Today is June 30th, 2023 and it is 11:14, no 11:15pm.
I’m writing that down, the specific date and time, because it matters.
It matters because what I write right now is what I write right now based on who I am right now. People change. I change. You change.
It’s our nature to change, to grow. Some of the change is great. Some of it leads to sadness and sorrow. Some of our change, even just the aging of our bodies, leads to the end of life itself. People change. I change.
I’ve paused writing for a moment, not because there has been nothing to write, but because my mind and heart are flooded with things to write about. Then, as I think I settle in on what to share next, my heart is inspired by something new, someone new, some happening new. What is it all but yet again, change within me.
I think back to days gone by where I thought things were so certain and so cemented in a truth that didn’t change. That truth was only my perception of truth, in that moment, through my lens and in my time. I have a feeling there are two camps out there right now. One is holding out hope that relativism has sunk in and I am finally open to any and every idea as truth simply because you hold it as such. The other camp might be afraid to continue reading out of fear of what I could right next as they worry they’ll discover I’ve gone too far over the line.
What I will say here is that I’ve changed. I’ve changed as a man, as a dad, as a friend, as a believer, as a partner, as a person. I think back to what I tried to learn about being a man, holding strong, being certain, having the “thick skin” that so many other “leaders” said was necessary to survive and thrive. I think back to my early days of adulthood where I tried to look the part so well and keep everything in line and everyone happy, at least with what they knew of me. I think back to the days and nights of struggle of wondering why I never felt enough. Those feelings leading me to try to find an answer somewhere else, and there only left me with the same questions.
I think about the dad I started out to be and the dad I am today. I’ve learned to listen and feel. I’ve learned to trust rather than react. I’ve learned to see parenthood as a gift to mourn the idea of losing rather than a burden to carry for the sake of others.
As a friend I know I’ve changed. I’m not a very good one to most people any longer. This is something I’ve struggled with, as I know many of my contemporaries have as well. Friendship just doesn’t seem to have the space in my life that once had. Yet, those friendships are still so dear to me. They still carry me through the toughest of storms while I reach out as an anchor in their storms as well.
I’ve been challenged in my beliefs throughout my life. I’m inspired by the world the Creator has given around me. I strive to take it all in, not just what fits into an organized and safe box, but all of it. I’ve had some incredible experiences, growth and joy through the challenges of my faith. Holy Spirit actually does move, does work, does grow us and stretch us. It’s just not in the straightforward, formulaic way I once saw it to be.
As a partner, I’m still growing, but I’ve taken steps forward, even if by inches. As a person, well, I can’t have experienced all of this without it changing who I am altogether.
What about you? Have you taken a moment to study your life and see where you’ve been, where you are, and where you’re headed? Can you find joy in the journey that you’ve experienced? Can you be inspired by the growth that’s happened? Do you see the stumbles as steps still on an upward path to reach the next horizon of life as you’re meant to experience it?
This past weekend we went on a camping trip. I hate camping trips. That hasn’t changed. There is a lot I can write about it, but for right now I want to hold on to this change in me and in my son. My son has struggled through every camping trip because of his triggers and struggles with the uncertainty that comes with something so out of the norm as camping strives to be. In years past we have had at least a night if not two full of terror, tears and tantrums that have left us exasperated beyond belief.
This year, after forgetting his medicine and having one of the toughest weather cycles to sleep through in a tent, we didn’t have one of those nights. We had tough times, lots of them. My son changed though. He grew. He grew in his trust that I could be there for him and was on his side. He fought, but not the same. He struggled, but not til the end. He trusted me, not completely, but more.
I hate camping. I’ve always hated camping. That part of me hasn’t changed, at least not yet. For today, my son changed, and it changed me to hold on to hope, to find joy in hard fought small victories, and to know that I’m changing and it’s okay.
You’re changing too.
It’s now June 30th, 2023 at 11:39, no, 11:40pm. I’ve changed some more since I first started writing. How about you as you began reading?
Change isn’t an enemy, but a reality. We can resist it or hate it or hide from it, or today, today you can embrace the change in you and around you to be inspired for what is still to come.