I’d be happy as a clam if I could have a “Dark Chocolate Chunk and Oats” granola bar with an ice cold Dr. pepper every day for breakfast for the rest of my life.
I bring a picture of the hairstyle I want to Ashley, my stylist, just about EVERY time I go see her. I noticed recently that all the pictures really look the same. New picture, but same hairstyle.
Ashley always kindly looks at the picture even though it looks the same as the ones I handed her six weeks ago. She styles my hair the same way she did the last time. I give her my credit card to swipe, grab my trusty hoop earrings out of my purse and put them back in.
I get in my car (Ashley doesn’t know this part). Immediately I look in the mirror on my windshield, and then I fix my hair. I poof up the left backside, the place I’ve had poof for twenty years. I swipe my bangs to where they fall across my right brow exactly where I want them to. At times I’ve even tucked away hairspray, so that the moment I get in the car I can put my hands in my hair, fixing it just so, and then freeze it that way.
Around two years ago I decided to color my hair. My silvers were showing. My friend Tammy requested a picture. I sent one. Her response? “It looks EXACTLY the same.”
I don’t like change that much.
I like it when it’s a change I like. I like it more when it’s a change I’m in charge of like choosing to go to the New Mexican food joint in town or a new series to get hooked on, on Netflix.
At the risk of making you groan and roll your eyes, I’ll bring up one more time that things have changed for my family in the past week.
Hayden’s new room is in Huntsville. He’s starting classes at Sam Houston University tomorrow. I haven’t heard his obnoxiously loud laugh in three days. The light from underneath his bedroom door no longer keeps me up while he’s awake at midnight watching podcasts. Its dark his side of the hall.
Hallie started high school yesterday. She can take driver’s ed in mere months, though she doesn’t care to. She’s more like me than I realized. Yesterday she wore a black tshirt and jeans. This morning she was looking for another of her black shirts (out of the six plain black shirts she has) to wear today. We’re not emo. There’s just something comfortable about a black shirt. It’s a fade into the familiar when you’re diving into the unknown.
That’s why I was surprised when I felt joy this weekend in the midst of one of the biggest changes I’ve faced to date.
We walked back into the much quieter house Saturday night after leaving Hayden behind in his new dorm. An old friend of his had shown up before we left. They were eagerly setting up Hayden’s Wii, ready for an epic Smash Brother’s tournament or something. He was happy. He’s ready for this. And somehow, mixed in with my sadness, has been a peace that lets me know it’s time for him to start this new chapter.
I dropped Hallie off at school for her second day realizing she’s just as nervous as she was yesterday. I remind myself that loneliness and fear are two friends that point us to a God who wants to fill us with Himself.
And he does!
When we look to Him he takes our fear and loneliness and fills those spaces.
See, I am doing a new thing! It springs up; do you not perceive it?I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland. Isaiah 43:19
For the first time I’m finding joy in folding clothes; listening to the dryer make its round;metal buttons clanking against its side. I’m learning there’s comfort in the most mundane of things like old same-old hairstyles and that song you can listen to a hundred times because it speaks a message that never gets old.
I the LORD do not change Malachi 3:6
I’m grasping the beauty in things that don’t change. And I’m learning to look to God for peace finding joyful surprises at the things that do change.
I can’t not mention that we have awesome friends who have prayed for us, hugged us, called or texted to check in, knowing that new chapters can be hard. And for those of you who didn’t know, I’ve made sure to tell you a thousand times starting last August when Hayden began his senior year. I know that this bubbling joy I have in this newness is due in part to friends like you. God is good all the time.