You have to admit, any gal with a name like “Penny” has to know something about change… I wish it were that simple but, what I know about change, I have learned the hard way and the lessons have not always been easy.
Though some people thrive on change, most of us don’t like it. Come to think of it, the only people I know who really like change are babies in diapers! Given a choice, we prefer to stay the same. We like knowing where things are, where we are going and how to get there without a GPS. We have “favorites” like mugs, restaurants and fishing holes and just naturally resist change.
Part of why we do not like change is because all change causes stress; sometimes a little, sometimes a lot. Did you know when we change something as simple as the location of a wastepaper basket it takes us 21 tosses to remember it’s not where it used to be?
When I married my husband, Bill, a now retired naval officer and attaché, I had not been west of the Mississippi River and our first move was from New England to Hawaii, in a blizzard, with a newly blended family of six and a collie named Amber. Our plan was to drive to California and ship the car from there.
I did pretty well with all the changes going on in my life until we reached our first stop, Disney World in Florida. We went for a boat ride through It’s A Small World where the singing and dancing dolls in their native costumes reminded me of my dancing school and all the students I had left behind and; I started to cry. I cried all the way through Disney World right on into Alabama until Bill took a loving, but firm hold of my shoulders, lifted me up on my tip-toes, looked me straight the eyes and said, “If you are that miserable, maybe you should go back. Is that what you want?”
I said, “Yes. That’s what I want. I want to go back with you and have things be the way they were.” “Well honey”, he said, “That’s not going to happen. We’re on our way to Hawaii and there is no going back. So let’s get over it and get on with it.”
I did. I made it to Hawaii, through 28 other moves, and events that have stretched, challenged and made me grow in endless ways. What I have learned is life is all about change and, though I cannot always control the changes of life, what I can control is my attitude and trust in God to be with me as I walk through them. Philippians 4:6-9 has been my life verse and I pray it will bless you too. “Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and definite requests, with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God. And God’s peace, that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot, of whatever sort that is, shall be yours. That peace which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”