Some Things Never Change

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The air conditioner at home didn’t sound like this. The sofa was lumpy in different places, there was no carpet, and family members (furry four-legged ones included) were never far away.

All of that has changed. I’m curled up on a new couch, listening to the air conditioner compete with my instrumental playlist. I’m the only person here tonight. No matter how many times I imagined it, or how much advice I was given, I couldn’t know what moving out really felt like.

As it turns out, it feels like my entire life has changed. Everything, from where I store cereal to the route I drive each morning, is different. Some people seem to thrive on change, and while I appreciate that change is necessary, I don’t always cope well with it. Too much at once leaves me overloaded and anxious… like tonight, when I called my mom in tears over a malfunctioning fridge and soggy waffles.

I’ve filled countless journal pages with the changes that have come in the past couple of years, so I won’t belabor that point in my blog post. Suffice it to say, a lot has changed and a lot of it has been to my benefit.

In two days, another one of those good changes will happen when I walk into a church as Miss Munson and walk out as Mrs. A. I’m excited, thankful and a little astonished over this season in my life. Yet as wonderful, memorable and joyous as this time is, it’s also a little overwhelming. (Hence the weeping over refrigerators and waffles.)

After agonizing over kitchen appliances, a stain on the sofa, and more unpacked boxes, I was convinced that my life had changed 100% and would never settle down. Did I mention that I’m a tad melodramatic when things get overwhelming?

Since writing is my therapy, I typed and backspaced several captions about “Change,” and started to ponder what had really changed. Then it dawned on me that even though so much has changed in a short time, some things haven’t. In life, nearly everything changes but there are a few things that remain. Reflecting on those steady things in chaotic times helps to anchor me. Some of my unchanging things are:

Love. My relationships look a little different now that I’ve moved out and I’m getting married, but I still deeply love the same people I did before this season. I’m still confident they care for me. It’s reassuring to know that even when I’m not down the hallway, my parents and brothers love me. It’s comforting that even when I’m overreacting, my soon-to-be husband loves me unwaveringly. I’m truly thankful for the friends, church family and work family who have sacrificed and supported me through this time. I’m in a different place but I’m still connected to many of the same people. That hasn’t changed.

Words. A one-in-the-morning blog post proves I still need to write. Even when I have no idea what I’m trying to say, my brain needs to clear itself onto paper (or a screen.) I used to dramatically say that I was born with ink in my veins. While I’m very much red-blooded, I agree with Lord Byron: “If I don’t write to empty my mind, I go mad.”

Chocolate. Just kidding… Maybe.

Community. The people we’re surrounded with cycle through changes, but I think it’s inherent that we all need community. Even when some friendships fade away, we need friends. I’m stubbornly independent and absolutely an introvert, but even I can’t change that I need others. While this forces me to be vulnerable and open, it also reminds me that I’m not alone in stressful times.

Jesus. Everything else could completely pivot, but we have the assurance that He is steady. He is faithful, until the end of time. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8, NKJV). Even though it’s a few years old, I love the song “Remain” by Royal Tailor right now. The lyrics are a perfect reminder that no matter what happens around me, God’s love will remain true.

The sky could fall
The ground could shake
The stars burn out
And seasons change
The time will pass
And beauty fade
But all my love will remain

If you’re overwhelmed by changes right now, know that you’re not alone and that despite all the differences, some things haven’t changed. Acknowledge the changes and start to get comfortable with them, but also reflect on what’s remained the same. Let those things be your anchor as you chart the course for your new adventure. Remember… some things never change.

Pages of Memory

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Hello, my dear friends! I’m not officially back from my bereavement time here on the blog, but there’s something I wanted to share with you anyway. First, my heartfelt thanks for all the support, prayers and encouragement I have received. As I shared earlier on Facebook, your kind words and thoughtfulness have been a light for me in the darkness of grief. A piece of my heart will always be missing without my Mom-mom, but your love has filled my heart in another way, and reminded me that mine isn’t broken completely. I wish I could give each of you a hug right now!

Tomorrow will make one week since my grandmother’s memorial service, although time has been a blur for me. I haven’t fully bounced back from all the preparations we made for her service, and aside from a journal entry, this blog post is the first thing I’ve written since my last goodbye to her.

However, I wrote something in her memory last week. One of my best friends read it aloud on my behalf at the memorial service. I’d like to share it here as well, in Mom-mom’s honor.

I’m not a poet, but I wrote this one out of love… and memory.

Pages of Memory
by Sarah R. Munson

In the library of my heart
Are shelves in rows and rows
And as I walk I start
To consider all my memory book shows

I bring it down with care
And open to my favorite page
To think of each memory we got to share
How you were there in every stage

When I was small, you were my favorite playmate
You could always make me laugh at any game
Every moment spent with you was a special date
Now without you, life can’t be the same

Pressed between the pages like flowers
Are our sunny, laughing days and late nights
All the times we talked and laughed for hours
The way you were so full of heaven’s light

I remember us walking hand in hand
Taking trips to church, the library and store
Loving every instant together, planned and unplanned
I couldn’t possibly love those times more

In the book of memories are also
Lessons I learned from you
All the boundless love you’d show
The kind, generous things you would do

Each sentence of our story is etched upon my heart
And although our time together had to end
So you could experience heaven’s new start,
You’ll always be both my grandmother and my friend

I know you will never be far from me
Forever you live, in my heart’s pages of memory.

Thank you again for your kindness and understanding for me in this time of remembrance. That friendship is something I hold onto, and will never forget.

With love & gratitude,

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