Transforming Your Perspective: New Things are Coming!

It’s that time of year. Spring is in the air, and my social media feed is filled with all the things…

Senior photos. Prom pictures. Graduation announcements.

Lots of “lasts.”

This weekend, some of Abby’s friends participated in their final drama show. A few weeks ago, a friend posted a “bittersweet moment” of his son playing in his last high school tennis match. I get it. We were just there with Sarah. (Has it really been a year??)

COVID may have changed a lot of Sarah’s Senior Year “lasts,” but that January they were looming large. I wanted to embrace them all, but honestly I was filled with dread. Then a friend told me something that completely transformed my perspective.

She said, “Kelly, it’s okay to embrace these ‘lasts’— shed the tears, grieve the losses, feel all the feels. But keep in mind there are a ton of new ‘firsts’ just around the corner! There is so much to look forward to!”

Y’all, those words changed everything for me!

The truth was, there were already signs of “firsts” everywhere. College brochures in the mailbox, an LU sweatshirt crumpled on the couch, and piles of dorm décor scattered around the house.

New things were coming! But I was so focused on what I was losing, I hadn’t noticed what was emerging. A shift in perspective completely transformed my experience. It gave me the hope I hadn’t even realized I’d lost.

As a result, I have been able to offer that same hope to others.

In Isaiah 43:19, God declares, “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? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”

If you are walking through a season of “lasts” (or loss), let me encourage you to look up and around. Look up to the One who holds all time in His hands, who is the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last. And look around— at those He has placed in your path, at the hidden things that may only now be beginning to grow, and at His Word which is living and active in our lives.

A slight shift in perspective might just bring you a much-needed glimpse of hope.

Look up to the One who holds all time in His hands, who is the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last. And look around— at those He has placed in your path, at the hidden things that may only now be beginning to grow, and at His Word which is living and active in our lives.

-Kelly Callen Heath

I’ve shared a lot about transformation this year because it’s my word for 2021. (You can read about that here: 4 Tools for Transforming Your Life in the New Year). Romans 12:2 reminds us transformation only happens through the “renewing of our mind”, which involves actively embracing a new way of thinking. Choosing a new perspective transforms what we see. We go from lasts to firsts, from loss to gain, from despair to hope.

 As we look around, signs of Spring are everywhere. The earth is declaring Heaven’s glory in a myriad of color. Buds are beginning to bloom, unveiling the blossoms hidden within. Baby birds are busting out of their shells, hungry for nourishment, filling their nests in a tangle of beaks and squeaks.

God is doing a new thing all around us! “Behold, it springs forth…”

Don’t miss the connection between what’s happening on the outside and what’s happening on the inside.

Even in the winter, in the middle of a pandemic, and amidst the monotony of ordinary living, there has been growth happening beneath the surface, preparing us for Spring. And now, as we turn a corner in the seasons, in the pandemic, and in the school year, there are new things popping up all around us if we have the eyes to see them.

What are some “lasts” you are dreading? Name them. Then figure out some ways to embrace them and remember them.

Now, shift your perspective (remember, look up and around!). What are some “firsts” you can begin looking forward to?

NEW THINGS ARE COMING…

Friends, I have a few “New Things” I am excited to share! Both of these have been developing underground for awhile, but it’s finally time for me to tell you about them!

First, I am launching a new website!

My “Jarful of Manna” blog has been just that for me over the past few years— a place to gather the faithfulness of God, to hold it in my hands, process it, record it, and share it with you. It started out slowly, then grew into a hobby, and eventually became something more to me (and hopefully to you).

The Lord is calling me to write not just as a hobby, but as a ministry. It is my heart’s desire to faithfully obey Him, even when I don’t know exactly what that looks like or where it will lead. And honestly, I don’t know either of those things! I just know this is the next step.

So stay tuned… KellyCallenHeath.com will be launching on May 1!

Second… I am writing a book!

 Like an actual book you might want to read and tell your friends about! If you have teens, work with teens, interact with teens, have friends who have teens, or have children who will one day become teens, this book is for you. And if you’re a teen, I’m hoping to adapt a version of this book just for you!

That’s all l can say for now. I am super excited about it! Will you please pray for me? Pray that I will remain faithful to the message God has given me, and that He will continue to guide the entire process. Also, pray that I will stay committed to making time to write, which can be a challenge in the everyday busyness of life.

Friends, I share these things to encourage you. Don’t be afraid to try new things! Listen for how God is leading you. Look around; see where God is at work and figure out how you can join Him.

What new things are just around the corner for you? I want to know!

A Letter to Heaven

Diana with Sarah following a piano recital

**Note: I wrote this three months ago, but wasn’t sure I wanted to share it. Sarah continues to flourish and find joy (and Jesus) once again through her music, so I decided to share in case it encourages someone else. But mostly, just so I have a record of God’s faithfulness to my girl! ❤ You can read a little more about Diana in this blog post about Sneaky Grief.

My friend,

I wish you could have heard the joy in Sarah’s voice when she called us today. She had just finished her piano evaluation, and she was over the moon! She prepared two pieces, but only had to play one (All of Me~ one of the many “beyond her ability” pieces you inspired her to play!). 

This is a really big deal. 

You see, she hasn’t been able to play since we lost you. When you died, something deep inside her died as well. Piano has been her emotional outlet since she was a little girl, but now it only reminds her of you. 

She tried to keep playing; she really did.  And she even kept teaching some of your old students, carrying on your legacy as she inspired them to play. But she stopped playing herself because it hurt too much to miss you. Her heart became deaf to the music of her soul.

Honestly, I was afraid she might never find it again.

I will be forever grateful to the precious teacher God brought into our lives after you passed. She was so patient with Sarah, understanding how her grief was tied to her playing. Sarah gave her very little effort, but this dear woman knew how much effort it required just for her to show up. She helped Sarah complete some goals you you began with her so long ago, enabling her to close that chapter without too much regret. While I feared this teacher was a bookend, I prayed that, instead, she’d be a bridge to something new…

A year and a half later, our girl is at college hundreds of miles from home. We are in these weird COVID days, and social events are limited. So, what does she do when she feels lonely or homesick or just needs a release from all the stress? How does she process all the different emotions swirling around inside her? 

She signs up for a practice room. 

Her fingers are slowly finding their way among the keys again, and her heart is slowly opening itself back up to the music. I can hear it in her voice, even with all these hours and miles between us. She is beginning to feel the music in her soul again. It’s breathing her back to life!

I don’t know where her music will lead her, and honestly, I don’t care. If she never plays outside her own living room, it won’t matter to me, as long as she plays! I just know she needs it~ it is part of her wiring, part of how God uniquely designed her, part of what brings her joy. She is not fully herself when she’s not playing, and much more herself when she is.

I know you would be so proud of her. She is beautiful and hardworking and just as stubborn driven as she’s always been! She has an elegance and professionalism that remind me so much of you. I see you in her sometimes, and it makes me smile. I hope you know how grateful we are for your impact on her life. 

We miss you.

My friend, I wish you could have heard her today. She is opening a new chapter~ letting go of her grief, stepping over her fear, and wading into new waters. It is uncharted territory for her, yet familiar somehow, as though you have prepared the way for her. She is no longer afraid. She is ready.

And I can hear you applauding her from heaven.