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A season of change

POSTED June 29, 2010 11:26 p.m.

Everything changes.

This may seem like a simple thing to understand, but when change affects your life it is anything but simple.

There are many kinds of change that people go through in their lives. From the very beginning, change is a constant. Anyone who has had a newborn baby can attest to the fact that a two day old baby looks and acts much different than the same infant at two hours old.

Despite the inevitability of change, we, as a species, continue to rage against it. It may have to do something with the unavoidable conclusion that every change brings us closer to our death. But let’s allow Russian authors and morticians to dwell on death; we will stick to life.

The hardest changes in life usually involve people leaving. Whether it be a family member, a friend or a colleague, saying goodbye is never easy. Thousands of parents right now are counting down the remaining days of summer until their darling babies leave the safety of home and go away to college for the first time.

Those same college-bound kids are dealing with the loss of the teachers, coaches and friends that have been a big part of their lives over the past four years.

A group of Turlockers — including myself — are also dealing with change right now. We are saying goodbye to our pastor. David Thompson and his wife, Pat, have been shepherding the congregation at the First United Methodist Church for the past 10 years. He retired on Sunday.

The loss of a pastor is new to me. While FUMC Turlock is not the only church I’ve attended in my life, it’s the only place where I truly felt like a member of the family of God. Pastor Dave has been a father, uncle, teacher, friend and confidante to me over the past decade.

The only way I can say good-bye without falling apart is hope and faith. I am hopeful about the future and the relationship I will have with our new pastor and I have faith that no matter what the future holds, God will be there.

Now, saying that I have hope and faith is one thing — living it is another.

Even when the change happening is a totally positive experience — such as a promotion at work or a wedding —the unknown is a scary thing. It’s like we can’t truly believe that something good will really happen. All we can think about are the “what ifs.”

What if the new pastor hates Turlock? What if the new pastor starts every service with a two-hour long prayer in Latin?

We very rarely ask “What if the new thing changes my life in a very positive way?”

Friedrich Nietzsche had at least one thing right: What doesn't kill us makes us stronger.

With each change that we endure, we grow emotionally — and in this case — spiritually. It’s like going to the gym. The more we exercise our hope and faith, the stronger they will become.

For the next few months, I, along with my fellow Methodists will be doing some weight training.

My advice to all those dealing with life changes right now is to sit back, relax and enjoy the ride. As long as you have hope and faith along as passengers, you’ll be all right.

To contact Kristina Hacker, e-mail khacker@turlockjournal.com or call 634-9141 ext. 2004.

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