Change Changes Everything!

Everything always changes, doesn’t? I mean no matter what we do or how we try to keep things going the same, something will always change somehow.

So many times change can be great! I loved when I changed from a girlfriend to a fiance  to and to a wife! A couple of weeks ago Sweets and I had the chance to get back to the States and Canada for some great family visiting. I was FINALLY able to change my name! I LOVED that change!

But while we were there, a number of other things also changed. Some not so good, some not so bad and some we are still unsure about!

Sweets’ wonderful grandfather was diagnosed with cancer the day – actually the MOMENT we arrived. (Literally we walked in the door the second the phone rang and the hospital CALLED to tell him he had cancer – I still can’t believe they did that over the phone!) Many things will have to change now.

About 5 days later Sweets was asked to go to Iowa to see about a job opportunity. (We were in MO, so it was about a 7 hour drive to IA) We were kind of in shock! This was not in the plan! We were set to stay in Japan 18 more months, save as much money as possible and THEN start looking for work for him closer to his home/family when we could pay cash for a car and closer to 50% down on a home. Leaving Japan now we will only have about 1/3 of the savings we hoped to have before leaving.

Needless to say we drove the 7 hours to IA, had a very intense interview for a pretty niche job opportunity and then we drove another 7 hours back discussing Gods hand in all of this and what He could possibly be up to!

Let me tell you I was glad to have those 7 hours! 🙂

So here we are, in a very difficult situation emotionally for both of us as we try to figure out the best steps to take next. Sweets has accepted the job offer and will be moving to IA right after Christmas. I on the other hand find myself in a VERY difficult situation that needs much prayer and only direction from the Lord.

Should I stay and fulfill my contract til March or leave with Sweets and be with my husband as he takes on this new responsibility in January?

To make it easier/further complicate matters I am Canadian and therefore need to wait for immigration clearance before I can move. This helps me to know that if it doesn’t happen before January then I can stay in Japan until it does. But then there’s the being apart for so long…

Alternatively I can go to IA with him for a month or two, then fly to Canada and stay with my family until the immigration process is cleared. This way its easier/cheaper for us to visit 1-2 times a month on weekends as we wait out the immigration. In Japan this will not be possible.

I go back and forth almost everyday! I love my students, and my work but I also want to be by the side of my husband at this very stressful/amazing time in his life. I want to be there when he comes home from work and help him get settled into the new life for at least a month or two before living apart…. I just really do not know whats best. Sometimes I think it is more selfish for me to stay in Japan and leave my husband. But other times when I think of the students, and the promises I made to them, their parents and my boss. Not to mention I do not think it is a good witness to break contract. I sometimes feel more selfish wanting to be with my husband rather than honour my word to complete the work when it gets hard because I miss my man….

Both sides are totally valid and depending on the view both would be honouring to the Lord and Biblically obedient!

So no matter how much I tried to keep our life the same (and I have been trying!) one call changed it all! Despite the trying I am in the process of life changes, but all the while learning that God is also in the process of changing ME.

In Sweets taking this new job, I am forced to face a lot of things about me that I know God has been pointing to, but I have been conveniently ignoring and rather working on the things I THINK I should work on first! (you know, the easier stuff!)

Change: For the good, the bad and the Glory of God! Bring it on!

-Bree

Change your mind not your spouse!

A big welcome to Summer – Finally!

This has been the first week of THE real heat for us in Nagoya. The past few weeks have been hot but thankfully were lacking the humidity that typifies our area of Japan. Actually, I love the humidity! I know I am weird. I just look at it as a free sauna experience – my skin never looks better than this time of year and I love the feeling of walking out the door and into a wall of humidity. Sorry I just do!

We organized a beach BBQ event with our friends from work, great people, tons of fun – not Christians. This generally does not get in the way of having a great time, or enjoying each others company though. They respect our lifestyle and choices and we enjoy their friendship. It is all good!

However, every now and then the topics or content can show strong differences between our views and ideals.

The topic of marriage came up and most of the couples we were with are married, one divorced,  one couple are common-law and the other couple is just newly dating.  This leaves room for a lot of comments, advice and opinions. Mostly Sweets and I just listen and it was yesterday that I noticed just how vastly different married life can be with Christ involved.

Of course everyone is talking about how we can’t change the other person (thankfully they have all gotten to learn that!) but more of it was about how to put up with your partners annoying things, how to ignore or what tactics one may use to cause about a change. Most of it was negative and I know marriage isn’t perfect, its hard and it takes sacrifice but more negative things were being said about marriage and spouses than good. And these are happily married couples speaking! (for the most part.)

It was during that conversation that I learned a few things:

1) Marriage is meant to make us Holy not happy (I had read that millions of times but it sunk in yesterday) when I realized that things about Sweets that make me want him to change is always an opportunity God uses to bring a change IN ME/ MY attitude and my perspective on myself. Anytime I think a negative thing about my husband I am immediately reminded of how much he has to put up with me and it makes me so thankful for our marriage instead of annoyed. No one ever admitted during that conversation that maybe THEY were also in need of changing.

2) Only with Christ is change a real hope. This is not about dirty laundry on the floor or petty things like that. But some of these people are dealing with things that really should be changing with maturity – but it is clear that no one believes those personality flaws can be changed – ever. I know that there is hope for me and my man to become more and more Godly and so change for the better is inevitable as a christian. He gets the Glory!

3) People do not think that these ideals are possible or even natural after the first couple of years of marriage. This will have to be proven in the coming years, as it is true Cullen and I are still in our first year only and maybe my perspective will change – but faith will not allow me to change my mind that God can not change people and make us more like His Perfect Son. That is what we are living for!

It’s true we cannot change our spouse, but we can change how we view them and the situation – and how we view ourselves. We are equally not the perfect catch for them – and they are equally putting up with a lot from our end as well.

Christ is ever ready to change us though and praise to His name it is not only possible but POSITIVE!!