Yes, Bob Dylan, Times Really Are Changing

Yes, Bob Dylan, Times Really Are Changing

Finding a firm foundation in Jesus Christ.

Living as a daughter of the military taught me that nothing is permanent.

The places we live, the people surrounding us, and the jobs we have will always change. We are always on the move. Like leaves in the fall, we change. We’re nomads.

I generally like change. I like new semesters with harder curriculum and smaller classes. I like new cities and the new habits that form when I experience them. Change is good but change is also frustrating. What about the changes that come after you fall in love?

It’s difficult when you fall in love with the place you live and the job you have, and when the people around you are the greatest you’ve met. Where I live now, the sun shines outside my window every day, if only for an hour or two. The train passes by every other morning. The echo of the tracks wakes the birds, then they wake me. I love that. But I didn’t love this squat, little duplex at first. I didn’t want to be here at all in the beginning.

But change happened. And change happened fast, faster than I could handle, but that’s the thing, circumstances change faster than our minds. It’s hard to keep up with it all but Bob Dylan had a point when he said: “you better start swimmin' or you'll sink like a stone, for the times they are a-changin’”

We can’t control anything in this world, we can’t stop it from changing. Even our minds change, so it’s difficult to even trust yourself. That’s a little discomforting but Hebrews 13:8 says, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” God doesn’t change like the world does.

Isaiah 28:16 says “Therefore, this is what the Sovereign Lord says: ‘Look! I am placing a foundation stone in Jerusalem, a firm and tested stone. It is a precious cornerstone that is safe to build on. Whoever believes need never be shaken.’” God is the cornerstone. He is the only sure thing in this world. Our faith in Him never needs to waiver because he is the same today as he was yesterday, a thousand years ago, and who he will be tomorrow.

I like change. Even when the change is difficult to get through like when I need to move homes, change my major, or say goodbye to people. I trust that God will be with me through the change. He will never change, He won’t leave, He is the cornerstone of my life. I only need to trust in Him. One of my favorite verses is Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.”

Change happens. It’s inevitable. But God doesn’t change. That’s His promise. Place your faith in Him because He is the most secure foundation for our lives.

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10 Things I Learned From Growing Up In A Town Smaller Than A College Campus

A town straight out of a country song.


With a population of just over 1,000, my hometown has given me so much in my 19 years of life. It's taught me things I would've never learned anywhere else (whether that be good or bad).

1. You know everyone and everyone knows you

This is so true, especially if you're a part of a big family. You're not only somehow related to everyone, but everyone knows which family you belong to. I can't go anywhere in town without at least one person recognizing me (which isn't a bad thing). If you were in the newspaper, there's a slight chance that multiple people will tell you as soon as they see you.

2. High school sports (especially football) are no joke 

As someone who cheered for four years, there's truly nothing like home football games. The sound of the crowd roaring behind you, the tunnel at the beginning of the games, and the sunsets gleaming onto the field. My senior year the football team almost went to state for the first time in 22 years. It was a HUGE deal for the community. The football players were like local celebrities and it was such an exciting time for everyone. There truly isn't anything better the spirit that surrounds small-town sports.

3. High school homecoming is a big deal for everyone

Unlike larger schools, basketball and football homecomings in my small town were like one big reunion for everyone. We have an elaborate theme for each homecoming and the Stu-co spent all day decorating it. The gym and sidelines were usually packed with people coming home to see old friends, to find out which candidate gets crowned queen, and to cheer on the athletes.

4. You live about an hour from just about everything

When I tell my college friends that I live an hour from the nearest Target, they think I'm joking. I'm being completely serious. If you needed some new clothes and shoes for school you had to make a whole day out of it. You also tried to schedule all of your doctors' appointments around the same time so you didn't have to make so many trips. An idea of a family outing meant going to a nice restaurant in "the big city" and seeing the newest movie. Something fun to do with my friends meant driving 30 minutes to get coffee, Sonic, or even just fooling around in Walmart. If we were really desperate, we even cruised the backroads listening to our favorite music.

