A couple of weeks ago I was sitting next to my 10-year-old daughter on the couch. She was still wearing the pajamas she had worn the night before, even though it was already 4pm. She was reading her favorite book series and I was lazing on my computer.
In the middle of that quiet moment she asked, “What do we have to look forward to?”
“What do you mean?”
“What do we have coming up to look forward to?”
Understanding her question, I informed her that her grandparents would be visiting the following month. “Oh good,” she responded, “If I didn’t have something to look forward to I think I would die.”
I can no longer question the TCK status of my kids. They have arrived. Change and transition is now a constant in their life.
And I’m a lot like my daughter. I’m a big fan of change. I enjoy it. I like looking forward to trips and moves and reorganizing my house. I like new languages, new friendships, new experiences. When I don’t see change looming in the future I can feel restless and discontent in my soul.
As much as this may seem like a good characteristic for an overseas worker, I am finding it to be a liability. Change has become my crutch. Instead of being a catalyst for growth, change has become my hiding place. It is how I self-deceive and run from the reality of relational dysfunction, emotional pain or spiritual dryness.
I’d rather look forward to the visa run next month than embrace the depth of loneliness that I feel. Instead of dealing with a relational problem I remind myself that the relationship is temporary and doesn’t need fixing. When I am feeling depressed, I go on a reorganization spree moving furniture from this room to that room and back again.
I’ll do anything to hide from the reality and depth of my pain, insecurities and sin. Change is my friendly enabler.
Grief can be especially unresolved in my life for this very reason. There are a lot of losses and traumas that I have never fully felt but suppressed with the allure of the new and exciting. For me, remaining stationary is a much greater risk then another move across the world because it guarantees to expose the unresolved and unmet needs of my heart.
Maybe this is change also. To be still, to grieve, to plant deep roots, to attach.
As the transitions continue to amass around me with the promise of new teammates and the loss of friendships, I feel God asking me to bare my soul within the mundane and the constant.
He is asking me to give up my addiction to change.
He is asking me to invest deeper in the relationships that I have, to content myself in the old and stop looking forward to the new. I believe that this is the place where God will meet me next, not in the great overt transitions, but in the honest risk of the heart. He is asking me to let the restlessness of my soul fester and allow him to expose those innermost parts of me that I strive to hide from myself and others.
I don’t have a big trip to look forward to, the future before me looks routine, and I can feel it. The restlessness is building. The boredom is brewing. I just pray that as I press deeper into God he will be sweet and gentle as he exposes my soul.
A soul that is afraid to commit.
A soul that is afraid to grieve.
A soul that is afraid to care.
A soul that fights to protect itself.
This change is scary but change is always good…..right?
Do you like change? Does change promote or stunt growth in your life? What triggers positive change in your life?