Wednesday, 5 December 2007

Change

It may come as a surprise to some people, but I am terrified of change. It’s been one of the most important deciding factors in a lot of the way I have lived my life in the last few years. It’s the reason I stayed at County High to do A-Levels, and why I didn’t go to Uni. It’s a major reason why I took the subjects I took at A-Level – because I was familiar with the routine, with the teachers. I don’t get on too well with new teachers at first. I normally don't get on well with new anybody at first! I would say that I’m a bit of a perfectionist at heart. (I was watching a little kid colour a picture in yesterday, and it actually really got to me that they weren’t colouring within the lines...) I like things to be even, neat, simple, straight-forward. But of course, the world doesn’t work like that.

Things are constantly changing, rearranging, coming up, being cancelled, being rescheduled. Change for me means a lot of things, not many of them good. Change means new people who may reject me, people who might misunderstand me, people who might not like who I am, and people that could steal my friends away from me. Situations that I might not be able to handle, situations when I have to explain myself and situations when I have to talk about myself with people I don’t know. Questions I have to answer, questions about my family, about my background, about my lifestyle, and worst of all, about me. I’m not good at talking about me. I get embarrassed. I get nervous. I look at the floor. I look at the walls. I look for an escape, (but rarely get one.) I can listen for hours to someone talking about themselves. I can be interested in what they have to say. But I very rarely enjoy talking about me.

Giving my testimony at September training week was one of the hardest, most challenging experiences of this year so far. And yet, ever since that day, I realise now that something must have changed in me. My first week in Southend was awful. I cried myself to sleep every night, and I just wanted to go home and go back to my nice bed and familiar room just up the road from the church I had been attending since I was 4. Throughout that week, I met so many new people, all expecting something from me. And I was so completely terrified that I was going to fail them. I had no confidence in myself, no confidence in my abilities, and no confidence in God. When Training Week came, with all of its own challenges and tasks that I had to find the energy and the perseverance to endure, I was almost ready to give up. But I survived. And now I can look back at all the things I have achieved in the last three months. And yeah, most of them are really small and insignificant to the average person, but to me, there are some mammoth achievements in there.

I have made SO many new friends, had an (good?) influence on many young people’s lives. Shared parts of my life with people, some more than others, and shared in their lives too. I have risen to some challenges, and shied away from others; led bible studies, and helped others to lead; taken charge in some situations, and stepped back in others. And through all of that, I’ve learned some very important lessons. Life is full of its ups and downs. We never know what is around the corner. The world is constantly changing, constantly rearranging. But there is one thing that will never change. Something I can trust to always be there, always hold me, and always comfort me, is God’s never-ending, ever-changing, ineffable and incomparable Love.

I am still cautious about change. But now I know that change is necessary for growth. Change is needed to make people appreciate the status-quo. Change is required to make life that extra bit exciting. Change means realising what you’re missing out on, and working to make the world that tiny bit better. One word can mean the difference between happiness and total destruction. One song can change a million hearts. One life, can save the world.
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