Uh oh no!

I heard the tornado alarms broadcasting on the radio. A lulu of a storm was picking up strength, speed and lots of water as it made its way across Lake Michigan toward my house.

I immediately started praying for God’s protection. As I reached for my Bible to read from Psalms, I remembered I’d left it at church the night before. I taught two sessions of Bible Study every week – one on Monday night and one on Tuesday morning. That week, I’d left my Bible and workbook at church for the 11 hours between classes.

Take cover!

Wow, had that been a bad idea! Decades of sermon notes, lecture prompts and favorite passages were written in the margins and highlighted for reference and now it was at risk of being destroyed. I couldn’t bear it. I had to rescue that Bible!

The weatherman’s announcement was urgent as I considered my options.
Take cover. The storm is due to hit our area in 27 minutes!”

I calculated the drive time and decided to make a run for it.

Rain pelted the windshield as I drove through the neighborhood streets into the church parking lot. I kept watch on the darkening sky as I fumbled for the keys to the church. Once inside, I RAN to my classroom, grabbed my Bible and tore back home arriving just in time to get to the basement with my Precious for company. Hot tears of relief rolled down my face as I hugged the fat book with the busted up cover.

Heavenly comfort

That Bible has kept me company for decades of Sunday services and comforted me through the deaths of my two husbands and countless smaller trials. It has dispensed wisdom during the long years of parenting alone and pointed me to my Savior in times of despair and moments of temptation. God has made himself known to me in its pages.

Recently, the small print in my tattered volume had become increasingly difficult to read. Reluctantly, I invested in a super-giant-print Bible. In theory, my study time will be more enjoyable and references easier to find when I’m on stages teaching my discoveries to others.

New seasons can be scary.

But, can I tell you a secret? Just between us girls, I miss the familiarity of my old Bible with its notes and scribbles and and tear stained pages. Pretty as it is, I don’t like this new Bible with it’s clean pages and empty margins. The emotion that comes closest to describing this feeling is fear. Irrational. Ridiculous. Fear.

  • What if I can’t find a reference cuz it’s not highlighted?
  • Will God feel as close to me using this new Bible as He did with my old one?
  • Should I copy all my notes into this new book?

Have you ever been forced into a new season? Maybe you’ve experienced a job change or your BFF moved away. Perhaps your doctor retired (the nerve!!) or your favorite dress got stained or a beloved pet died and you are feeling the loss as you navigate the unfamiliar without the benefit of your old comforter.

God renews. 

The truth is God is in the business of renewal. Sometimes, he has to move the old stuff out of the way so you are open to the new.

I’m depending on fresh insights as I use this new Bible. I’m taking a cue from Philippians 3:13-14 …Forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 

I bossed my fear and wrote this on the dedication page in the front of my Bible

Presented to
Begin a new era without fear
By
trusting and obeying God
On
all matters

What new thing is God doing in your life or asking you to let go of? Leave me a comment and let me know. I’d love to pray for your scary new season using my new Bible. 

Verse for today: “Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? Isaiah 43:18-19a ESV

Prayer: God, change is hard. I cling to the old things that I know, the things that bring comfort even when you have something better for me. Lord, lead me to the best for my life. I know I can trust you to deliver the good stuff cuz you didn’t hold back your only Son from me. In Jesus Name, amen 

21 Comments

  1. Laurie Sammons on September 21, 2020 at 12:30 am

    Thanks for the words of encouragement. In my very hectic life it’s nice to lay in bed and as I clean my email come across your messages. I love reading the stories as I find peace and help me remember that God is closer to us than we ever think sometimes.

    • Robyn Dykstra on September 21, 2020 at 3:28 pm

      Thanks Laurie. I appreciate the encouragement and am glad to continue my Sunday posts to you.

  2. Shelley Blau on September 21, 2020 at 12:39 am

    Robyn,
    This is just what I needed. On March 9th I suddenly at that age of 54 became a widow, losing my husband to a dissected aortic artery. I know God is with me as I walk this path and I know that down the road, only God knows the timeline, that I will find joy again.

    • Robyn Dykstra on September 21, 2020 at 3:27 pm

      Oh Shelley,

      I am so so sorry. So many changes! May you experience God’s presence and leading every day.

  3. Jeannette Cooke on September 21, 2020 at 12:42 am

    When I wrote last, I believe I mentioned that we were taking my mother-in-law home from the hospital so she could die at home. She did survive that trip and seemed happy to be home. After about two weeks, she arrived to her new home in heaven. I wish I could have seen her grand entrance! She arrived safely, no longer burdened by the paralysis, aphasia, and weakness of the past 17 years. Free at last! Rejoicing!

    • Robyn Dykstra on September 21, 2020 at 3:25 pm

      Ah, praise God, Jeannette.
      Thanks for providing me the rest of the story.
      Celebrating her rest and your courage and obedience.

  4. Judy Duff on September 21, 2020 at 1:11 am

    How timely is your column! My husband passed away last month and I’m in a new season. Still adjusting, of course, but I know there will be something new that God has in mind for me. During this time of transition, I’ll look for His direction and leading.. Thank you for the insight!

    • Robyn Dykstra on September 21, 2020 at 3:24 pm

      Oh Judy,
      I am so so sorry. Praying God’s peace and comfort for you as you lean in and press on.

