I’m happy to be bringing to you the second guest blog post here at 52 Beautiful Things. Ms. Stoecker and I quickly bonded as our awkward sixth grade selves found each other in a bible study. We have been friends, working and growing into who we are meant to be, ever since.
Author: Jenny Stoecker
Twitter: @JennyStoecker Blog: www.JennyStoecker.com
I have never met a chick flick I didn’t like. It should embarrass me to admit that anything from Hallmark to Lifetime to a downright classic makes my heart happy…but I love them so much it doesn’t matter. My top three favorites are You’ve Got Mail, Sleepless in Seattle, and While You Were Sleeping. If you haven’t seen them before, go do so now. I’ll wait…
I’ve learned a lot about love from these movies: that you can find it in an “Over Thirty” chat room, on the top of the Empire State Building, or while pretending to be engaged to someone in a coma. (So far none of these scenarios have panned out well for me, but I’ll keep you posted.) The more realistic aspect of these movies I’ve carried with me has to do with change.
In While You Were Sleeping, the supposed love of Sandra Bullock’s life goes into a coma. How does she handle this earth-shattering change? By creating her own idealistic (um…unrealistic) fairytale scenario. In Sleepless in Seattle, Tom Hank’s wife dies and he moves across the country, combating one life change with another. In You’ve Got Mail, Meg Ryan is forced to close her store and handles it with resentment and a lot of tears.
When facing change in the past, I’ve stood with Meg and shared her sentiments, “People are always telling you that change is a good thing. But all they’re really saying is that something you didn’t want to happen at all has happened.”
I met upcoming life changes with worry about the future while grasping so tightly to the present that I forgot to really enjoy either one.
Growing up, I was never the kid who wanted to be adult. The never-grow-up mentality was still with me four years ago when I was forced to graduate college. I was thrown into a world I wasn’t ready for—one where I was lonely, under qualified, and ready to quit. Yet looking back, it was in that season of difficult change that I learned patience, independence, and to trust the Lord in a deeper way then ever before.
While Meg was right that I hadn’t wanted the change to happen, it turned out to be the bearer of so much beauty in my world. It was with this realization that my heart slowly (I mean really slowly) began to long for the new growth that only change can bring.
This mindset gave me the freedom to dream without holding back and I started to ask myself, “What would I dive into if I wasn’t afraid of change?”
For me the answer was graduate school. So in less then two months, I’ll be moving to Scotland to pursue a masters. I’ve never been to Scotland (although I hope it’s filled with kilts, bagpipes, and Harry Potter) and I don’t know anyone who lives there. In the past this would have gone one of two ways: I would have been so excited to go that I neglected the present, or so freaked out to go that I clung too tightly to what was already the past.
Instead, without the fear of change, God has given me the ability to soak in every bit of goodness in my life here in the States, while still being healthily excited about what He has for me next. Change is forcing me to recognize the gifts I currently have, and the hopes I so long to see come to fruition.
Like Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks ending up together at the end of every rom-com (that’s romantic comedy for any males that have actually made it to the end of this post), change is inevitable. I have come to agree with those Meg criticizes—change is a good thing, because it has become the catalyst that causes me to see beauty in my every day. How do you view change?
Jenny makes her home in her favorite state of Colorado. She loves Jesus, pancakes, traveling, photography, sarcasm, making lists and people. She’s passionate about the work she does, serving people in poverty with VisionTrust International. You can follow her on Instagram and Twitter @JennyStoecker. Don’t forget to check out her blog www.jennystoecker.com.