How Harry Potter and MC Escher are Helping me Cope with Change

I’m a bit bi-polar when it comes to coping with change. Changing my hair style, trying new restaurants, taking on new projects, learning something new to break up monotony, wearing different nail polish colors, I love that kind of change. It keeps life interesting for me.

But when it comes to shifts in the foundations of my life which I’ve  worked towards and embraced, I do not adapt well. Most often because those changes are forced on me, not something I’ve painstakingly concluded are the best fit for me.

Currently that looks like changes at church, friends moving away, multiple people getting married and having babies, a roommate leaving, social life, and possbily returning to school and changing roles in ministry. Everything is in the air and the feeling is crippling.

This weekend the pastor at One Church Int’l prophesied about it being a season of shaking so that the unshakeable will remain; a time that foundations are shifting and God is setting us on new foundations that feel fluid and awkward, but it’s because God is growing us and we just have to trust him. He said that it’s not a time to feel depression due to lack of clarity. That one hit me hard because it spoke to exactly what I was feeling days before.

I mentally referred back to a few weeks ago when I was praying about some of the upcoming changes (before it even felt so intense) and a picture came to mind from the movie Harry Potter. In their massive school, the staircases will occasionally shift around – even while people are walking on them – so that their direction changes and they have to find a different route. They still do their job as staircases and get people from one point to the next, but in the shift people can end up in different places than they planned on.

I realized that’s what was happening in my church (and the more I thought about it, my whole life). The original path (the staircases) that  worked so well and made sense are now repositioning. The in-between is scary and we have no idea where we’ll land. But my sense in praying was that wherever the “staircases” land would be the best possible place for them to be in that time. It would look different, yes, but not in a bad way. Just different..maybe even better for that season.

Trust was built in that moment of prayer, choosing to believe that God knows where the “staircases” will land, and that the end result will be good.

Saturday I was at a Red Robin in San Diego and looked up on a wall covered with photos and art, and noticed an M.C. Escher drawing. Escher’s work was one of my favorite things to learn about in high school math, the way the art defies rationale and shows so many perspectives that don’t seem to make sense, yet do.

It, too, was a picture of staircases. In looking at it, it doesn’t make sense that the people can all be walking is such different directions in the same room/house and  not be falling over. But they’re all right side up and it somehow works…even though it doesn’t really make sense.

When I noticed the art in the midst of a group of people in that moment of eating fries, I felt God speak to me again. Change doesn’t always make sense, and it can be a bit scary. Yet somehow, it all ends up working just the way it’s supposed to. Even when you feel upside down, you can be right-side up.

All it requires is believing that God knows how it’s going to work, so I don’t have to.

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