change. or: everything stays the same by changing

Last night, driving home, I hummed along to a rather terrible song on the radio by Pitbull and someone else who I cannot recall and am currently too lazy to research. The lyric that consistently sticks with me from this song is “Can’t promise tomorrow,  but I can promise tonight.” That line has always struck a chord with me. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not sleeping around and having loads of one night stands (sorry boy! can’t say what I’m doin’ tomorrow but it sure isn’t gonna be you!). But I do understand where he is coming from in a way.

I sat in Garbanzo with Nate almost two months ago and I said, munching on falafel, that he would leave. He gave me this rather incredulous look and asked what I meant. I avoided eye contact and shrugged dismissively, “you’ll leave. Whether you want to or mean to, you’ll leave, because everyone leaves.” He shook his head, “what if I don’t want to leave?” I think I threw a fleeting–perhaps even hopeful–glance in his direction and then shrugged again. “You will.”

And he has. I almost laughed outright when it happened. I should take wagers on these things, I thought, I’d be making a good deal of money. But, then I would be hypocritical if I didn’t say that I often do the same thing. I’m all about leaving. I’m going to have two really good friends leave at the end of this summer and I’m losing a good portion of my staff at GC, and I’m moving and the family I live with is moving, and most of me wants to be the first person to ditch all this change. I almost drove to Seattle last Sunday night as a gut reaction to the chaos. Nate and I weren’t “official” but he seemed to be the most steady thing in life and when that tanked there didn’t seem to be much worth sticking around for.

I keep looking at the future and it is very daunting somedays. Most of us still don’t have a clue what we’re going to do longterm. I’m starting a business with a friend, and going to seminary, and moving and starting a sort of Bible study thing with friends, and yet…where will I be in five years? Liz says she wants to be with Adullam in twenty years–ever since Hugh made that comment about sticking around. I must have looked horrified in her kitchen when she told Ethan and I that. I mean, I’d been crying, so I already looked bad enough. But to live in one place for twenty years? Colorado’s pretty…but it’s not that pretty.

I think I am trying to figure out what I want. I think for a long time I have always struggled with finding my identity in other people, or in the way I can help them. I think that’s why I have struggled with burnout. I think it’s also why I’m afraid of change. I’m a chameleon, sure, but it’s hard to find the perfect camouflage every few months. I do know somethings: I like storms and driving in the rain. I like dancing in kitchens at 1am and singing until my voice is hoarse. I still cry when I listen to Elias and I consider goat cheese comfort food. I like creamy peanut butter and cold weather.

And most of all: I am coming to terms with the fact that I’ll follow Jesus wherever.

I’m not always keen on Christians. I’m not always comfortable with the church. But I told Jesus the week before he took Nate away that I would go wherever he called, and I’d go whenever. And I’d even go if I was alone. I told him he could have Nate. I told him he could have anyone. the midst of all this change…Jesus is the one person that never lets go.

I wish I could be more philosophical. I wish I had something intelligent to say about our haphazard culture that searches for stability in all the wrong places–while always keeping our options open. I wish I could say that I didn’t cry when Nate said goodbye or freak out about how nothing seems concrete. But mostly, I’ve realized that I live in fear of God taking things away because that’s what he’s always done. And then, I’ve realized that perhaps Jesus takes away so that someday (or even today!) he can give something better–like himself.

{you’re the same and you never let go}

And of course, as I’m thinking about the future and the great many possibilities which are pockmarked with uncertainty, I noticed on a friend’s facebook this simple verse:  She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future… Well, that’s certainly something to be considered and meditated on.


One response

  1. I’m definitely with you on this “I’ve realized that I live in fear of God taking things away because that’s what he’s always done. And then, I’ve realized that perhaps Jesus takes away so that someday (or even today!) he can give something better–like himself.” I have abandonment issues. Gotta say though…I do think Colorado is THAT pretty. 🙂

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