It's a New Year - Embracing Change | 10 GREAT DATES


David & Claudia Arp

Snowy Forest


Room by room, we slowly walked through our family home for one last time. Our words echoed off the empty walls as we randomly grabbed memories from two decades of family life. “Dave, do you remember when we first found this house and there was the ice-maker hook-up we needed and had prayed for?” I (Claudia) asked.

We smiled at each other, remembering how years ago we had scraped together our pennies for the down payment, and how that ice-maker hook-up in some strange way had confirmed that this was to be our home!

“Yes,” Dave replied. “And remember how huge this house felt when we moved here with our two preschoolers?”

Our children grew up in this house. Now all three sons were gone, and the real estate sign in our yard read “Sold.” We were saying goodbye to our wonderful family home that had too much yard and too much room for just the two of us. Reality hit. We were moving. Our life was changing.

We were actually entering a new stage of life: a time to downsize—a time to refocus. What lay ahead? With apprehension, we closed the door of our family home for the last time, walked down the sidewalk and got into the car.

We knew God would go with us into the unknown future. With His help we could surmount the empty-nest challenges—to share our dreams, to make fresh commitments and to work toward a more satisfying union. Together we would embrace this new season of life.

As we backed out of our driveway for the last time, our hearts were comforted with an unspoken thought . . . Change is as certain as the seasons. Embrace it! I will go with you.

Pulling into the traffic, we turned at the next the corner. Our future awaited us and with God’s assurance, we could face it with optimistic enthusiasm. The rest just might be the best!

Life has taught us that love does not consist in gazing at each other but in looking outward together in the same direction.


Written by Claudia Arp — January 06, 2017


Looking for a fun and meaningful night out? Or Great Dates program for your church or community? We've got you covered! For over 25 years Marriage Alive has been your "go to" place for marriage and family relationship building resources. We were promoting dating back when dating wasn't cool. Peruse our site and see if we offer a resource that will help you connect better and energize your relationship. Like us on FaceBook, follow us on Twitter.