The Bauman tribe is in the middle of change. Big change.
There I said it. Good to get that off my chest.
Here is our reality. We are moving from the East Coast to the Midwest. We are changing career paths. Our boys are changing high schools. Yep– change comes in many shapes and sizes– trickles to tsunamis. Our current change is well…kind of epic actually.
Before you worry– this story ends happily. No intrigue, no plot twists. This narrative is straight forward– God is at work leading us. We are at work following Him.
While NONE of this is taking us by surprise, all of it is CHANGE.
Last winter I was being interviewed by a young reporter from our local area about climbing Kilimanjaro. I vaguely remember we talked for hours about women, about what day to day reality in war zones looks like, about climbing gear and fundraising, about oxygen tanks and training schedules and about advocating for women survivors in the halls of power and at the top of mountains. Even thought the nitty gritty detail of our interview is fuzzy to me- I remember one topic with perfect clarity.
The fear of change.
We talked about global change– how easy it is to say “change the world” and how crazy hard it is to actually “be the change you wish to see”. We talked about personal change– how if you want to grow, you have to invite change and how crazy scary even the smallest of changes can be.
She was right. I am an adventurer at heart, yet even I know the rules to the complex dance of change– two adrenaline-filled steps forward, three fearful steps back. Maybe that is why this blog post took a month to write. And three weeks to edit. Our change is good. Our change is hopeful. Our change is a blessing– but change is change and messes with our status quo no matter what.
Finding peace in change is the challenge.
So, what’s up? Well, Stephan accepted the call to become the Executive Director of Cornerstone Trust in Grand Rapids, MI- an amazing honor to work with incredible people doing outrageous good in this world! I accepted the fact that One Million Thumbprints is getting ready to grow and expand. Joshua and Caleb accepted the idea that a move to a new school this year provides good opportunities for the the years to come. We all accepted God was calling us to these new places– all is good– yet I am tempted to fear even the good in change.
But then Sarah.
Sarah is one of my favorite artists. Ever. She is an expert at capturing and holding me in the beauty and tension of real life until I calm down. I keep a snap of my favorite Sarah Carter Studios painting in my “images”file for quick “panic” reference. Her subject matter is at once complex and straight forward–peace in the midst of what feels like drowning.
Yet the image is so real, so truthful, it calms me down every single time.
And so, this weekend we move. It all happened at Nascar-speed. The considerations, the offer, the no, the yes, the release. This was not because anything was wrong, but because it was just time. Time for change.
God called. Stephan answered.
World Relief blessed.
One Million Thumbprints grew.
Baltimore/DC loved and Grand Rapids opened their arms.
And here we are in the middle of boxes.
Our house sold in four days while we were in England (THANK YOU FOREVER ALYCE DAILEY FOR BEING SO INCREDIBLY GOOD AT YOUR JOB!!) We bought a house way the heck out in the Michigan country-side while we were in Africa. Was it scary? Yes. Did it work out really, really well? Yes. And no. And still in process.
But this I know–In it all, fear is not for the likes of us.
So we change. Today, Synath and his crew from the brilliant and beautiful people of Anne Arundel World Relief came to collect a grill, lamps, desks, chairs, couches, rugs and wall hangings from our home to create a new home for a family being resettled by their office. Our goodbye becomes a beautiful hello to a resettled family at the end of their very long journey– unrest, IDP camps, paperwork, interviews and year and years of process. Now a new home. I get the shivers thinking about the change this family has experienced as “refugees”. I find joy as I think of our life intersecting with theirs at the crossroads of change.
I get tears thinking about these brave souls as they choose to echo “fear is not for the likes of us”.
Change is best when it is most real.
The moving company gave me a set of stickers I am supposed to put on our boxes–they read “fragile”, “for storage” and “do not move”. This morning I sit in my own war room of sorts– surrounded by notes from neighbors, the beautiful flowers and art given to us at our World Relief send off, and endless checklists for school, camp, packing, people to see… I wonder if these stickers are for me instead of my boxes.
“Do not move” for those people and places that formed us here– the world changing good done at World Relief, the lessons learned at school, on the team, with our friends. “Fragile” for those relationships that need to be set right before we say goodbye, or those foundational people that we will fall apart without. “For storage” for all those memories made over the last 10 years here– good, bad, difficult and so beautiful they bring tears.
So– I have decided that fear is allowed to come during this season of change– but it can’t stay. It isn’t for the likes of us. We will let the fear in only long enough to make the change solid, real, sustainable. Then–
Fear has to change into brave.
And brave? Well, that goes right down into the soul.
As we ready to move, know that we love you–our people. Know that we are doing well– really well. And when we need inspiration it is always the God in you that leads us with the example of brave souls doing change well. Your music, your gifts, your encouragement, your truth telling and risk taking, your art, your thumbprints, your own journey through fear and change.
Brave Souls–fear is not for the likes of us. Change is good.
Know you have good friends in