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On the Altar of Change

For military families–or all families–moving can be God’s training tool for learning to embrace change.

Ginger Harrington in the middle of unpacking.

Today’s guest blogger is Ginger Harrington.

Twenty-four years as a Marine wife has brought frequent moves and many adjustments. The Marine motto Semper Fidelis (Always Faithful) is sometimes jokingly changed to Semper Gumby–the need to be Always Flexible. For me, moving has been God’s training tool for learning to embrace change.

Moves become bearers of change as the outward trappings of life are whisked away. With the arrival of the moving truck at our new home, the inventory is checked, the unpacking begins… and life goes on as change moves in.

Yours may not be a military family, but embracing change is a lesson for all–it’s a part of every family and every life, regardless of where we live or what we do.

Accepting change is my offering to God: So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary lifeyour sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around lifeand place it before God as an offering… (Romans 12:1, The Message).

…even if He chooses to pack my life up on a moving truck and ship our family 4000 miles across the globe.

But sometimes I resist surrender. Something in me keeps snatching back an aspect of my life off the altar of surrender–areas I still want to control. I wait in faith as God helps me feel at home, find a church, make friends, get kids connected, and so on. But too often I wait with anxious awkwardness. Too often I push and strain against acceptance.

This is the unease of one who has jumped off the altar, who is struggling in spirit to rest and trust God in the middle of change.

When I truly place my life before God as an offering, I can let go of the desire to get everything worked out the way I want. Waiting with faith, I embrace what He has for me in the midst of change. I abandon resistance.

Romans 12:1 continues, embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him.

Embracing the changes God brings into my life is also the best thing I can do for me.

In our last move, I sensed that God spoke to my anxious thoughts: Submit to change. He was telling me to stay on the altar and let Him do something new in my life. We cannot fully experience the benefits of change without first letting go of what has been left behind.

Whether or not I embrace the changes God has brought into my life, they are here. Embracing God’s plan, cooperating with faith and grace, is the obedience of remaining on the altar.

Through the sacrifice of resistance and control, I place myself in a position that frees God to do His greatest work in me, transforming me from the inside out–address change and all!


Ginger Harrington is a career Marine Corps spouse and mother of three young adults. She knows the challenges miltary families face. As a writer and speaker, Ginger encourages others to discover practical ways to go deeper with God, an emphasis evident in her blog, Ginger’s Corner: Where the Spiritual Meets the Practical.  

You can also connect with Ginger on Facebook and Twitter.

She writes for The Navigators Military, 5 Minutes for Faith, and More to Be.

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