(originally written August 2017)
The last couple months I have been thinking about ‘changes’ and how they affect us as people. Honestly, it all began when my sister-in-law Kathy passed away unexpectedly in June 2017. One Friday we were supposed to have a sisters night and she wasn’t feeling well. Two days later we got the call she was gone, she had passed away in her sleep. Then my sister Gloria who was battling cancer went to join Kathy in Feb. 2018. Shock would put mildly what we all experienced as the group of us 5 were close (my 3 sisters, my sister-in-law who had been part of our lives for 50 years and myself). In any case, it got me to thinking, how do we handle changes? Do we welcome them? Fight them? Run from them? Ignore them.
The reality in life is we go through changes all the time. Starting as children we change grades to new teachers & classrooms, maybe new moves & homes; new jobs; new life circumstances like getting married, experiencing loss, new life, children being born, etc., etc… think about it, what’s the change you are in at this very moment?
Today as I sat by the ocean waters watching the tides go in and out, I saw things swept ashore: wood, shells, seaweed and, things swept away. The waters brought things in and things out, washing away dirt, bringing things to the surface you didn’t realize were there; at the same time, catching things in its ebb and flow to go underwater for a season. I watched as those I loved nearby picked up pieces of wood seasoned by the water or by creatures that lived in the sea; glass that had been smoothed as it evolved over time; shells of all kinds, some seeming perfect and others with holes burroughed through them; shells clumped together as though glued together through trials; the sound of water as it hit the shore, only to go back out again and start the cycle all over.
As I sat there, I got a picture of how change affects us. Some of the changes – a new job, a new home, a new friendship, a new child – although possibly scary, bring new joy to our lives – like the frolicking waves filled with a multitude of bubbles, new opportunities and memories yet to be embraced and bring refreshing.
Then there are those seasons of heartache, of loss, of brokenness that we can’t imagine will ever be redeemed – how can any good possibly come from this?? But…there it is, that seasoned driftwood, the sea glass – the story your life holds from that experience that touches someone who needs it when they need it. The memory of that loved one you hold dear as you hear their laughter in your memory, see their smile telling you to have fun again, build new memories. Share the journey with your loved ones, life is to be valued and treasured.
Change happens… there are seasons…remember to embrace each phase of the journey and if you need to just coast the wave, do it! The heartache may be here today but tomorrow will be washed out to sea. That change that you feared may hold a whole new season of joy you would have never imagined and like that beach treasure, may create a whole new work of art that will make your heart smile.
Dare to believe that God really does work all things out for good to those who love Him. I heard a man once who said, “if it’s not good, it’s not the end yet”. Ride the wave…stay the course…be gentle on yourself and those around when needed… trust when you need a kick in the butt to get unstuck, the wave will be unleashed… But, enjoy the journey – love those in your life – see the best in them, the treasure through the storm. You are going to make it! Link arms with another wave, I mean person, and remind them they are going to make it too!