Consider this post your confirmation I’ve successfully navigated four airports, seven bags, and a whole lot of hours without a whole lotta sleep to an apartment here in Lyon, France. Home sweet home. For now, anyways.
In the past week Trent and I began our seventh year of living overseas. In the past month, we began our seventh year of marriage. And now in my 27th year of life, I’m learning change is a constant and adaptation isn’t just for outdoor animals.
My marriage has changed. I’ll call it growth. My home has changed. Too many times to count. My tastes have changed. Easily evidenced by old photos. My faith has changed. What a ride that’s been. My friendships have changed. Mom always said they would. Even my skin has changed. Yep, mom warned me of that one too. Should’ve listened and worn the sunscreen.
You get it, though. Everything changes.
Sometimes it’s a gradual change. I can relate to C.S. Lewis. “Isn’t it funny how day by day nothing changes, but when you look back, everything is different…” That’s the kind of change that has me wondering how I got to be 27, married and with a mortgage. I remember 8th grade graduation like yesterday.
But then there are those quick, unexpected, bigger-than-I-thought, or harder-than-expected changes. The kind that come fast and strong and there’s really nothing subtle about them. Like when Monday morning I woke up and my feet were on French ground. My mind flashed back to the 21 year-old teary-eyed newlywed sitting on a bed in Austria asking her husband if this would ever get easier. That was nearly 7 years ago, and I’m still not sure I could answer yes.
And you would think it would, wouldn’t you? You would think I’ve mastered this art of change by now. In the past 7 years, there have been 15, yes 15, different residences to which I’ve referred as home. But the truth is, change is an art I haven’t even come close to mastering. I’m still in paint by numbers.
But I’ve found over the years my struggle isn’t what I thought. It’s not really about the new home or the change in friendship or the “evolution” of my skin. No, it really just comes down to myself.
I struggle most when I hold tightest to how things happened to be before they changed. Grasping for control over my circumstances makes a move across the globe feel more like one to the moon. Too highly esteeming outward beauty makes a few fine lines and sun spots turn mirrors into mortifying. Planting security into friendships turns companionship into co-dependency. Change is difficult because I, and probably you, give too much power to everything and everyone but the One who never changes. Life is ever-changing and the only healthy way to manage is to hold tightly to Christ and loosely to control.
That’s not to say new places, faces, dynamics and developments won’t be challenging and even downright difficult at times. Change, handled in the best of ways, can still be trying. But it’s the perfect opportunity to examine values and possibly even re-evaluate. The more we are anchored at our core, the steadier we will be in uncertain circumstances. Don’t fight the change, just hold on and grab harder to to a Father who so timelessly promises to be the same yesterday and today–and forever!
Hallelujah…I’ll rest in that truth and maybe even take a nap. Turns out I’m still holding pretty tightly to the Central Standard Time zone.