I truly sincerely honestly hope so, because it seems like I have had nothing but in the last few weeks. Nothing but changes everywhere. I've changed my job, my work hours, the people I will be associating with on a daily basis, and those are just the changes (sort of) within my control. Outside of my control: I have lost two family members within a one week period. I have, along with everyone else, lost childhood icons and heroes and TV show memories. My health has been crazy - blood sugars up and down, seemingly without rhyme or reason and without responding to proven medical advice of food, exercise and medication...although, maybe - just maybe, I have not been as compliant as I should have been...I'm just saying...I'm trying, but not always so successful.
Friendships have changed. People who I used to hold near and dear, knowing they had my back no matter what - seem to have drifted away...and knowing that every relationship takes two people to make it work, I wonder and worry about my participation in the loss and wonder how to mend the fences - or if the fences are better left unmended. On the other hand, people who I never expected to "step up to the plate" have done just that. As word of the changes I was making in my work life experience made its rounds among my friends, I found out who my "true friends" were - the ones who, while they would never decide to work my new crazy hours, still supported my decision to change my world on its head. The ones who said, "I'm glad you didn't talk to me about this because (for purely selfish reasons), I would have tried to talk you out of it" - and yet, followed that statement with, "But I know you thought this through and made the best decision for you." - knowing that I didn't NEED their validation, but appreciated it none the same.
My family structure has changed. As I said, within a one week period, I lost my Uncle Clinton - he just fell asleep one night at the ripe old age of 87. As my family gathered for his funeral in Washington DC on a Friday morning, we got word that my cousin Janie had lost her battle with cancer and died - minutes before midnight - on the same day that we lost two cherished childhood celebrity icons: Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson. I spent my 4th of July holiday attending her funeral and celebrating her life. But our family will never be the same without her smile and dimples and joie de vivre...she was a special person. Talking to her neighbor and staff members who gave up a holiday Friday to attend her services, I discovered a new side of my cousin - how other people saw her - and was so happy to hear that she was beloved and respected, even outside of our family. What a blessing that was to me. As was seeing my maternal grandmother's siblings. Out of 9 children, 5 remain. Ranging in age from 79 to 94, they were all there to mourn the death of one of their neices. And it was a joy and blessing to be in their presence...even if one of them (who shall remain nameless) greeted me with, "Kristina, I almost didn't recognize you - you have put on a little weight, haven't you?" (sigh...you gotta love old people...hahaha)
One thing has not changed though. The love my Heavenly Father has shown me through all these other changes in my life. All of my relatives, who traveled from as far away as Atlanta GA, Birmingham AL, Washington DC, and Detroit MI to Chicago IL for the funeral - whether by plane, train or automobile - have all arrived home safely without any incident. That is a blessing and not something taken lightly or for granted. God is good - even through change - He never changes and is always there for us.
I am holding on to that promise as I navigate the changing tides of my existence. I hope you will do the same.