Everything Changes

I recently fell in love with the musical Waitress (having already been in love with Sara Bareilles for years). For me, music is like scripture, in that a song can mean something different to me every time I hear it. I was driving to work early one morning listening to the Waitress soundtrack on repeat–it’s what I do–and I reached the song “Everything Changes.” It comes near the end of the show and helps wrap up what is a surprisingly chaotic storyline.

[Spoiler alert!] Waitress is not a show that tries to teach too many moral lessons, and it even challenges a few big ones, but it does celebrate the fact that life is full of twists, turns, and surprises, and sometimes the worst things turn out to be the best. The protagonist Jenna, a small-town waitress, accidentally gets pregnant by her self-absorbed husband, and after a rough course through the show, emerges on the other side with the baby emerging from her. As a new mother she finds the courage to leave her husband to pursue a better life for her and her child.

Cut back to me in my car belting show tunes. This time through the song, the lyrics reached me in a new way:

My blurry lines, my messy life
Come into focus and in time, maybe
I can heal and I can breathe
‘Cause I can feel myself believe
Everything changes

Oh my heart’s at the wheel now
And all my mistakes
They make sense when I turn them around
Everything changes

What I thought was so permanent fades
In the blink of an eye, there’s a new life in front in my face
And I know in due time, every right thing will find its right place 

This song came back to me yesterday when I heard the news that the church’s 2015 policies for same-sex couples and their children had been reversed. I have been feeling something like what Jenna may have felt–grateful that in the chaos of life, my heart is finally at the wheel.

In 2015 when the policies were instituted, I was shocked and nauseated. They threw a wrench in the vision I had created for my life. They went against everything I thought I knew about where the church, and I, were headed. I see now that I was, in a sense, a child: “tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine.” I was relying on things that were neither true nor fixed. I was anchored to them. When they moved, I tumbled.

But things are so different now, and I’m so grateful for where I am. It is a very different place from where I was then. A new place of freedom, of understanding, and of stability. I may not be pregnant like Jenna (yet!), but a new life for me has started in other wonderful ways. Yes, I am glad that the policies have been reversed, but the truth is I left them behind long ago. I had no use of such policies here.

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