The other day, my dark haired son sauntered over to me as I scrubbed dirty dishes and said, “Ya know, mama, Ethan and I only have 3 summers left with you before we graduate high school.”
Insert mama here dropping dishes in the sink and standing with her hands mid air, suds dripping, while staring at her boy.
I narrowed my eyes and said to him in mock-severety:
“James, do you really think I’m not already aware of this?”
He smiled country mile wide and slung a lanky arm around my shoulders.
I’m learning to sling my own arm around this changing season of growing kids, to acknowledge the loss change holds but embrace the gifts it brings, too.
Gifts, for example, like an emerging awareness and confidence found in God’s plan for my boy’s life.
Not long ago we dropped him off for a week long cadet leadership program. I watch as he strode confidently after the others, looking every bit the independent man-child he is. I lean toward my husband and say, “Can you believe we used to have such a difficult time getting this child to stay in the church nursery or in Mother’s Day Out? Remember how I would assure him you can do this! but he would cry and cry ’til I picked him up afterwards?”
Now I’m the one crying and my boy is the one assuring me I got this, mama.
And I’ve got to remember that this child growing and maturing is exactly what’s supposed to happen.
While in this moment change for me looks like a special awareness of growing kids, it has been my constant companion in many forms throughout my grown-up life. I’ve spent much time looking change up and down with squinty eyes and crossed arms because I believed it meant to do me more harm than good. I fought it, whined and complained about it. I’ve loudly longed for the way things used to be rather than quietly embracing the way things are. In truth, however, all change ever asks me to do is hold its hand in trust that even now, God is using it for my best.
“The challenge is to believe that this is also true–and to know God’s presence–in the midst of doubt, depression, anxiety, conflict or failure. The God who is Immanuel is equally in those moments we would never choose as in those we would always gladly choose.” David G. Benner, The Gift of Being Yourself
Every change comes with God’s unchanging promise of presence and grace. And so I find that sometimes, I must give up what I think I want for what God knows I need.
As you may or may not know, I wrote a few words on this subject of change in book form, and that book will release in just three and a half months. Many of you have kindly asked if you can be a part of my launch team for the book, and I would dearly, totally and completely love it if you would apply for that when the time comes. But for now, I wonder if we could still team up to support one another through whatever life changes find us this season? Because while change takes a thousand different forms unique to our own circumstances, we all need the same encouragement to see it through.
If you are going through a season of change big or small and have a photo that represents this season, would you post it and tag it with #girlmeetschange so we all can see it and encourage you too? Join me on instagram, facebook or twitter with your own pictures of change, and let’s show each other that we aren’t doing it alone. Let’s show each other we can enjoy community and friendship together as we face our unique forms of change.
“There is something about loss that either wakes you up or puts you to sleep. I chose eyes open.” ~ Joy Williams
I read this quote last night in this article, and I thought the same could be said of change. I want to choose keeping my eyes open to it, to acknowledging it with intentional acceptance rather than overt hostility.
I think it’ll be easier to do that with good people like you.
Much love to you, friends. xo