Diary of a Prodigal Daughter: Waves of Change


Credit: Alex Dahlberg

Waves of Change

by Christine Carter

When the waves of change sweep over us, and we feel overcome, we are never alone. The water recedes and though we are drenched, we have been washed clean of all the residue of work stress and trying to be on time, keeping up appearances.

We are left with a blank surface, which scares us. What now? Who am I if not this job I go to every morning to provide for my family? If I am no longer a student making the grade? If I am not busy? If I am none of those things for now, and staring into the looking glass, I see nothing but what is left. It can be scary for sure. And we may never understand why God allows the things in life that change us forever. But some things do stay the same, and do have the resiliency to become better. As fired in a kiln, all the rubble is gone.

My first experience with this kind of change was when I was a teenager, locked out of the house after school because I forgot my key, sitting at the picnic table in the back yard, and the phone in the house just rang and rang and rang, over 100 times. I knew what it was, something happened that would change us forever. We didn’t have an answering machine. Later that night we found out my Grandpa had passed away. And that was the first experience I ever had of real loss.

Throughout my childhood my parent’s marriage was rocky. And my brother and I grew up in it, expecting things would always stay the same, or maybe get better. I was in college in Arkansas, and during my sophomore year spring break my mom called me to tell me my dad had left.

He had moved into my brother’s bedroom when he went to college, and it was weird having my dad sleep across the hall from me. I was not a fan, for sure. But now he had left when we were both away at school. Life would never be the same. That summer my dad met the woman he has been with for 26 years. My brother got married that summer, and never again came back home to live, just to visit. I stayed with my mom.

When my mom got breast cancer, I realized I was there to help her, as she always helped me. My mother was always strong, through everything. Nothing was easy in her life, and she always gave it her best. Her greatest happiness was her children and we knew and felt that. So, I took her to chemo and sat beside her. I was young and I did what any loving daughter would do. I wasn’t perfect, but I loved my mom. When I was 28, she passed into her Heavenly Father’s arms, 4 days before my birthday.

These events have gone into shaping part of who I am. I have learned that if you think something will always stay the same, it doesn’t mean that it will. But God stays the same. He is the same, yesterday, today and forever. He is what we can count on. In this life, we are all just passing through. Some leave us sooner than we ever thought they would. Some parts of ourselves get lost along the way. Some burdens climb aboard our backs and cling like an albatross.

But God will take an event like a world pandemic and allow it to turn the tides. To let us know that no matter what He is with us. And to remind us that some things don’t have to stay the same. We can shake the burdens loose and become a more hopeful, peaceful and thankful version of ourselves. We can treasure the moments while we are in them, knowing that they are fleeting, and precious, every one.

{Post Script: I forgave my dad long ago for events mentioned above and we moved beyond them. I am grateful for who he is in my life and value him very much. Events can change us without breaking us. <3}

About the Author

Christine Carter at Mustard Seed Sentinel

Christine Carter is a working mom of a 12-year-old active son Marquis and has been married to her best friend Brent Carter for almost 15 years.

She attends Bethel: the Church at Philadelphia Mills, where she has been attending for almost 12 years.

She is currently a Quality Assurance Specialist at Gate 1 Travel in Fort Washington, PA. She resides in Levittown, PA, where she has lived for most of her life.

She is currently attending John Brown University’s online program where she is working on finishing a Psychology Degree which she began at JBU in NW Arkansas in the 1990s. She expects to graduate in May 2021.

She has always enjoyed writing, and poetry has been her method of choice. She believes that if you have a talent or a gift from God, or a desire to be used for His kingdom, He will make a way. You simply need to be willing.

You can read Christine’s Diary of a Prodigal Daughter column on the 3rd Friday each month here at Mustard Seed Sentinel.


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