At our 6-year-old’s first drum lesson, her teacher asked how long she’d wanted to play percussion. “I was born wanting to,” Molly replied, as I mentally scribbled down the story we’ll tell when she wins her first Grammy.
Drums are fun to play but also frustrating, her teacher warned her. Finding the rhythm can be a challenge.
We are in a different rhythm this fall, of back-to-school and new activities and, for me, a full-time job at our daughters’ school. Our new rhythm isn’t just faster than the old one; it’s wholly different than what we were doing before. On paper, the changes are mostly exciting, so I’ve been surprised at how I’ve struggled at times to keep up. It takes work to build new relationships, and humility to accept the inevitable missteps. Sometimes I miss the familiarity of our old routine. In drums and in life, new rhythms are hard.
I want to model for our girls what it looks like to adapt well, so I’ve been thinking about what it takes to get used to a new rhythm. At the core, it’s faith—that God is in control, and that challenges don’t necessarily mean you made the wrong choice. The challenges of a new rhythm are reminding me over and over that often, the way through is found by facing our weakness and leaning more on God’s strength.
Jeremiah 29:11 isn’t any less true because of how often it’s quoted, and I’ve been turning to it often to remind myself of God’s character amid upheaval. The Israelites were in the middle of the life-altering, drastically harder new rhythm of exile. Yet God promised them a hope and a future, and that they would find him again.
That hope arrives in human form—Jesus—in the New Testament. Peter writes believers are born again to a living hope, and an inheritance that is “imperishable, undefiled, and unfading” (1 Peter 1:3-4). Those are encouraging truths for anyone walking in a new rhythm for any reason. When grief and loss knock us down, there is hope. When new circumstances bring uncertainty and fear, there is hope. Even when the change is a happy one, our ultimate hope is in Jesus.
My daughter thinks about drums the way I’m aiming to think about our new rhythm—we’re born for this, to walk in faith fueled by hope.
Meredith Day Flynn is a wife and mother of two living in Springfield. She writes on the intersection of faith, family, and current culture.