On Monday (August 26, 2019) I wrote that Change is Constant. Since then, even more change has happened in my everyday life. I’ve unearthed this post first written in August 2014 to remind myself of all the changes we’ve lived through and been changed by as a family — to remind myself that change brings the potential for transformation.
On December 21, 1989, when my husband proposed to me, he said, “Things are going to get busy for a while.” He wasn’t kidding.
In the last 25 years we have lived in eleven different homes, parented four children (giving birth to three within three years!), earned three Master’s degrees, taught hundreds of students, driven thousands of miles, and attended dozens of churches. Things have indeed been busy!
We have experienced lots of change–as individuals, and as a family. At first, I braced myself for change and tried to ‘get through’ it, but I’ve come to realize that change is our constant and bracing myself all the time just leaves me exhausted.
Although steeling myself against change is still my initial reaction, I’ve learned that when I lean in, change goes more smoothly. It can even be pleasant — invigorating.
In fact, early in our marriage, my husband really enjoyed reorganizing all the furniture in the house. He would get an idea to rotate all the bedrooms — all in one day! The master bedroom would become the kids’ dorm. The girls’ room would become the den. It would be an all-day project. I know it sounds like lots of work, but we always liked the outcome — a fresh start, a new perspective.
When the kids were in elementary school, we spent many hours investigating and discussing before we decided to move them from a parochial to a public school. One school was not better than the other, but they were very different. It was a huge change. My husband and I felt it was the right decision, so we acted. It was a huge transition for the kids; you’d have to ask them how they feel about that choice now. Each would probably answer differently, especially since the very next year, we not only switched their schools again, we moved them to an entirely different state! A different time zone! A different — sweatier –climate!
That move meant not only a change in school, but a change from the only church they had ever known — where they were all born, rocked, sung to, cuddled. We all looked shell-shocked for a couple of years. It was a lot of change.
While there, in Missouri, we made so many deep friendships. I would not trade that time for anything. But, at times, it was like living through a deployment. We encountered a new culture, we soldiered through difficulties, we sustained some injuries, and we’ve never been the same.
Change changes us.
I am not the person I was on December 21, 1989. Thank goodness!! Neither is my husband. Thank goodness!! All of this busy-ness, all of these changes, have transformed us.
When we were at one of our first congregations, with all our babies, a dear friend said, “I see you guys as a diamond in the rough–the outside is being chiseled away to reveal that beautiful inside.” I may have been a little offended at the moment, but I now treasure the fact that she saw some potential under the rough exterior that we wore back in our twenties.
I’d like to think that the changes we have endured have chiseled away some stubbornness, some judgmental attitudes, some close-mindedness, but we aren’t done yet. Change is our constant. And, even today, as I find myself in the midst of great change, I lean in. I know that these changes, too, will be transformative, and I am not afraid.
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.2 Cor 4:16