embracing the change

I think there is something so sweet about change in that it gives us time to process and reflect on all that we are leaving behind and all that is coming ahead. A friend-of-a-friend of mine is about to adopt their second child. They are, naturally, so excited to be expanding their family and welcoming someone else into their home. But there is still hard in it – she said that they have to grieve the loss of their family as they’ve always known it. They have to grieve the loss of their family that they have grown comfortable with. Their family is never going to be the same, which is simultaneously awesome and exciting but still a little bit hard.

I think what I feel most right now is the tension that comes along with change. I am currently transitioning out of a job that I love immensely, that I have poured myself (heart & soul) into for the past year and a half. It brought me joy and I woke up every morning excited to go to work. I’m moving to a different job at the same place, which is a blessing, but it’s still a change. And it’s sad. And hard.

I look back on the past year and a half of my job and am filled with so much thankfulness. It gave me opportunities to talk to students all day long, to learn about their cultures, to help other UF students lead others well, and taught me something new everyday. I loved it. All of those things make it so hard to move on from, and I really think that’s okay, probably even good. I’m excited for what lies ahead, but grieving the loss of a job that I loved.

I’m also one week from getting married. I’m marrying a man I’ve loved dearly for the past 6 years, and I honestly couldn’t be more excited. This day has been long awaited and I’m really really excited about entering into this new season of life with him. However, even in this joyous change, there’s still hard. Our lives our changing. We will no longer be “single,” making decisions for ourselves. We will become one – which is awesome and exciting but still different. In some ways, we need to grieve the loss of our lives as we have known them.

One of my favorite things about the movie Inside Out is that it perfectly demonstrated the reality that nothing in life is really 100% joy. There is sadness, or other emotions, mixed in with everything we experience. I am so thankful for my job and excited about the next step, but sad about my day-to-day at work looking different. I am so excited about getting married to Spencer, but we are so sad that his dad won’t be there on our wedding day. Sadness is definitely part of this joyful season – and we need to give ourselves the freedom to experience it.

I think the awesome thing about this is that it doesn’t discredit the excitement of the future, or of the next thing, but merely acknowledges the goodness of the season that came before. This grieving – this processing and feeling that comes along with change, allows us to step out with courage and rejoice in what is coming. So that’s what i’m trying to do. Trying to learn to love change by feeling all that is involved with it – the tension, the thankfulness, the sadness, the excitement.

Beyond that, i’m so thankful that God is faithfully walking with me in all of this change, and that I am never alone.