  5. Lori Pedelty on September 21, 2020 at 1:29 am

    Done the same thing still bring that old one out it has so much in it

    • Robyn Dykstra on September 21, 2020 at 3:23 pm

      Lori,
      Those worn bibles are like a security blanket!
      I’ve got to remember it’s the author of the pages who holds me.

  6. Lena Dayzie on September 21, 2020 at 2:46 am

    I fear of doing online teaching using all the technology that is foreign to me. I am hanging on to the normal way of teaching. That was comfortable and satisfying. May the Lord lead me to get to the best part of my career through the new normal

    • Robyn Dykstra on September 21, 2020 at 3:21 pm

      Hey Lena,
      Eyeball to eyeball is the best form of teaching (in my humble opinion)
      I’m agreeing with you in prayer to be able to continue teaching in person.
      I also pray that you have the courage and acumen for new technology. 🙂

  7. Amy Deangelo on September 21, 2020 at 3:01 am

    I let my grandson and his wife and 4 cats live in my new house in Arizona till we sold our house in Illinois. Well we sold our house and went to Arizona. But they don’t have the financial stability to go out on their own . I’m struggling with the idea of 4 cats. Wife treats them as if they’re human and I don’t see it that way. A lot of issues I’m dealing with and I don’t want to hurt their feelings because I liovemy grandchildren very much. Need prayers.

    • Robyn Dykstra on September 21, 2020 at 3:19 pm

      Eeek, Amy, that’s a tough one. Relationships can be ruined by not addressing offenses.
      It is YOUR house and it is NEW, so perhaps an awkward conversation is in order.
      Check out this post https://robyndykstra.com/work-path-peace/
      Praying for your patience and courage and for a financial windfall for your grandson’s family.

  8. Tonya Tolley on September 21, 2020 at 11:01 am

    My family has felt forcefully lead to leave our home church of over 20 years, but have no clue where to go from here. We miss many of our church family members and basically feel like we’re in limbo.

    • Robyn Dykstra on September 21, 2020 at 3:13 pm

      Hey Tonya,

      Wow, that’s so hard, but I admire your obedience. Especially now, when so many churches are not meeting in person, it’s difficult to find your new church home. I’m praying that you find your new spot soon.

      We’ve been at the same church for nearly 20 years and have had many friends come and go. We’ve maintained good relationships with many of our past congregants – dinner dates, game nights, bonfires, etc. I don’t know the specifics, but will assure you that leaving a church does not necessarily mean you have to break off contact with everyone.

      Till you find a new church home, you could use YouTube to watch sermons from churches too far away to join but have excellent teaching. I like Gateway – Robert Morris and Bethel Church in Redding, CA – Bill Johnson and Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship – Tony Evans. 🙂

      There are also many sermons from the great preachers like Adrian Rogers and Billy Graham.

  9. Dawn Twyman on September 21, 2020 at 11:34 am

    I love it. I understand your fear. I have moved from Florida to Kentucky because I felt it was what God was telling me to do but I left all my Godly friends and my Church only to come home to ungodly surroundings and can’t find a Church that preaches the Whole Gospel. I am sad, lonely and just plain drained. This new chapter is harder than I thought it would be but it is draining my hope and spirit and that is the hardest part. To new beginnings without fear!!

    • Robyn Dykstra on September 21, 2020 at 2:57 pm

      Dawn, So many are floundering without “real church” to build our communities and worship God corporately. The isolation is devastating. I’m praying you find like-minded women of faith at work, in coffee shops, at the grocery store … and that your spirits are lifted.
      You’re one of the bravest women I’ve met. Press on!

  10. Sue Lea on September 21, 2020 at 1:57 pm

    I just bought my own Bible for the first time (others had been given to me). It is a study Bible for a Bible study class I am taking. I didn’t know what to put on the dedication page, but now I do!! Thank you!

    • Robyn Dykstra on September 21, 2020 at 2:53 pm

      Hurrah! Sue, I’m so excited about your new Bible.
      Thanks for posting.

  11. Bobbie Walsh on September 23, 2020 at 4:19 am

    I totally get wanting to stay in the comfort zone and clinging to the familiar. (Even when the familiar was dysfunctional, it was less scary than the unknown). God gave me the courage to leave a challenging husband of 30 years three years ago. I grew so much in those 30 yr trials, as God protected me, gave me compassion, boldness spiced with love, and improved boundary-setting. With tough love, God blessed us richly for a time, until patterns were repeated and a bad business partnership plus market crash in 08 led to a bankruptcy. I was so moving in the right direction, when I tried to put hubby back in life as a friend. Although I could rationalize that I had the best part of him now, it started messing with my head and I started thinking. . . What if… Recently, my landlord died and the family wants to sell units. Anyway, I have recently been presented with opportunity to rent with a male friend who happens to be the widow of my best friend in High School who passed away. I am grateful to have cheaper rent and not climb stairs anymore and new unit is literally 40 yards from my current condo, but scared sh…tless of all the energy it takes to negotiate a housemate companion. I am praying that God will help me be less rigid about cleanliness and embrace this as a new opportunity for learning and growth. We have discussed the “rules” going in and pray that I won’t have to move again if things don’t work out. God used me as a mentor and colleague each time I moved- (3 times in 4 years) I trust he will see me through this as He has always been faithful and will be to the end of time-Hallelujah! Let us not be overcome with fear, for that is the opposite of love and is right where the enemy wants us. I will pray for you and me!

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