Thursday, July 27, 2006

Change and waiting in the "Space in Between"

There is a saying that is something to the effect "there are only 2 sure things in life; death and taxes." Or something like that... But I think there is another one that says " the only sure thing about life is change". Change is inevitable. It is a part of life. Without change, we grow bored, and unchallenged. Change is good. That's why we move the furniture, or go to another room/place. But too much change, especially all at once is not good
This involves some degree of stress. Stress is healthy, and stress is unhealthy. Depends on what kind you get, the type of personality you have and how you cope with stress. Me... I don't cope will with extreme amounts of stress. (In case you haven't noticed.) I tend to get sick. When I first got this job, I moved across the country to a new city, a new job, a new community, ... a new life. I was only here in Vancouver for 3 weeks, and I got sick. So sick that I had to stay home for the third week of my job. And every so often, when life /work got heavy.. I would get sick. A cold, the flu, strep... With all of this change and stress, I wonder if it isn't a 'grief reaction'. In the case of what I just described,I had lost my home, community, support group, security of the job that I knew, .. so that is a lot of losses.. cumulative. I have a patient who is not doing so great. He was described as being a "bit down". Well let's figure out why. He's had numerous medical issues, heart issues, stroke, fractures, and now he is told that his functioning has declined so much so that he is not allowed/able to return home to the place where he was living. I am sure that when a psychiatrist goes in and does the scale to measure depression, they will say that "yes he is depressed". Often what is missed is that is a normal part of a grief reaction, and not just that the patient needs what we call " a happy pill". Sometimes people need to be depressed. It is hard to face changes and it is harder when you don't have time to adjust to old ones before new ones are added.
Change is inevitable... and it is how you approach/handle change that counts. Well. Once again, there seems to be extreme amount of change/stress in my life. I will get married in 9 days. I will then move the rest of my stuff (futon, TV, VCR, computer, clothes and dishes) from my apartment of 3 years to a townhouse. I will learn the joys and annoyances of living with my new spouse. He will learn the joys and annoyances of living with me. I will go away on a honeymoon trip and return to a house crammed with wedding presents and freshly renovated rooms. I will return to work after 3 weeks of being away and scramble to make sense of what has gone on while I was away -- with my patients, staff and colleagues.
So I take a breath.. and I think about all the change that has occured in my short time here in Vancouver. Just this past year has been monumental with some major changes -- losses and transitions. And I remember that there is always a constant regardless of the situation. God says I AM the same, yesterday, today and tomorrow. I will never leave you nor forsake you..

I was regretting the past
And fearing the future.
Suddenly my LORD was speaking,
“My name is I AM”.

He paused.
I waited. He continued.

“When you live in the past
with its mistakes and regrets, it is hard. I am not there.
My name is not I WAS.

When you live in the future,
With its problems and fears,
it is hard. I am not there.
My name is not I WILL BE.

When you live in this moment,
it is not hard. I am here.
My name is I AM.

Helen Mallancott.

Irony is that we spend our lives waiting. Waiting for that event, this job, this illness to pass, graduation, moving to new place, .. we are always waiting for the next good thing. In the meantime, we exist in the "space in between" the good thing we had and the good thing that we want. That is what life is .. waiting for the fulfillment of God's Kingdom in our lives. Waiting til we see God at the throne on Judgement day, waiting till we begin the eternal journey of living... in the meantime, we anticipate the change that till come, obsess about the changes that did occur and that changes that are happening now. I have been waiting for this day.. my wedding day for 7 months since the engagement.. but I have anticipated it for my whole life. I hope that I have as much excitement and hope about other events to come as I continute to wait and exist in this "space in between",

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