Musings of Change

These past few weeks and months I have been battling serious doubts over the degree I have set my mind on obtaining.  Maybe the fear stems from the senior position I have at school and that the unknown future is quickly approaching once I graduate.  It is always disconcerting for me not to have some type of plan, especially once school has been completed.

“We can’t be afraid of change. You may feel very secure in the pond that you are in, but if you never venture out of it, you will never know that there is such a thing as an ocean, a sea. Holding onto something that is good for you now, may be the very reason why you don’t have something better.”
― C. JoyBell C.

Change has never been easy; however, over the years I have learned to embrace change and to trust God that He has my back, even if I am reluctant at times.  I was once asked where my courage came from and I didn’t really have an answer.  I may have actually shrugged it off. However, I would like to answer that question for you, dear reader.

“Have courage for the great sorrows of life and patience for the small ones; and when you have laboriously accomplished your daily task, go to sleep in peace. God is awake.” ― Victor Hugo

One of my fondest memories of my dad is when I was in first grade.  I had just received my first pair of glasses and they were absolutely hideous.  You can imagine how traumatic it was for a six year old to have such a face altering change.  The night before the big reveal at school, I could not sleep nor could I stop crying.  I laid in my bed, sobbing, thinking in my head that nothing could be worse than this.  When Dad came into the room to say goodnight, he laid next to me and held me as I cried.  He stayed there with me until I fell asleep.  There is something about knowing you are protected and loved at such a young age.  Working where I do, I know how blessed I am to have had that comfort and peace in my childhood.  My dad loved me unconditionally, hideous glasses and all.

My dad was courageous, he was strong, and he loved God fiercely.  When MS finally took away his ability to walk, he never lost those qualities.  When my friend died, he still held me in his arms and cried with me, only this time I had to crawl onto his bed. He always tried to protect us to the best of his abilities.   When he physically could not care for himself, he still trusted in God.

The day he died, I crawled into his bed, wishing he was there to hold me as my heart broke.  If only I could have gone back to first grade. The night I thought it could never get worse than owning a pair of hideous glasses.

Everyday dad showed me what it meant to live life with a smile amidst pain.

“At times the world may seem an unfriendly and sinister place, but believe that there is much more good in it than bad. All you have to do is look hard enough. and what might seem to be a series of unfortunate events may in fact be the first steps of a journey.”
-Lemony Snicket

My mum has become one of my best friends.  She is someone that I can talk to about anything and it never really use to be that way.  I think our relationship started to turn around the summer of 2007.  That was a summer of transition for the entire family.  Mum is one of the most courageous women I know.  Not only did she work full time, she took on full responsibility of caring for dad and she took on the responsibility of caring for her mum.  I, honestly, do not know how she managed and sometimes I think it was more than what she could handle; however, she persevered and always found ways to keep us together as a family.  She often sacrificed her own desires to make sure dad’s care was provided.

My mum taught me what it means to put others before myself.  She taught me what unconditional love looks like in the hardest of times.  She showed me true strength and courage.

After dad passed away, one of the desires of mum’s heart was to go on a trip to work in an orphanage somewhere.  I had been encouraging her to accompany me to England because it would make the transition easier on her if she decided to pursue the orphanage idea.  That and I also wanted her to experience the country that completely stole my heart.  However, she refused saying that she would probably never travel outside the US.  The time was never right.   And then one day, as I was talking to her after church, mum announced that she signed up to go to China and she did.

Every once in a while there are days when the clouds seem darker than normal but then the sunlight breaks through and shines gloriously.  Those are the moments I have come to embrace with all my heart.  Seeing a picture of my mum on the trip with a  genuine smile of pure joy was one of those moments.

Both my mum and my dad have shown me what it means to live courageously and I am so thankful.

Courage is to live life fully not knowing what the future may have in store.  Courage is to embrace life in all it’s forms of joys and hardships.