by Suzy Lowry Geno
In my past, I never liked change of any kind.
My mama used to tell how, when I was a little girl, I cried for a week whenever my daddy traded cars!
When I was about 8, I thought my world fell apart when my folks built a new house in town and moved me THREE WHOLE MILES from my country home and my beloved Grandpa Lowry.
Then in the spring of my eighth-grade year of high school, I can remember stomping my foot and telling my daddy he’d ruined my life! Why? Because he had built another new house out on our land in the country and we were moving back again!
Nope, it seems I never, ever liked change.
I read the same comforting books over and over. I have copies of the old Countryside magazines beginning in the 1980s and the original Mother Earth News magazines from the 70s where I can almost quote the articles verbatim, but I still reread them over and over.
I find a button-front, three-quarter-length-sleeve blouse I like and order them in every color they have, but then wind up wearing the same brown or blue one over and over, and ALWAYS with simple blue jeans.
And shoes ... just look at my feet on any given day; you will probably see the exact same kind of sneakers or boots that I wore 10, 15 and even 25 years ago.
Even though my hair is now gray (I describe it to folks as road-kill-possum-gray!), I still wear my hair exactly as I did all through high school: parted in the middle with bangs. Folks who haven’t seen me in 50 years just KNOW it’s me from my hair.
And as for my career: when I left high school, my goal was to have babies, make music and to write. My babies have all had babies, many of whom have babies of their own by now, but I’m still making music and still writing.
Nope, I seemed to have never liked change of any type.
So at this stage of my life, I planned on living out my days on this farm with all my animals as a semihermit.
Animals don’t talk back. They don’t gossip. And they give unconditional love!
But these last few months have rocked my world!
Sherry Surratt wrote in an article in Christianity Today of how she too hates change (but felt called to leave a job she loved to go into a full-time ministry with her husband), describing change in her life as almost like the constant itchiness of wearing SANDPAPER UNDERWEAR!
Readers, YOU KNOW how the story of Peter has helped me through the last few months. Even Sherry noted, "In the itchy moments, I think about the God who made me and loves me more than anyone else, standing in the middle of a stormy sea reaching out His hand to Peter as he tried to walk on the water by himself. In change, God’s hand is reaching out to me, as well."
Like Sherry, I’m kind of heading into uncharted waters – at least for me any way.
Since last June, I left my beloved church, for not only another congregation, but a different type of congregation (I don’t like to use the word "denomination").
I’ve said many times I learned more and grew more in my Christian walk in my former church than I did in many years as a religion major in two of the most prominent religious universities in the world.
The late Brother Luther Dorr, a great man of God who taught at the New Orleans Baptist Seminary, sat under the apple tree in my barnyard and taught me many truths. After my husband died and several churches tried to get me to come as pianist or other positions, Dorr counseled me that it might be the time in my life for me to be ministered to instead of me always ministering to others. The twilight of my life might be just a time to write and share in that way.
Dorr also told me when and if a time or call for service came directly from God I would KNOW it.
And sure enough, he was right. I only wish he was still alive so I could tell him all that has happened in these last few months!
I will be serving with the man I love, the man who will likely be my husband in the month you are reading this.
I will still be writing, we will still have this little homestead and we will still have my little general store, but … there have been too many changes to list here!
While I will still be supporting the local Blount County Farmers Co-op with a great deal of my money each month, even that is changing. Where I once had 450-500 laying hens, then down to 180, now I’m down to about 75.
The focus on my homestead is changing so that it can still be producing and worthwhile, but will be a little less time-consuming and there is not more money pouring out than coming in.
At our ages, the wise use of our time is important – just as is the wise use of our finances.
My grown kids are amazed that the mama who was ALWAYS at home is now just as likely to be gone away whenever they call.
I’ve lost 50 pounds. Friend Ruthie says there is a new spring in my step.
But you’ll still often find me under that apple tree … or petting a bunny … or chasing a chicken. And I’ll still have on those faded jeans with my long, gray hair flopping in my face (with bangs that likely need trimming).
I’ll see y’all next month right here with my column about the joys of turkeys or log cabins or those wonderful plants from your local Co-op.
But I’ve had to CHANGE one important thing ... all CHANGE is not bad ... like Sherry said, "In change, God’s hand is reaching out to me as well."
Suzy Lowry Geno is a freelance writer living on a small homestead in Blount County. She can be reached through Facebook or her website at www.taitsgapstore.com