Change

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I’m not going to lie

2020 has been the second hardest year of my life

And I came into it unprepared

Unrecovered

From what I would still have to call the hardest year

Just three short years ago

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Growing up in a navy family

The daughter of a sailor who never sailed

And an adventurous mother

I learned to embrace change early

Moving to a new country every three years

I shook my head at “older people”

Who didn’t seem to appreciate the inherent excitement

In something new and different

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” – Deuteronomy 31:6

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Now that I am one of the

“older people”

I think I understand a little better

It isn’t that change is bad or scary

Though it can be those things

It is that “bouncing back” is harder as you age

Changing course harder when you have set on one course

For a longer period of time

When you thought you could see around the bend

The light at the end of the tunnel

But it proved an illusion

A trick of the light

Just another bend

In a seemingly endless journey of twists and turns

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Just as rubber grows less flexible over time

I think age can do the same thing

Making us less flexible

Less malleable

Less able to weather the inevitable losses

Brittle

Too tired to face yet another

About face

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I told myself

I would not become

Old

The wrinkles unavoidable

But the attitude towards change surely not

Looking down noses at those teenagers

And their newfangled apps

Better back in my day

When I played outside until dark

Under the bower of a tree’s heavy branches

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Now here I am at mid-century

Likely more years behind than ahead

Fearful of what the next months will bring

Worn clean out like a washcloth

Wrung out so many times

It no longer holds water

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And what makes it harder still

Is that change is not always good

It is not always for the better

Regardless of what the pundits and professionals say

Sometimes change is as awful as you think it will be

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However

Sometimes change is a beautiful thing

Sometimes you are glad to be proved wrong

If you are honest enough to admit

You were wrong

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And I wonder if it isn’t better

To step into change with joy

Instead of timidity and fear

Regardless of the outcome

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“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” Ezekiel 32:26

Lord please give me a heart of flesh

Heal my wounds so completely that no scab remains

To toughen my heart and make it less flexible

Grant me a willingness to look to another’s interests

To trust those in authority over me

To be a blessing and not an obstacle

To refresh others

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It is easy to complain

Easy to stay stuck in the what-was

Harder to move into the if-only

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A candle is still a beautiful form of light

But how much better an electric bulb?

The card catalog a poor shadow

Of the Google that is now at my fingertips

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Stepping into this place

The cottage

So timeless and peaceful

Where the clear water laps upon the shore

And the leaves whisper together in the wind

Where the flag waves atop the flagpole

And a mother duck herds her ducklings home along the shore

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I am reminded again

Of the things that do not change

Like shifting shadows

The things that remain

That no pandemic can destroy

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“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” – James 1:17

I need not fear the future

Or hang too tightly onto the past

My soul finds anchor

In the changelessness of God

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One thought on “Change

  1. Joy
    Thanks again for such an encouraging blog!
    When I commented on your blog about your dad, I said we had met one time, when you lived in Sugar Grove. I forgot about the time we visited you all for several days in Columbia June of 1984 or ‘85. It was a great visit!

    Like

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