Friday, 11 July 2014

Change is the way Life Lives Itself

Quaker Advices and Queries 28 says:

 Every stage of our lives offers fresh opportunities. Responding to divine guidance, try to discern the right time to undertake or relinquish responsibilities without undue pride or guilt. Attend to what love requires of you, which may not be great busyness.

I have always struggled with change. I like to know what is going to happen, down to the last detail. For many years if things altered from my perceived plan, I was thrown completely into chaos and could not recover without major panic and tears. We call it the Blair family gene as so many of us on my mother’s side of the family struggle with this. Thankfully, with love and help from Spiderman I have mostly overcome this and am able handle change with a bit more grace.

Sharon Connors writes in her inspirational book Adventures in Prayer:

Change is actually the way life lives itself. Whether joyous or terrifying, change is an opportunity to satisfy the yearnings of our soul, to know more of what is possible for us. It is an opportunity to expand our mind and grow in wisdom and power. If we will prayerfully swim in the current of change rather than against it, we will find ourselves in the flow of Spirit that is directing our lives to safe shores. 

I spent a great deal of my early life fighting against the flow of change. Any experience outside my comfort zone was met with suspicion and was firmly ignored. The problem is, change happens whether we like it or not. Life is so much easier when you can go with the flow rather than against it.

Sue Sikking, minister and author writes:

We cannot stay in one place and say: “This is where I want to be. I don’t want anything else to happen to me. I want to be away from the fret and the worry.” This is not the way to happiness and contentment. And yet it is so human to want life and change on our own terms. We don’t want to have to change ourselves or have changes come upon us unless we have guarantees, unless we are “ready,”  unless it is going to be relatively painless. We cannot grow or discover our true potential, though, without allowing ourselves to change and be changed for the better.

Meeting Spiderman helped me perceive change differently. He showed me that change did not have to be bad, that the world outside my rigid way of thinking was a wonderful one. I would never have been brave enough to sell all my belongings and move half way across the world if it wasn’t for him. He made it seem like we would have a grand adventure, despite the hardships we might face.  He helped me understand that my fear of change had to do with not trusting God completely. If I really believed God had a plan for my life, then it would be wonderful and anything that was hard (like losing my father) would give me strength and resources I needed to grow. The change of my father’s death gave me the courage to quit my depleting teaching job where I was working 12-15 hours a day and have the adventure of opening a bookshop.  The flexibility of owning our own business meant that we could spent a month in Cardiff for our 10th wedding anniversary. This is when we decided we needed to move out of Louisiana  This led to us selling our large three bedroom house, two vehicles and most of our possessions and moving into a grotty studio flat in order to be ready for when the call for change summoned us. Two years later we were in England.

We have such mixed feelings about moving away to Wales. On one hand, we are so excited to be on our way to our next adventure. There are a lot of unknown changes about to come our way, but I feel calm facing them.   On the other hand, we feel the loss of what we have had here in Hitchin. We have lived in a beautiful town for ten years, we have had jobs that despite their ups and downs have brought us satisfaction and we have friends that we love as dearly as we do family.

Sharon Connors writes in Adventures in Prayer:

Even when we know that change is for the best, making it can be difficult. Even when the change is something we look forward to--a promotion at work, a marriage, a new home--there is a loss, a letting go of some kind. When we move on to a more promising  job, we must still get through letting go of a job in which we may have found great fulfilment and companionship.

 And so as Quaker Advices and Queries 27 says:

   Live adventurously. When choices arise, do you take the way that offers the fullest opportunity for the use of your gifts in the service of God and the community? Let your life speak. When decisions have to be made, are you ready to join in with others in seeking clearness, asking for Gods guidance and offering counsel to one another?

We have chosen to have the adventure and not play it safe. I cannot wait to see what God has in store for us next.

1 comment:

  1. My heart is so full I cannot find the words to comment adequately on this beautiful meditation. I also took the prayers and Advices and Queries to heart, as they seemed to fit my own journeys through so many changes. I love you immensely, my sweet children.