Monthly Archives: February 2009

A New Look At Change

“I hate change.”

That’s one of my favorite phrases.  Whenever change happens in my life, I loudly proclaim that statement – so it’s something that flows from my mouth on a very regular basis.

But then I have to qualify…I know change is needed in our lives.  I can look back and see how changes have shaped my life and my faith – how it has been a good thing.  So I like the results of change, but I hate the process.  Most of the time, people agree with me and understand why I would hate the process. Change can be hard, and at times, painful.  Others, however, have challenged my aversion to change.  I didn’t pay much anttention to any of those challenges until a couple of years ago when someone made a very interesting point regarding my view of ‘change’.

I was telling her about all of the change that had happened in the months before I had talked to her, and of course, how I hated it.  There had been so much change that I was feeling overwhelmed.  She asked me what changes had happened.  After shooting off a list and a high level overview, she said that she didn’t think I really hated change.  It wasn’t the first time I had heard that, so it didn’t surprise me, but what she said next did.

All of the changes that I had mentioned shared a common theme – loss.  I lost a lot in a very short period of time.  What I lost, how much I lost, and why I lost those things combined to create a huge ‘change’  in my life.  The word ‘change’ is so much more comfortable and easier for me to accept than the word ‘loss’ so I always describe that experience in terms of changes in my life.  But I was challenged to call it what it truly was – loss.

As I started thinking back on major changes in my life, I realized that loss was always involved.  Loss is what I hated; loss is what caused the pain; loss is what I want to avoid.

Then I started looking at the other side of that – the end result of the changes in my life.  Each time I experienced loss through change, I gained something in the end result of the change.  I tend to be a very logical thinker so that observation would lead me to believe that when I experience loss in the future, even though it is painful, I can know that something will be gained in the growth of change.  That thought gave me hope that all of the pain I was feeling would give way to something positive.

Unfortunately, this particular loss seems to be hanging around a little longer than expected.  As the pain continued, my hope started to dwindle.  In the last week, I have been reminded of my pain, and I’ve realized that it is still going strong.  I’ve also realized that I can’t find anything good that has come of it in my life yet.  As I write this, my heart keeps asking, “When will I see the growth, the gains, the benefits of all the ‘changes’ in my life?”  There is a part of me that wants to say, “I hate change!”   But then it hits me – the thing that I have said I hated throughout my life is the very thing my heart is asking for right now.  I’m tired of being in the pit.  I want my joy back.  I want my hope back.  I want a change.

So my true aversion is to loss and pain – something I am having to learn to deal with in a healthy way (since avoiding and stuffing it never really got me anywhere…).

I guess I have to admit that I really don’t hate change.

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What’s In A Name?

A few weeks ago, a friend of mine at work looked up what her name means.  It was funny at the time because some of us were giving her a hard time, telling her that her name didn’t really match her personality.  Of course, that got me thinking a little about my own name.  I’ve thought about it every once in a while, but I’ve never taken the time to find out what my name means.  I know that I am named after my uncle, my dad’s brother, who died when he was about 17.  That’s all I know.  To the best of my knowledge, my middle name is not really significant – just something my parents liked.  So I decided to find out what my name means.

According to a few different websites, my name – Geri – means bearer or ruler of the spear.  For those that know me, that probably isn’t the first thing that would come to mind when asked to describe me.  My friend at work had looked up both her first and middle name and got an interesting combination, so I decided to check out the meaning of my middle name as well.  The name Ann means ‘grace’.  Now that creates an interesting combination. 

In the opinion of some, being a bearer or ruler of the sword indicates that I have violent tendencies.  In my opinion…I guess that depends on who you ask.  🙂  I do, however, think that it may have more to do with leadership than violence.  I’ve never considered myself a leader.  I like to work behind the scenes, and I don’t really like the spotlight being on me – unless, of course, I’m dancing.  Over the years, I feel like God has asked me to step into more leadership roles.  I haven’t always listened, but I am definitely seeing a trend.  Even in my job, I am taking on more of a leadership role.  It’s not something I ever would have thought I would do.  But here I am.

Now add in the idea of grace.  Grace is a huge topic in the Bible.  I’m pretty sure that means it’s important.  Does it contradict the idea of being the ruler of the spear?  I don’t think so.  God calls us all to extend grace to others – in the same way that He extends grace to us.  In leadership roles, I think grace is an important quality.  I can definitely look back and see a huge difference in the authority figures throughout my life who exhibited grace versus the ones who did not.  When grace was extended, I was able to grow.  Isn’t one of the goals of leadership growth in those who are being led? 

One of your first big decisions as parents is to name your child.  I’ve heard many different reasons for why a child was given a certain name.  I’m not married, but I’ve already thought about names for my future children.  An interesting and cool thought is that God already knows their names.  In fact, God knew mine before I did, and before my parents did.  It makes me wonder if my name was given to me for a specific reason.  God knew He was going to call me to leadership roles.  I’ve followed sometimes, and I hope to follow more.  I also hope that I can lead with grace – that I can represent my name…

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Dance With Me

Come and dance with Me around My Throne
Come and see what I have for you and you alone
Step up onto My feet – let Me lead
Your heart, your soul, your spirit – let Me feed
Trust in Me so that we spin as one
Trust in Me so you may hear, ‘Well done’
I will heal your heart if you give Me the chance
I will help you soar – May I have this dance

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