by Annette Bridges. © 2007. All rights reserved.
Many people who know my daughter have asked me how she is handling life as a military spouse. My daughter has long been a planner and has not always responded well to an idea that required her to change her plans suddenly.
Three years ago she married a young man six days before he began his Air Force career. And since that time, her life has been full of many changes. Some expected. And some not.
This past fall was our son-in-law’s first deployment overseas at which time our daughter came home to stay with us. It was difficult not to have him home during the holidays, but we waited till he came back in late January to celebrate Christmas. And it was well worth the wait!
I admit at first it was hard to consider changing our traditional time of celebrating the season, but we wanted to save most of our festivities for our son-in-law’s return.
I think for many people, change is sometimes feared — even something to be resisted. Perhaps some see change as an indication they have no control over their lives, so they do everything they can to avoid change and feel like its victim when they face it.
Yet anyone who reads much of Mary Baker Eddy’s writings probably gets a view of change as normal and sometimes necessary. She frequently uses such phrases as “change your course” . . . “a change demanded” . . . “change of heart” . . . “change the human concept of life . . .” And following change, comes the promise of growth, healing and progress. She makes change sound desirable and positive, and not a bad thing after all.
Recently, I asked my daughter how she has adjusted to military life — with its sometimes unexpected changes.
She said, “That was the hardest element for me, not being able to plan out the next few years of our lives. I think the uncertainty we face has caused me to become a more fluid person. I am better able to deal with change and have become more spontaneous.”
As her mom, it has been fun to witness this change in my daughter. She no longer sees change as some burdensome challenge she must face at times. I see in her a young woman who has embraced change as natural as life itself. And so she has grown into a poised officer’s wife while she also continues her own career goals.
Not long after our son-in-law returned to the states, we learned he could deploy again much sooner than initially planned. I asked them how they felt about this possible change to their schedule.
They said, “Deployments are hard and there is never a good time for your loved one to leave. We take it day by day, and just enjoy every moment we have together. In many ways we’re a stronger couple for it because we don’t waste time planning for things in the future. If we want to do something, no day is better than the present.”
They said that Eddy’s ideas on improving moments and making the most of the present have been powerful, healing ideas as they live their ever-changing life together.
I decided I needed to start examining my own heart to check for ways I may have become resistant to change. And the results have been rather surprising.
I’ve uncovered viewpoints that were stagnant and stubborn. I discovered some traditions and routines which were unreasonably rigid avoiding any inclination of change. I could see that I had become set in some old ways which were not conducive to growth. I wanted this to change — so, I’m working on being more spontaneous myself.
Turning to prayer for guidance and fresh inspiration is helping me be more open to the idea of infinite possibilities. I’m becoming more willing to explore and consider new ideas and opportunities. I’m calmer in situations that arise unexpectedly. And I’m happier.
Since change all too often leads to progress, I’ve concluded maybe all that’s needed is simply a change in how I view change.