my childhood was full of change. by the time i had finished junior high school, i had moved 5 times and lived in 2 different countries. and that was just the geographical change. as i approached adulthood, i began to believe that constant change was normal life, and that i loved and needed spontaneity and variation all the time. on the other hand, there was this lingering part of me that wished things could move just a bit slower, leaving a little more time here or there, with this person or that.
i understand well, what it means to miss things. i have always missed things and whether because of the soft, sensitive, deeply melancholy spirit God has given me or other reasons, i've never been able to become hardened to this "missing" or longing for things that were or are, but far away.
this morning i woke up missing germany...but it was more than germany itself - it was a specific time of life...i was remembering the year before asher arrived, when it was just matt and me doing life in a completely different way than the way God's given so graciously today. i was thinking of how often we walked, biked, the mixed smell of concrete and cigarettes that permeated small alleyways of cobblestone, the buttery but not too sweet pastries, the way a german can move the contents of a meal onto the backs of their fork with such grace, the honesty, depth and level of interesting conversation, the perfection of foam in a beautifully artful latte macchiato, faces and friendships we knew and came to love, to name just a few things...and all of this experienced, together.
before asher, there was another life, another country even. and right after he came - right along with all the indescribable joy of life that he brought was a slight grief over how things had changed. i don't remember anyone telling us that we might experience loss and grief within a time of such immeasurable joy and generosity. and don’t get me wrong, even in the moments when i felt the loss of our life pre-asher the most; i would have never traded it for what we received in having him. not for a second. for days, i would easily cry at the drop of a hat and felt so constantly aware of the preciousness and fragility of life all around me. i would cry just thinking about how blessed i was to have both matt and asher in my life –at the absolute wonder of becoming a mother and being a wife. and i would also shed some tears thinking about how it would never be just matt and me, again, like we had been.
change. what gifts of immeasurable grace, life and newness, along with depths of loss, can be wrapped up within it. it is both wonderful and difficult and never without purpose.
i can easily say now, that it's hard to remember life before parenthood. the person i was then seems clearly unfinished and strange and i wonder how we were ever "we" without our asher. and since he's come, constant change has come with him. in a matter of weeks, months and now, 2+ years, he's changed so much it's been nearly impossible to keep track.
just this week he’s has moved into his "big boy bed," and he's done so with such ease. it's surprised both of us. with each new stage of his life comes much joy (and sometimes even celebration) but again, i cannot get away from the bits that are lost within it. i've begun thinking about how much time asher and i have during our days now. i absolutely love our abundant one-on-one time. and while i cannot wait to meet our 2nd little boy, i also feel a sense of slight sadness and uncertainty with how things will change once again.
i know God will give the grace and joy needed to move forward as we joyfully go from a family of 3 to 4 -though still feel deeply and honestly all there is to feel in the change. some try to avoid this at all costs it seems -it must only make the unavoidable that much more difficult, blinding and crippling. others cannot seem to sit still and chase after change like a treasure –and in turn, miss what God wants to reveal, how he might shape and who he is in those steady, mundane seasons.
for me, it is like standing before the ocean, feeling light and fragile as small waves crash around my body. i see a large wave ahead coming steadily and building as it approaches. and i know it will wash over me completely...and all i can do is cling to the Lord who has held the contents of the oceans in the hollow of his hand and also loves us completely and faithfully; believing he will do so even in this new wave of change ahead..that he will be with us as he has always been before, creating something absolutely beautiful, and more than we could think up or imagine.