yesterday Matt Gates and i went to a conference where our friend Joy Eggerichs was speaking. she’s beautiful and funny and smart and overall awesome. part of her presentation was an Ask Joy time. college kids got to ask her whatever they wanted to know about relationship stuff. bless their hearts.
did i make a note of a couple of the questions for blog fodder? yes.
did i butt in and offer a bit of my ridiculous advice to young and impressionable minds? yes.
i’m pretty sure Joy and i are still friends though…
did i drive away thinking, “my lord, they look like babies and i’m old enough to be their super hot, still young looking mother.” sadly, yes.
but one girl asked a question i think is important and a lot of people worry about when it comes to relationships.
how do you deal with change? when each of us is changing over time, how do we stay connected?
great questions. smart girl.
here’s my answer, which will include some wisdom i stole from Joy.
1. stop thinking of change as a bad thing. – what if nothing ever changed? bohhh-ring…. you already know you are going to be a different person in five years. and if you’re anything like the rest of humanity, probably pretty grateful that’s the case. i know if i was still the same person i was in college, i’d probably have to kill myself for everyone’s benefit.
2. look forward to change. – think of it as an adventure. be excited about who you are going become individually and as a couple. the future you is your prize in the Cracker Jack box. only hopefully with more staying power than those rub-on tattoos.
3. have grace for change. – this one i stole from Joy. next i’m taking her shoes. she’s absolutely right. if you committed to walk through life with someone, then give some space, some grace and even some encouragement for her own changes and growth. if you’re going to change, you need to allow for that in your spouse, too. so there.
4. change does not mean distance. – as you both mature and experience more life and discover new things about yourselves, it doesn’t mean that you will grow apart or lose the one you loved in the beginning. in fact, it can be quite the opposite. when you are focused on maintaining a healthy relationship, the changes that come along will only serve to aid you in making that happen. why? because the things you will choose to feed into yourself will always be taking the other person’s well-being into account. boom!
now to blow all of that up. not really, but it will seem like it at first. suck it up, buttercup.
my husband always says, “people don’t change, they just become more like themselves.”
whaaaaaa? but you just said….
gather up all the pieces of your mind that was just blown and i will explain. over time we begin to choose those pieces of ourselves that are most important to us. the desire to feed those parts of ourselves is what determines what turns and paths we go down on our way to who we are.
go ahead and read that again. take it in.
this can take us to a good place where we’re decent people or to a bad place where toolbags live.
it is all determined by your personal motivations. if you are motivated to become someone who values others and understands that you must offer grace because you need grace, you will make someone an excellent, changeable, change-worthy, spouse. marry someone with the same motivation and you will change both individually and together into something worthy of envy.
if your motivation is self-serving, you could change into the guy who ends up blaming his wife for his affair because she gained a few pounds. probably after bearing your children, you worthless dong.
people don’t change, they just become more like themselves.
who are you going to be?