I’m not good at it.  Maybe it’s the hot flashes that have begun to wake me from sound sleep.  Maybe it’s the now too familiar quietness of this soon-to-be empty nest. Maybe it’s the new pattern of nightly subject-verb agreement exercises with the Mister.

I have been overwhelmed with change this year like a child in the edges of the surf . She looks up to see a wave break on her head. She somersaults over with the motion, scrambles to find footing and realizes that she  does not know which way to find air.  Just as I adjusted to the”new” and felt as though there was some sand between my toes, the undertow of ‘different” pulled me back under water.  Like most people, I find comfort in the familiar. There is a certain amount of control that can be felt when I see the waves coming in the distance. I know when to adjust, when to jump, when to duck, when to just ride the wave.   

Change is the unsuspecting undertow. You are treading water just fine, laughing as the gentle waves rock you, when out of nowhere you are pulled out into the deep. There is no touching bottom. Instead of the afternoon sun in my face, I inhale stinging salt water that burns my nose and stings my eyes.  Gulping mouthfuls of sea water, I sputter and try to find my feet. Instead, I am rocked head over heels by the crash of yet another wave of change.  I no longer see sun, instead the rush of foam.

I feel far from shore. I am exhausted. I stop fighting, stop flailing my arms and legs. In my utter helplessness, I do the only thing I know to do. I force myself to relax.  When everything in me says, “Touch bottom! Stand up!Push! Fight!” I begin to roll with the waves. The buoyancy of the salt that stings my eyes, pushes me to the surface.  I glimpse the bright summer sun, I gasp fresh air.  I made it!

I hear laughing on the shore. They wave and smile. They have no idea. They don’t know I was struggling. They only see me now floating on my back soaking up the sun. I will tell them one day. For now, I float.

Surviving the waves of change can drown you despair, and the only way to survive is to stop fighting. Roll with the waves. Wait for your Father to grab you in His strong grip. Y.ou will make it back to the surface. Perhaps gasping for air, with elbows scraped and knees a little bloody, but the waves of change won’t kill you.  No, they won’t pull you under when you relax, they will wash you to shore.


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