Change is hard. I don’t know anyone that particularly likes change. I know I don’t. Well, maybe I should rephrase that. I don’t like bad change. But—and it’s a big but—who defines bad change. I only want good changes. Changes that will keep us all the way we are.
But is that good? I guess not.
I was all for the change of getting married five years ago. But that led to change that I didn’t much like; the change of living fifteen hundred miles from my family. The change of not being there every time one of my nieces and nephews celebrate a birthday. The toughness of going home and seeing the changes in everyone as they grow older. The wonderful change of marriage brought about difficult change. But I didn’t for one minute entertain the idea that I should refuse the loving husband God was offering me. Hello!!!
So many of the changes we experience are related to sin. The sin of Adam caused death; the aging process can be blamed on him too. The thistles are his fault; the pain of childbirth is his fault. Man. . . he really blew it. Others are given to us by God. Some to make us happier, some to make us grow, some just because that is how he created things to work.
I have been sitting on my porch a good bit this weekend. The tree in the big yard is starting to change. Already. I know it’s only August, but a few over-achiever leaves have already changed to orange and as I watch they start dropping in the breeze, floating to the ground. Sometimes two drop at once.
Our house in North Carolina has seen a lot of change the past 4 years. Emptying out, painting, scraping, gutting the bathroom and starting fresh. There’s the porch, of course and the new siding and windows. Our last big improvement was the new flooring. It almost looks like a new house.
But yet, the memories are still there for my husband. We kept the picture of Mary the mother of Jesus that has been on the wall ever since Bruce remembers. He thinks it was a wedding gift for his parents. It’s not our style, but its part of the history of this house. The house his parents built when they married. So we work at making this our house while preserving the memories. We refer to it almost always as “Mama’s house.” To my husband that’s what it will always be.
There are moments as we sort through the remnants of his parents’ life in this house that I sense the deep sadness in my husband. He misses his parents. He misses the way it was when Mama still lived here. We still keep things just because it’s too hard to part with. Sometimes the things we find prompt a story or two about growing up in this house. Stories about his Daddy taking them camping when he was switching shifts and had a long weekend. Stories about the huge garden they grew, the garden that was essential to feeding four growing boys. I love that. I want to know how it was for my husband. I want to see how the people in his life made him who he is.
The change I hate the most is the change of saying goodbye. I hate it. I hate moving because I have to say goodbye to my friends. But I always remind myself that if I hadn’t left the last place I wouldn’t have met the people I am presently saying goodbye to. So, I tell myself when I’m faced with another move, maybe in a few weeks I’ll have new friends, new people I won’t want to say goodbye to. It usually helps put things in perspective.
In this world of change I’m thankful for the one thing I know won’t change.
God is immutable. He cannot change. How can perfection be changed?