(The text below was written while in Germany last year, and I was 6 months pregnant. Am reposting it now, because those warm, fuzzy thoughts haven’t changed… )
I’ll never forget the day this picture was taken. There are moments in life when such drastic changes happen, you almost wish you could freeze-frame the seconds just before it happened—when life was “as you knew it”, before something came to change everything.
For me, that was this moment: on that day, I stood by the seashore, watching the waves lap up in little ripples at my toes, then wash back out, only to return with greater force, the wind blowing around me, blocking out the sights and sounds of anything else on the beach.
That day was the fine line between my past and my present. It is the moment I can look back on and say, “Before this, everything was different. After this, nothing was ever the same again.”
Change came to me in a bigger way than I had anticipated. And it strikes me as significant, because when the photo was shot, I had looked out onto the endless horizon of ocean, and in my heart, I told the Lord that I was completely content; completely at peace. I had come to a stage in life where things had fallen into place so perfectly for me. I had a wonderful family, friends, career, and single life. I couldn’t have asked for more. I told the Lord, in that moment, that I was grateful for everything He had brought my way—the good, the bad, the love, the pain…everything. I was content just to be. I had found myself, after years of trying this and that, of travelling here and there, of journeying, experiencing and learning. And I loved my life as it was just then.
A crew member from my documentary production company shot the photo from behind before we moved on with our work for the day.
And then, that night, I met the man who eventually became my husband.
Today, I sit on the opposite side of the planet recalling all the changes that have happened since. I have left many things in my past, and moved on to embrace the present. I have gotten married, am expecting my first child, am living on the other side of the world, and am still learning that life is full of lessons I haven’t tapped yet.
At first, it was unsettling: admitting to myself that because of particular changes, I would be forced to think more seriously about my future, to plan for years in advance; to start my own family; to “settle down”. It seemed I didn’t know the meaning of that. While many of my girlfriends had, years ahead of me, done the whole “motherhood” thing and were well on their way with 3-5 kids in tow, I was the one who wasn’t rushed about getting hitched, who took relationships as they came—and left—and I was content to know that everything had a time and season; that my time for all that would happen at its own pace.
But when the fateful day arrived, I found myself contemplating the changes, wondering if I could handle it, if I could accept that my life was still busy, just in a different way: one that involved laundry, cooking and keeping house, rather than rushing to catch plane flights and hurrying deadlines at the office.
It was like a mental block in my head, the need to embrace this change, the need to tell myself, “It’s okay, I can settle down for a change”.
Perhaps it’s something that happens to everyone who becomes a parent. You remember the life you lived and compare it to the one that you are now living, and you wonder if you have any regrets, or would do things differently, if you would rewind that moment and make different decisions.
The truth is, in embracing the changes that are now part of my life, I find new happiness, fuller contentment. In accepting that, at 28 years of age, I have lived much and loved much and now it’s time to live even more, I can be at peace knowing that changes are healthy; changes are needed.
I find myself learning more from others, too: seeking out other mothers’ advice, listening to the experiences that have taught them what I now need to know, and wanting to learn with a new eagerness and openness of heart.
When, in three months time, I hold my first son in my arms, perhaps that will be another moment to capture; one that I will remember forever. I’ll remember the old me and know that I could never go back to being single and independent.
In being given the capacity to love and someone to love, I am learning the biggest lesson in life. The waves are sweeping back in with stronger tides this season, and with God’s help, I am finally, fully embracing Change.