Change comes expected or not

Changes come. It is a fact of life that we all know intimately. And they come whether they are expected or not, and whether they are wanted or not.

I’ve been thinking on this today because of not only changes in my own life, but because of a friend whose heart is broken.

Her change was expected, but it still comes with a very heavy weight and a rawness of emotion that is hard to breathe through sometimes.

But those changes keep on coming. Some are gradual. Some instant. Some large, some small. Some are deliberate, and others unexpected. Change can be welcome, it can be devastating. But change comes nonetheless. And as long as we are living, changes will keep on coming.

I will say that change, and death (and I’ve always heard taxes tossed in there, too) are the only things a person can count on happening in life.

How any change is viewed is in the eye of the beholder, and just to give some perspective on how many different ways that word, that action in life, is viewed the following are just some of the synonyms of that word: adjustment, development, reversal, revolution, transition, distortion, about-face, turnover, metamorphosis and refinement.

In looking through all of these synonyms I realize that change is a very diverse word, applicable in any number of settings and places and to things and processes. And even so, all of these work in describing how change affects each and every one of us at any given time, no matter what that change may be.

You know how Facebook will remind you of a years-old post and give you the opportunity to repost it? I got one of those reminders this weekend – a photo of my stepson seven years ago. In that picture he is very clearly a child. He was 9, and his little face still held the innocence of his youth.

Today he is months away from 17 years old. He is taller than all of us adults. He is working, about to get his license, and is becoming quite the responsible young man.

He is perhaps, as I think back to my own teenage years, in that phase of change we could call metamorphosis. He is physically maturing, mentally and emotionally growing up, too, but he is still stuck somewhere in that difficult place between child and adult.

That is perhaps one of the biggest and most drawn out changes we go through, that angst-ridden, emotion-filled time of confusion. And he is there, and doing alright. There are moments, for sure, but maybe not as many as there could be. Thank God!

As we grow, we change and life changes. We get jobs and become homeowners, and become parents, too. And that last one sure does pack a wallop of change, but at least there is time to prepare some.

We change our diets, our clothes, our decorating preferences, our desktop wallpapers, our ringtones, the TV channel, the radio station, our moods. And as we grow, becoming informed by our ever increasing life experiences, we change our views, our words, our likes and dislikes, our minds.

While not all changes on the outset seem possible of creating anything good, changes have the ability to sculpt us, to make better people, to make better lives.

According to Lao Tzu, a philosopher and poet in ancient China, “Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality.”

Good words to remember. Whether change is upending us or filling us with joy, changes do come. In our heads, hearts and lives, change is happening all the time, whether it is beaconed by us or handed to us. It is up to us to trust God, and it is up to us what we do with what comes along.

Reach Angela Shepherd at 937-393-3456, ext. 1681, or on Twitter @wordyshepherd.

By Angela Shepherd