On the Side: September 2018

Solid Food and Two-Fisted Acceptance
by Carol Shrader

We were at the pediatrician for my triplets’ 1-year-old well-baby visit. Dr. M looked at me and asked how the babies were enjoying solid food.

“Solid food?”

I knew exactly how many baby bottles to mix every night.

I knew how much rice cereal to prepare.

I knew which baby liked peas, which one preferred carrots and which one would only eat sweet potatoes.

But solid food? Surely, she was kidding? I had the system down pat. A year into motherhood, I finally knew what I was doing as the mother of three babies and getting to that point had been a lot of hard work, a lot of sleepless nights, a lot of learning. Was it seriously time to CHANGE our routine?

I was petrified of getting it wrong. I was petrified of the change.

This is a season of change for many of us. New school year for our children, new medical school year, new residency year, maybe a new fellowship year. Just when we find the best grocery store, preschool and church, it is time to unpack boxes and find another new grocery store, preschool and church in a brand-new town and perhaps state.

Medical marriage and change are as synonymous as babies and change. My trio could not continue eating rice cereal and pureed carrots. They had to change. I had to change their diet. And when medical school ends, our lives change. When residency ends, it can change again. And then again. And maybe even again.

Oh, my friends, can I share Hebrews 13:8 with you?

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (NIV 1984).

And I love those 10 words. I really love them. See, Jesus is the key to helping us through all of the change. He is. I have lived in soon-to-be-seven states in my marriage. I have lived in soon-to-be 11 homes. I have shopped at no less than 10 different grocery store chains. And I have visited more churches than I can count.

The fact that no matter the state, no matter the home, no matter the church, Jesus is the same brings me comfort beyond measure.

Hebrews 13:8 is translated as exactly this in multiple versions of the Bible. So, I looked at The Message translation to see if it elaborated, I found it said:

“For Jesus doesn’t change—yesterday, today, tomorrow, he’s always totally himself” (MSG).

And I had this aha moment. Our surroundings might change. Our grocery store might. But our Jesus does not. And because of Him, because of His consistency and steadfastness, we are enabled to be totally our self.

Southern girls transplanted to the Northeast can still be themselves.

California girls transplanted to the Midwest still get to be themselves (albeit under a few layers).

Jesus will meet us in our change. He will be ever-constant.

And ever-present.

“And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:20b, NIV 1984).

When we left the pediatrician’s office that day, I made a platter of grilled cheese sandwiches for my trio. One of my sons ate THREE entire sandwiches all by his little self.

He embraced that change with two fists and a wide-open mouth! (Trust me when I tell you all these years later that Mason was totally himself!)

I am praying as you enter this next season—no matter what change you are facing—that you embrace it with both fists and the full assurance that Jesus is already there, and He is the absolute same loving Savior He has always been. He is totally Himself.

Carol Shrader

Carol Mason Shrader is a southern girl married to her wonderful Wade. Her medical marriage has transplanted her to the Midwest, the Southwest, back to the South and now to the mid-Atlantic. She is anxious to grab Delaware with two fists.

Christian Medical & Dental Associations®

About Christian Medical & Dental Associations®

The Christian Medical & Dental Associations® (CMDA) is made up of the Christian Medical Association (CMA) and the Christian Dental Association (CDA). CMDA provides resources, networking opportunities, education and a public voice for Christian healthcare professionals and students.

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