The below is another installment in my series of guest posts on the subject of CHANGE. I have nothing to add except for the fact Bonnie is simply amazing. I covet her unflagging faith, her bright shining spirit and her ability to go with the flow and embrace CHANGE.
I’ve always thought of myself as someone who was easily adaptable, a go-with-the-flow kind of girl who could transition from one city to another and be transient.
But over the years I’ve realized through different transitions and unexpected ups and downs that change is hard.
The idea of change is exciting to me but the reality? Well, choosing how I will respond to change is the struggle.
I met my husband in university in British Columbia, Canada, far from the California beaches where I was raised. I grew used to the rain instead of sun, the small town instead of sprawling cities, the use of “eh” instead of “huh.” That was a change I loved!
I was ready for it.
Fast forward through 4 years of education and experiences, 3 of those dating Mike, to our marriage, when we transitioned from living separately and being independent to living as one flesh in a small trailer in the woods near Leavenworth, Washington.
It was a welcomed change; we were ready for marriage, for life together, for a built-in adventure buddy, for creating new memories like trailer life under beautiful mountains and skiing down our driveway because of all the snow each night after work.
And then came another change.
A diagnosis out of the blue and exactly 5 months to the day that we’d been married. This was not a change we understood or were prepared for, but we chose to trust God in his direction of our lives and embraced this unknown change.
“Fighting cancer” seemed like an adventure of sorts to us, and with community surrounding us in Washington we were determined to get through it with good attitudes together.
But that was before the other changes hit:
We moved back to Canada (where we were headed all along, just not so soon).
We moved in with Mike’s parents in their basement at 5 months married.
Our days were filled with doctors appointments and navigating the new world we found ourselves thrust into in the hospital.
Our community vanished, having been surrounded by friends and support and now being in a new city, Calgary, without any roots or a network.
I got a job as a personal trainer and worked starting at 5 am while Mike recovered, zipping out in between clients to his chemo treatments and then back to the gym for evening clients.
All along, I really knew that God was in every day, in the bigger picture certainly, but I didn’t always feel him. Mike certainly didn’t.
After all, we were outdoor adventure guides, taking inner-city youth on life-changing trips! Why would this happen to him?!
One month away from Mike’s 5 year cancer-free mark, I can’t believe all the change that this one big event has brought into our lives.
The course of what we do (Mike working at the cancer center where he was treated as a patient, me pursuing personal training with cancer survivors) has been altered.
Our perspective has changed. The community in our lives has grown, and grown to include the young adult cancer survivor network who have some incredible stories to share.
Change isn’t always easy.
And there are some changes that I’ve loved and others I never would have chosen.
But doesn’t change (and perhaps I could say even conflict) serve to move us in a direction?
Without change we are stagnant.
Life doesn’t get necessarily get better or worse, but movement occurs.
And movement adds life and action to your story.
Mike and I now choose to view conflict – chose to view change – as an opportunity for movement in our story.
Who knows where God will take it?
And that’s something I can honestly say, even if I’m not ready for it, that I’m anticipating for 2014.