Change is sometimes for the greater good

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Every so often my husband gets a certain look in his eye and then says, “Before you say no, hear me out.”

What comes next almost always involves a stepladder, can of spackle, his drill and a huge mess.

I remember the time he tore the spare bedroom apart and temporarily stored a bed in the front bathroom. For days I muttered, “There’s a bed in my bathroom!”

Last week the project involved taking down the florescent lights and ceiling fan in the kitchen, installing track lighting and then painting part of the kitchen “Dust Bunny” taupe.

I must admit the changes he makes are good ones, but I don’t do change well.

It’s said that the only ones who like change are babies in wet diapers — and even they cry during the changing process.

On top of the changes going on at home, everything’s changing at work with a total reorganization of the newsroom. Many of us are doing things we’ve never done before.

A few weeks ago when my editor approached me about how my job as a reporter would be changing, I remember telling my face not to show the terror I was feeling. So, squinching my eyes as if in great pain and inner turmoil I eeked out a tentative, “Ooooookaaay?”

So much for not showing terror.

I don’t do change well.

As I write this, today is my first official day of my new beat, which means getting used to a new schedule, trying to figure out when and where to eat lunch and how a strange computer in a different office works — and where to park so I won’t get a ticket.

My new beat involves attending occasional government meetings and actually paying attention to budget discussions and writing about people wanting the city to fix their roads.

Not only that, but I’ve been given a camera to take pictures — and videos. So, not only am I changing my schedule and routine and basically the way I’ve done my job for nearly 20 years, but I’m adding new skills — and at my age I had thought I had all the skills I could handle.

I’m having to change the way I think, and I don’t want to change the way I think. I don’t do change well at all.

I’m not alone either. There’s an “I Hate Change” Facebook page where people can post their thoughts. One person wrote, “Change BLOWS!” Another wrote, “I hate change so much I’m gonna ‘unlike’ this page.”

I hear you. Change blows and I don’t do change well.

Except, I need change. I need change forced on me. Not change for change sake, but to be different. To be better.

How does that saying go? God loves you just as you are but he loves you too much to let you stay that way.

Some people say that God never intrudes on a person, that he never forces a person, that he waits to be asked to enter a person’s life and waits for permission to begin dismantling and renovating.

I disagree. In the 30-plus years I’ve walked with God he’s never once said, “Before you say no, hear me out.” Instead, he’s poked and prodded and taken things from me. He’s grabbed me by the scruff of the neck to keep me from the sin I want to dive into head first and he has pushed me into holiness.

He’s made me wait. He’s forced me to change.
Because he loves me.

And for that, I am grateful.

There’s a story in the Bible about Jacob wrestling all night with God. At daybreak, God let him go, but not before he touched Jacob’s hip socket and wrenched it. Afterwards, Jacob probably walked with a limp for quite a while, to remind him that you don’t mess with God (Genesis 32:22-31).

But God’s intention wasn’t to hurt Jacob. Rather, he wanted to take this man who was known as a conniver and change him into the man who would be the father of the 12 tribes of Israel, who would continue the lineage that included King Solomon, King David and eventually Jesus. That wouldn’t have happened if God hadn’t forced the change.

So, too, I need change. I don’t like it and tend to fight it all the way, but I need it. And although I sometimes don’t handle it well, I am better for it.

Nancy Kennedy is the author of “Move Over, Victoria - I Know the Real Secret,” “Girl on a Swing,” and her latest book, “Lipstick Grace.” She can be reached at (352) 564-2927, Monday through Thursday, or via email at nkennedy@chronicleonline.com.