Change is hard, isn’t it? I think even when we look forward to a change, it can be hard. We are excited for something new, and we want the change, but often the reality of it, when it happens, is still really hard. That doesn’t mean it isn’t good, but it is still hard.
I think of the moves to new places that I have made. Even when I have been really excited about them, they have been hard. There is the transition, and all that that entails. The goodbyes when you leave one place. The uncertainties of making friends in a new place. The not knowing where to go to find anything. Not knowing how to get around a new city. The grief and sadness that comes when you miss the old place and people. The time it takes to get used to somewhere new. The time it takes to make new friends, and to build depth into them. It is hard! It is good too…absolutely! But good does not always equal easy!
Sometimes change feels like a storm overhead. Everything feels dark and heavy. Storm clouds churn and roil above us. The sky above hangs ominously, as dark clouds lumber across, obscuring the sun and blue sky. And then the storm hits. Rain falls, lightening fills the sky, forking and jabbing, sheets of light bursting across the sky. Thunder rolls and crashes. It can be downright scary sometimes!
So it is with change. Sometimes change is scary! It can be dark and uncertain. We don’t know what is ahead, and we don’t know if things will ever be good again. We feel like life is raining on our heads, soaking us with sadness, with grief, with fear. The clouds roil and gather above and around us, and we don’t feel joy anymore. The lightening of change hits, and the thunder ripples out around us…all the repercussions that ripple out from change. All the ways life changes, and affects us in so many ways.
When you photograph a storm, you often end up seeing things in the photographs that you can’t see with the naked eye. When lightening strikes, it happens so fast that we don’t see the beautiful colours that are there. It is only when the camera captures it that we can see, after the fact, what was actually happening. I wonder if this isn’t true in life as well. There are so many things happening in us when we are in the midst of change. We can’t see it, because we are right in the midst of it, but there are beautiful things happening…things that we will only be able to see after the fact.
When we had a big storm the other night, I sat in the darkness and watched it roll in. I watched the lightening flashing across the sky, and listened to the thunder crash and rumble. I actually love storms, and I love listening to rain. In the places I have lived over the past 10 years, most of them rarely had thunderstorms, and so when I get to experience them, I just sit and linger in them, enjoying it all.
Can I learn to sit with change like that? Even when it is dark, and uncertain, and life is crashing and rumbling around me, can I learn to sit peacefully in the midst of it? Trusting that God is in control, and He is with me, even in the storm? Taking care of me. Protecting me. Walking, sitting beside me. Even if the worst happens, can I still trust that He is there? I think that is the key to walking through change. Be aware that God is with you in the storm. He wants to walk with you through it. He is holding your hand. And He will never leave you alone. And when it is all over, who knows what beauty you will be able to look back and see?
For this next challenge, I want us to explore celebration. I know I haven’t really felt like celebrating this past week. It was a hard week again, and I was struggling with feeling down. But can we celebrate even when life is hard? Can we choose to look for beauty and life and joy even in the midst of the storm?
For some of us, the storm is ending. Quarantine is lifting in many places, and we are able to begin to move about again. We can meet with friends again. We can resume some of our former activities. And so we feel a sense of celebration. There is still uncertainty, and sometimes fear, as we know Coronavirus is not gone, and the hard times are not over. And yet, we can choose to celebrate the gifts we have been given.
So what are you celebrating? How are you celebrating? Are you having to choose to celebrate, or does it come naturally to you?
Let’s use our photography to explore this! #deepsoulphotochallenge. You can post your photos on Instagram or Facebook.
I look forward to seeing what you create!