“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.” Matthew 5:13
We moved, as most of you (my friends and family) know. For those of you who do not know, we up and moved 3,000+ miles from pretty much all we knew and came to the “Last Frontier” and are endeavoring to make a new life for ourselves. At our ages, it has been a hard decision and for the most part, difficult. We have run into so many roadblocks, it seems pretty amazing we can still smile. Don’t get me wrong, we are blessed in ways beyond measure. We have our faith and our family and a roof over our heads. And I know I am blessed in more ways than many people I know. God is good.
All that being said, it does not mean there has not been, nor does it mean it does not continue to be, a struggle. All change is a struggle. But if salt looses its saltiness, it is no longer good for anything and must be thrown out. Our lives were like that. They needed to change! And speaking of change, I giggled as I typed that because I was thinking of something my mom told me once, “Always hold on to your clothes, because eventually everything comes back into style.” She isn’t far off. I now wear what we called “peddle pushers” or “clam diggers” when I was a kid. I grew up in the 50s and 60s and we also had all the “flower power” styles going on and lots and lots of them are back (I love my longer “broom” skirts for instance). Hair styles – long, short, colored, permed. Been done. Make up…the Egyptians had the “kohl-eye” thing down centuries ago. Story telling, marriage, family, society…it is in a cycle that repeats itself over and over again.
Basically, it is we who have to adjust to change. It is not change that is unusual. There is a series of history books that make an interesting statement in how they are put together. There is all history prior to the Birth of Christ in one book, and then there is history that has occurred since the Birth of Christ in a separate book. And history since the Birth of Christ changed; man and his experience on this earth, changed. God changed us by giving us His only Son. How we act and react to that singular event in the history of mankind determines how we live our lives, and how we adapt to and take part in, change.
Personally, I am frustrated some days. I wish things were like they were when we lived in our first dairy house. Our boys were small. Life was very simple and very quiet. Well, with young boys, as quiet as that can be, while living on a farm. It is hard to believe we have been married almost 30 years. Time has just flown past and quite often I have a hard time grasping really where I am. I just had another birthday. I am getting to the point where I am fine actually skipping them. We can just celebrate those other milestone dates and forget the ones in between! But then I see the faces of my sons, my grandchildren, and I know I am blessed to be where I am. I have had days recently where I just stood next to my husband, with my forehead resting on his chest. Standing there, wishing things were a little different, frustrated because they are not, but also so blessed at where we are. Life is such a confusing mix some days.
When you relocate in such a drastic way, it can be hard because you have nothing familiar. No friends around for my son, no familiar clerk at the grocery store, streets whose names I forget and driving down I tend to get lost in, and new things everywhere. Your senses get assaulted. Oftentimes, I look around and because I am in a new city, I am totally confused at where I am, and I actually feel carsick. My natural points of reference aren’t there (in Southern Cal, the mountains are in the north and the beach is in the south! The mountains are in the east, and the beach is in the west!). But still, I know that for some reason, I am where I am meant to be. So I ask directions and find my way. Our Lord is the beacon that guides through our confusion, bringing us home.
The professional community or the working world here is also very different; it is NOTHING like it is elsewhere. And when you are older and have been taught to do business a certain way, climbing out of that pattern of behavior is very hard to do. And it is frustrating to step out of our comfort zones to try and make things work, to get work! I feel bad for my husband and he is pretty much getting to the end of his rope, too. It is weird, because our lives are so blessed in all things but working. We wonder where we need to make further changes and what Our Lord is asking for us to do. We search for those changes we still need to make, to have our lives ironed out.
Changing to Holy Silence is hard in a world of distraction, but we both feel called to centering ourselves and also digging in and making this work. We know the Lord wanted us to come here. We both prayed about it and talked about it and took our time making this decision, and nowhere along the road did we feel we were making the wrong choice. Until we actually got on the road. We have hit so many roadblocks to reach where we are (do not even mention Canada to me) and yet, we can still smile and know we are still blessed. I see my family, that little smile on the face of my grandson, and hear his voice yell, “Gaga-Gaga-Gaga” (his name for me) and I know I am where I am supposed to be. Continuing this process of change, well, it may make us stretch in ways we never knew we could, but we are already blessed far more than we would have been, had we stayed put and let the world change around us.
We react differently because the world irrevocably changed 2,000+ years ago, when Christ walked, lived, preached, and died among us. He changed the world. I can work hard to change just little, old me. If I work to be still and listen to His Word for my life, I can move mountains. (He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” Matthew 17:20). It is now that we have to dig in and put our “backs into it” in order to be successful and move some mountains in our lives. Change is not for the meek or the weak at heart; it is necessary, though. Christ changed the world; I just need to work on being the best me that He wants me to be, wherever I am.