I’ve posted here before about how I dislike change. For example, every time I move I kind of inwardly freak out, even if it is obviously a better situation (like the last two have been). There were some office moves at work this summer and it put me in a grouchy mood for quite some time. I like constancy, I get used to the way things are, and I don’t want anyone messing with it.
Most of us can probably pick out certain times in our life when change turned our lives upside down and we were less than happy about the alterations. In the midst of change, it can be hard to see where the road ends up. I intellectually know that if we never had change, we couldn’t have the good things in life, either. But often I can only see change as disruptive.
Today is my brother and sister-in-law’s 16th wedding anniversary. It’s really hard to believe it’s been 16 years. In some ways, it seems that my sister-in-law was always part of the family. On the other hand, it seems like their wedding was just last week.
I wish I had a wedding picture to post, because it’s a pretty clear reminder to me that it was not last week. Jim and Regis haven’t changed much, but thank goodness I have. Awkward glasses, braces, and the gangly limbs of a 13 year-old could only be hidden so much with an up-do, make-up and a bridesmaid dress. It’s funny to think back to those days. I know I hated my hair, but I must not have been affected by the low self-esteem that is supposed to plague your pre-teen years, because I pretty much convinced myself at that time that my brother’s friends were the coolest people on the planet and surely those feelings were reciprocated. Right. Thankfully, my brother’s friends are pretty great, so they didn’t seem to mind that they were walking an eighth grader down the aisle instead of some gorgeous single gal their age.
Thank goodness change occurs. Not only have I lost the braces and tamed my hair a bit, my family has changed too. Since Regis had been part of our family since I was seven, I didn’t really think that much of her entering our family formally that day. The day was all about a dress that didn’t fit me and getting to dance with a handsome Notre Dame guy. But regardless of what I was cognizant of that day, our family was forever changed.
More change followed when Jim and Regis giddily announced the imminent arrival of the first grandchild.
To have a nephew when you’re only a freshman in high school is pretty spectacular — it gave me the chance to be that big sister I never was and made me feel really grown up. After all, every aunt I had ever had was an adult. This was clearly a step up to the grown-up table. Two nieces followed Jimmy, and our family continued to grow.
So… change is okay, I think. Sixteen years ago, my family was changed by a sacrament between my brother and the woman he loved. I never could have dreamt of the joy, love, and blessings God would shower us with in the sixteen years to follow. But we had to be open to change before He could do it.