Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The Many Faces of Change

Change is inevitable in our lives. No one stays the same all the time.

As a new mother, I marveled at how quickly my little daughter grew. We had been given some adorable dresses when she was born, but the size was 6 months so I decided to put them away for awhile. When I took them out later she was too big for them! No one ever told me that the sizes didn't always coordinate with actual ages.

Children change seemingly overnight.

When they are young and you are up a lot at night you wonder if things will ever change, or if you'll always be a zombie stumbling through each day. The next thing you know they are rolling over, then crawling, then pulling themselves up and finally walking. Once they are that mobile they move fast and keep you on your toes.

You can't wait for them to say their first word. You tirelessly keep repeating the words Mama or Daddy trying to get them to imitate you. When they finally make a sound even remotely resembling them, you are thrilled beyond measure! Before you know it their tongues never stop and you wonder if you'll ever have peace again.

And, oh, those wet, slobbery baby kisses… There's just nothing like them.

Before you know it those children are entering school for the first time. It's a little scary and a little exciting for you and them. So many changes and new things to learn, but somehow you survive. More changes come as they want to do more and more on their own. You wonder how much longer they will need you. You blink and they are driving the car and you can't believe how fast the time went. Weren't they just in diapers?

Change is inevitable, though, and soon those babies 
are heading out the door on their own.

You want to shield them from all the harmful things out there, but they have to make their own decisions. You hope you have taught them well, but you know they will make mistakes just like you did. They will learn from them and continue to grow and mature as they find their way.

They may not always do what you think they should. There may be changes you don't like, but you love them just the same. You pray and you trust God with their lives and know that they will always be in your heart.

Change is inevitable in all our lives.

We are not static beings. As parents we change right along with our children. We learn quickly that our expectations of parenthood and the actual thing may be quite different. Every child has their own unique personality. As parents we learn sometimes by trial and error as we seek to discover how best to relate to each individual child.

One thing I have learned in my years as a mom and grandmother is that it is never too late to learn something new. I have made it a point to try to learn things that my children and now grandchildren like to do. That way I am able to join in with them and let them know I care enough to be there.

I have done what I can to keep communication open with all my children and they have also been patient with me. Despite changes or maybe even because of them we are still very close and are able to discuss hard things. I pray that will never stop.

Some changes won't happen on their own, but need work on our part.

  • I pray for changes that would enable each of us to regain a sense of wonder.

  • I pray for changes that will help us see all human beings as equals.

  • I pray for changes that will bring reconciliation between the races.

  • I pray for changes that will enable disabled people to have resources to enrich their lives, that they will be respected for who they are as people created in God's image as are all people.

  • I pray for changes in relationships between estranged parents and children so they can resolve their differences or at least try to understand each other better.

  • I pray that we would be quick to love and slow to judge, to treat others the way we want to be treated, to demonstrate God's love through our words and actions.

Change is inevitable, but we can be instruments
of the kind of change that brings joy to life.

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