I really don’t like change. I don’t mean the kind of change that weighs down my purse, although I don’t particularly like that kind of change either. I’m talking about when things in life that I like, change.
I woke up today feeling a bit weighed down by an upcoming change that is about to take place in my house. You see, Katie’s moving out. This weekend. Like, really soon.
Who is Katie, you ask? Allow me to explain. Katie is a lot of things. First she was a student in our Master’s Commission program, and she was our student for awhile, three whole years. I actually didn’t know her very well during those three years, but when Jeff and I figured out that God was asking us to begin to think about uprooting our lives and becoming senior pastors, Katie factored into the equation. We asked her to think about joining us wherever we happened to end up. I know this sounds a little strange as she wasn’t part of the Johnston family or as previously stated, particularly close to me at that time. But Katie was the Master’s Commission worship leader, and in that way, we were connected, and Jeff and I wanted the spirit that she led worship in, to be the heart of worship whereever we ended up. Thankfully, God’s plans did not take us to Idaho or South Dakota, places I have no desire to visit, and much less desire to take up residence in. We moved back to Ontario and Katie did too. Into our house, in fact. In the beginning, to be honest, I was less than enthusiastic about this. I understood that she was here because we had asked her to be and that we weren’t paying her to lead worship at the church, and that she didn’t really have any other options, but still. I didn’t really know her and now she was living in my house, inhabiting the spare room usually reserved for all of our out-of-town company. And I didn’t really know if we were going to be friends or how it was going to be having someone else in my personal space and in our family space. I’m gonna make her read this blog post, and this will be news to her, but there you have it. I had reservations. That was December 2008.
Somewhere along the past year and nine months, everything changed. I can’t pinpoint any one event that was the turning point, although there certainly have been lots of moments spent together…laughing our heads off, crying our eyes out, staying up way too late when one or the other of us had to get up early, lots of movies, entire tv series watched for free online, adventures too numerous to recount with videos documenting them, 3000 piece jigsaw puzzles, deciding to eat really healthy, deciding to eat whatever we wanted,and lots and lots of talks, advice and “debriefing”.
I lived at home until I got married and as such, never did the girl-y thing of getting an apartment and living with my girlfriends. I always sort of wished I had done that. I love being married and don’t want you to think it has anything to do with not loving my husband or anything like that. It’s just that occasionally I wondered what it would have been like to have done that.
And now I know. It’s a blast. My life is often just so full of kids and church and responsibilities, that it’s been really nice to have someone to be silly with and not have to be anything but me.
And so now, she’s moving out this weekend to do that girl-y thing herself with a wonderful girl that now attends our church. I am really happy for her. I am.
I’m just also a little sad for me. There, I said it. I’m sad. Sad, as in, I can’t even write this without crying. Sad, as in, I’ve been using humor and sarcasm to cover up the fact that I don’t really want to talk about how I’m really feeling, sad.
So I woke up today trying to process what I’m feeling about it. I got Carter off to school, said goodbye to Jeff as he walked out the door, made my coffee, and sat down at my computer. And then an amazing thing happened. A friend of mine sent me a copy of a book he’d written, asking if I might like to read it and give him my thoughts, and so I read it. All of it. And it’s really good. It’s his story about his journey through love and divorce and back again and how Jesus is changing him through it all. When it’s published, I will re-post and tell everyone I know to buy it and read it and be changed and challenged by it.
As I finished the book this afternoon, I realized something. I am being a big baby, a really selfish big baby. Katie isn’t leaving ME, just my house. She hasn’t died or moved across the country, or even taken anything from me. She’s just embracing the next season in her life. And as I thought about my author friend’s journey, I thought about how even when life changes in ways we don’t like or understand, we have the choice to embrace what’s coming next.
I had to do it when she moved in, and like it or not (and I don’t), I’m going to do it now. Because somewhere, somehow, God is in this, and I don’t want to miss what He’s going to do next.
(On another note…I keep telling Jeff that now that we’ll have our room back, we should think about how to fill it up…as in, we filled up the other two bedrooms in our house really well! Maybe it’s time for another Johnston! 🙂