April is a big month for my family, as three of us have April birthdays!
Tomorrow, April 9th, is my Dad’s birthday. Mine is the 26th, and my older brother’s is two days after mine. Plus Easter kind of sneaks in there, so for about a month birthday cake crumbs and Easter candy fills our stomachs!
Anyway, this post is partly a birthday shout out to my dear Daddy!
My Dad is kind of a traditionalist. I am not exaggerating when I say that EVERY YEAR he asks for a yellow cake with chocolate frosting.
And every year, we give it to him. And every year, he enjoys it just as much as last time – so it all works out 🙂
I’m kind of like my Dad in that sense. When I figure out what dish I like at a restaurant, I always order that dish again, unless I’m feeling adventurous and want to risk disappointment. Steel City Pops, a great new popsicle place in our area, has dozens of popsicle flavors – I’ve only tried 3 so far, and one special holiday flavor. Once I find something good, I stick to it.
I’m that way with relationships too. It takes me forever to risk really opening up to someone. If I do, and I don’t get burned, I practically sign a life commitment to the person! I can adapt to new instructions – new goals, new projects, new school assignments. I rarely adapt well to changes in relationships.
Still, as I’ve gotten older, more and more changes have occurred in the relationship arena. My friends, teachers, family members, and church friends are all changing – and people tell me it’s ok. It’s normal. It’s healthy. It’s the way it should be.
And I believe that.
But in my heart of hearts, I prefer stability. I like to know where I stand with a person. I need a foundation. I need permanence.
So, I’m learning to be patient with myself when I feel confused, hurt, and bewildered by the changes in relationships and in my regular environment. Because it’s just part of who I am. And I’m realizing it’s ok to love home and familiarity. It may not sound very exciting, or adventurous. But I’m realizing I can learn just as much about the world, and be just as amazed by really getting to know and gazing into a single person’s heart, as I can by traveling all over the world and seeing a bazillion incredible sights.
I am more than content to explore the unplumbed depths of my little home circle – because the more I get to know someone, the more I realize I have a lot to learn about them. Of course, relationships go through dry spots. But even these deserts reveal important characteristics of yourself and the other person.
My relationship with God isn’t much different.
The more I try to understand Him, the more questions I get. He is more complicated than the patterns of the stars, or cell mitosis, or computer software. His love is higher than the heavens, deeper than the ocean.
But one thing about my relationship with God is different from my relationships with everyone else. The difference is that God never changes. He is my Rock. So I don’t have to be angry or bitter when people in my life change. I have room for grace in my heart, because they don’t have to be my sole foundation – because God is my fortress and my salvation. Therefore, I’m free to simply love people, no matter how much they change.