Beauty in Change
Posted October 5, 2021 by Sarah Green
Categories: Featured, Sarah, Sister Post
I was seven, close to eight years old when we departed New York. All I understood was change was taking place and we were moving somewhere far away. Although crammed in the back seat of our small car, elbowing and bickering with two of my sisters, my young mind still remembers being awestruck by the beauty and ever-changing scenery across the country. However, I would not yet be able to see the blessing nor understand the beauty in this life-altering move.
The drive from New York to Wyoming took three days in our small red car without air conditioning, squeezed tight with elbows touching. My mom endlessly endured squabbles from the back seat about who was annoying who. Two of my sisters flew since there wasn’t enough room for us all. There was barely enough room for the five who journeyed by car! I don’t know how my mom did it, but we managed to make it across the country to the west.
One can feel naked in the vast, wide-open spaces of the west, even a little dazed and confused. I think my seven-year-old mind felt confused by the drastic scenic change. We journeyed from highways surrounded by endless trees and populated cities to the wide-open spaces, wildly clear blue skies, breathable fresh air, and a quiet country town. A town where it seemed everyone was a native of Wyoming, and all eyes were on this curious woman with a heavy New York accent and six girls. In my young world, this new place felt awkward, scary, and a bit unwelcoming. Would we fit into this new, unfamiliar, cowboy town?
It was impossible for all of us to see the unexpected blessing that would come with this change. It wasn’t immediate. It took years of growing up in the open spaces of Wyoming before this rough terrain would capture my heart. It would take years for me to feel I belonged. The blessing of change might be immediate for some, yet not for others. It was not immediate for me.
“The grass is greener on the other side of the fence.” I lived much of my teenage and young adult life succumbing to the lie that life would be better anywhere else and I was missing out on my purpose. My purpose certainly could not be found in the barren state of Wyoming.
As always, God, in His beautiful, gentle way opened my eyes. Slowly, my vision became clear. Slowly, I began to see beauty. Slowly, I learned to embrace what was right in front of me. Wyoming did not initially woo me into loving it but challenged me to allow God to open my eyes to beauty wherever I am. I now see and appreciate the wide-open plains, clear blue skies, and clean fresh air. I now understand the beauty that unfolded with this change in my life.
The turning point for me was in my 20s when I started to keep a gratitude journal and sought God through running.
Gratitude has truly opened my eyes. Still, twenty years later, I carry my journal with me wherever I go, crafting word after word in order to recognize what God has placed right in front of me. Melody Beattie, quoted in Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach says:
“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.”
This is how change and confusion turned to blessing in my life. This is why I love Wyoming. This is why Wyoming is still my home.
Friend, how do you feel about life changes? I hope you know that even when the adjustment to change feels hard and enduring, even when the blessings aren’t immediate, there is beauty on the other side of change.