Monday, March 17, 2008

The inevitability of change - The BIG REVEAL POST

The last time I was home, I had a chance to snap a few photos while driving down I-85. In case you don't know, my sleepy little home town of West Point, Georgia, is the new home of Kia Motors. West Point is tiny y'all. According to the 2000 Census, we had a population of 3,382. Estimated population in July 2006: 3,352 (-0.9% change). I mean, it's seriously small. This is the first U.S. plant for Kia, and to say that I'm still in shock that my little town is the new home is a gross understatement.

Everytime I go home, I am amazed at the changes that are taking place. In the picture, you can see the facilities' bones. Ironically enough (and my reason for choosing this picture), you can see the construction for the new interstate exit in the side mirror. (I am understandably amazed at my photography skillZ.) This facility, scheduled to open in 2009, is slated to hire more than 2,000 direct laborers, as well as others involved in manufacturing. This number also doesn't include any distributors who are going to open facilities in the area, and hire additional workers. They've cleared over 3200 acres in preparation for this site, too.

What you don't see, is the change that is taking place in preparation for Kia. Signs for local businesses are being changed to read in both English and Korean. Communities are popping up all over West Point and the Valley area to provide housing for the workforce that is coming through. The change... is inevitable.

And everytime I go home, my thoughts go deeper into how this mirrors my own life, personally, literally, and spiritually. The change that I have been struggling with in my social circles, in my devotions, and in my thoughts is no coincidental parallel to my little town, or to what God states clearly in His Word. I find myself wondering what Moses thought about the changes that occurred in his 120 years. I cannot begin to imagine what Methusulah saw in his nearly thousand years on earth. And to think that Kia's changes have only been fourteen months!

There is change in my family, change in my job, change in my thoughts and emotions. Change has permeated me in ways I had almost forgotten, you know? We get stuck in a routine, a rut if you will, and just when we get comfortable, the walls shake, they crumble, and reveal change.

Change for some brings fear and anxiety. I wish I could be one of those people who always welcomes change with arms wide open, but I'm not. I try, Oh how I try! In spite of my apprehension to change, I find constant comfort in knowing that, change is like new mercy. It reveals a new opportunity for God to pour out grace in my life. Grace in the lives of my friends. Grace in the lives of my family. Grace, Grace, and more Grace.

I feel like I talk about Grace too much. If you think I do, then obviously you need another dose from God. :) I also take hope in knowing that God's presence is always there in the midst of my change. I realize that He never leaves me, but sometimes I worry that I walk away too far from him. Thankfully, I know that in those moments, He is the closest beside me.

I know that the future brings so much more change. A husband. CAN I GET AN AMEN??? 'CAUSE I KNOW THAT THE FUTURE HAS MY HUSBAND. AND HE IS COMING QUICKLY. Along with that, Praise the Lord, is a change in the dynamics of my friendships, both personally and professionally. I will hopefully change locations. I will definitely change my hair. My body and mind will continue to change. Hopefully for the skinnier and wiser.

Even with all the change, I have hope. I have reminders all around me to keep inspiring hope. Case in point, I have a prayer on my desk and in my bathroom that is an adaptation of Philippians 4:6-7. It reads like this:

Jennifer Leigh,

My dear daughter, do not be anxious about anything. All things are in my control. Talk to Me about your concerns. Do not look at the things that others have or what I have given them. Do not look at the things you want. Instead, look to Me. As you set your heart and your desires upon Me, I will give you peace. I will satisfy your longings. In Me you will find what you have been seeking.

- from the only One who can love you like you need to be loved,
God (from the pages of My book, Phil 4:6-7)


Holly said...

Every time we go to see my Mom and Dad out at Southern Harbor I am amazed at what the KIA plant is looking like. You mentioned how the prep work is going on to integrate the Korean language etc into small town West you remember when NOK moved to LaGrange? I do...I clearly remember being in K at LaGrange Academy and all the little kids coming to join our class. It was a big change for LaGrange in those days.

Bitsy said...

I agree with the "Change" prospective ~ however, as long as your info regarding the growth of job opportunities in West Point and your talk of a move are not related ~ we are good!!!!!
love ya, bitsy

Jenn said...

trust me... not that kind of move :)

Jan said...

What a thoughful post. I can so relate to your feelings on change.