No, I'm not talking about the change in your pocket or in the bottom of your purse. Not the pretty silver and copper colored stuff. That stuff is good. Especially the nickels. I'm talking about the change that is like a scratchy sweater. The kind that when you put it on, it's itchy and it makes you wiggle your back trying to get it off. The kind that when you get home, you rip it off and swear you are going to throw it away, but can't because you great Auntie Gertrude gave it to you and you have to wear it every time you see her.
No, I'm talking about the change that when it starts happening around you, you feel like you are going to throw up. The one you have no control over and you feel helpless to stop it.
I hate change. Sorry mom. I dislike change very much. It is uncomfortable and unwelcome. Why can't things stay the same? Moan. Why can't we all just get along? Wail. Oh, wait, wrong post.
God has been dealing with me on change for awhile. Well, since I was born I guess. I grew up in a very safe home. I had both sets of grandparents within a 10 mile radius. It was comfortable. It was good. I was secure and I knew it would be that way forever. But it wasn't. My family fell apart, parents got divorced, friends moved, boyfriends came and went, grandparents passed away and all along, I was trying to grab onto something that would be the same forever.
That, my friends, is my problem. I think in terms of "forever." When I think about things, I think about them being the same forever. Friends, churches, schools, I want things to be the same. I imagine my girls marrying boys that they have grown up with and we have been friends with for a long time. It's comfortable, familiar, secure. Yet, things don't work that way. They weren't intended to.
God spoke to me a little over a year ago. My last grandparent passed away in November of 2009. Let me step back and say that my dad's parents were children of the depression. My grandma was so traumatized by it that she was a horder of sorts. Food, toilet paper, money. They saved. My grandparents house is the same today as it was when it was built in the 70's. Same color, same furniture, always the same. Maybe that has somehow affected the way I think of things. In all my chaos, that was one thing that I always could count on, my grandparents would always be the same. When I went into their house, it smelled the same. Grandma wanted to play Kings on the Corner and Grandpa would look at me with the same loving eyes that he did when I was a child. He'd smile and call me "Wendy-Pete." It was the same and it was so good. Till they both passed away in 2009. Grandma in May and Grandpa at the end of October. See as hard as I tried to keep things the same, no matter what, I couldn't. People grow old. People get sick. People die.
Taking it a step further, people move, people get mad and sometimes people just grow apart. The funny things is, no matter how much we want things to stay the same, we can't. We weren't meant to be the same. We were meant to grow and change. The only thing that will ever stay the same is death. When you're dead, change stops. No matter what, we are still dead. I know, "Wow Wendy, you sure are dark today." Well, I've been dark for awhile, but to me, it's not really dark. It's more like light. God's light. He's been shining on me and asking me to accept that He has changes in store for me and that it's okay because guess what, He doesn't change. He stays the same, forever! (Hallelujah, Praise God!)
All these years, I was searching for something that was secure and the same and He was right in front of me. I guess that is part of what happens when you don't find the Lord till your are 26. I was a control freak, well, still am so I guess I am a recovering control freak, but anyway, I was a control freak in high school. I wanted to control everyone and everything. I would break up with boys just so that they couldn't break up with me. I am sure that I broke many hearts and looking back, I was not a very nice person to be around. I thank God my sister and my best friend Laura stuck by me even when I hurt them too. I think that happens when everything is out of control and you try to control your circumstances to the best of your ability, no matter who gets run over along the way. But even way back then, God still held my hand. I just didn't know it. He tenderly guided my path and kept me out of trouble that I deserved, but didn't get because He had other things in mind for me.
Then years later, I get a job in Texas and move 2000 miles away from my home. I was 18 and even then, I planned on staying with my job forever. I was going to be friends with these people, forever. That lasted a whole 8 years. Then I got to change jobs. But I would still be friends with all these people, right? Nope. I only have contact with a handful of those hundreds of people I knew. God moved me through another job and now two more churches and still I find myself longing for forever.
I guess I pour all this out to you because God has shown me that there is only one forever and it is with Him and that time has not yet come. He has told me that though I may seek security here and look for forever here, He has other things planned. He doesn't want me to be comfortable because then I might quit seeking Him. He has shared with me that all these ugly sweaters that keep getting put on me, well they are all about making me a little better, a little more like Him. He likes ugly, scratchy sweaters. They create a need for change and change is good. As long as we have on an ugly, scratchy sweater, we will be open to trying to change it, trying to find a better fit, but we won't and we shouldn't. Not here on this earth. Only when we see Him in the ever after will the change end. In the meantime, we need to willingly embrace the changes He has planned for us. Plans to prosper us and give us a future. (Jeremiah is so cool.) He has good stuff for us. When we die, we can get our soft, cuddly final sweater and it will be good. Heck, maybe it will even be a snuggie, with wings on the back.
Be blessed, until we read again,