity. God can change you in mighty ways through any circumstance. Miss you! Hope you are enjoying the beach :)


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