5. You have so much respect for farmers and agriculture

I come from a family of farmers and my good friends in high school were daughters of cattle and dairy farmers. The farmers in my town are some of the kindest, smartest and most hardworking people I will probably ever meet. Seeing agriculture work in and out of my town has caused me to have so much respect for farmers and the industry. I've been caught behind a tractor and learned the hard way to not stop close to a stop-sign if a semi is turning my way. Yet I truly wouldn't have wanted it any other way.

6. High school relationships can get a little tricky

Dating in a high school of 100-something people was pretty hard. They were either related to you, taken, or like a brother to you. If you did find someone to talk to, there's a 90% chance that they've also talked to one of your friends. Most of the drama in my high school was an effect of someone dating someone else's ex.

7. You know everyone you graduated with

You don't just know them, you really know them. You know their full names, what their families do for a living, and who showed up at their kids' sporting events and who didn't. When you graduate with only 30-something other kids, it's hard not to know everyone on a super personal level.

8. When times get tough, people are always there for you

When a family of the community suddenly lost a loved one, the community immediately wrapped their arms around them and comforted them. Whether it was bringing meals to the grieving family, selling memorial T-shirts and bracelets, housing benefit dinners, or just being there for the family. If you were going through something heavy, someone always had your back.

9. You feel so loved coming home from college

I remember sitting in a lecture hall half the size of my hometown on the first day of classes and feeling overwhelmed. I thought, "How is anybody supposed to make friends at a college of 35,000 people?"

The first night home from college, I was welcomed home with open arms by everyone. I was reunited with former teachers, coaches, classmates, old friends and adults of the community. As much as I love college, it was so nice coming home to a place where everyone knows me.

10.  You couldn't of asked for a better upbringing

As much as I was ready to move to a bigger place after high school, growing up in a small town was the best thing I could ask for. It gave me a sense of community, support, and love that I wouldn't have been able to get elsewhere. My town sent me to college with enough support and encouragement to last a lifetime.

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No One Has To Accept Your Apologies, But You Need To Learn To Forgive Yourself

I've learned how to not be insincere.


I don't do well knowing that I hurt someone. I'm used to being the person who's hurt by others. So on the occasion when I learn I've hurt someone, not only do I apologize a lot, but I make a grand effort in apologizing to try to convey how sorry I truly am.

I haven't been told this in retrospect by those I've hurt, so I don't know how they've actually taken my way of apologizing, but others who know those that apologize like me, say we are manipulators and gaslighters. It looks like we're over apologizing and acting emotionally in order to coerce quick forgiveness from the person or people we hurt.

Then I heard a second negative view of how we apologize. If we dwell on a mistake and apologize over and over for it, it holds the trauma of the mistake with the other person and makes it more about our feelings instead of just apologizing and moving on.

Now, obviously, no one wants to think of themselves as a manipulator, gaslighter, and insincere. However, I wonder are other people's perceptions of how and why you apologize true, or is how you feel about how and why you apologized the truth? Isn't the receiver of an apology supposed to be the only and true judge of what they feel about how and why someone apologizes to them?

As much as it hurts me to say this, if the one I apologize to feels I'm a manipulator and gaslighter and insincere, that's their right. I have to accept that that's what I am. There's an interesting thread I came across on Twitter that talks about how no one HAS to forgive you.

There's this societal push to just forgive those that hurt you so that you're not carrying bitterness in your heart. But no one should be forced to forgive someone who hurt or harmed them just because it will presumably make them a bigger and better and more woke person. No one is owed forgiveness when they do something wrong, even if they feel they are. Because it's like I said, the only opinion on an apology that matters is the person you hurt.

I know people want to say that other people's opinions of you shouldn't matter, but I totally don't believe that. Because if everyone believes you're something based on your actions, then would you be silly to not believe you were that? The saying is, if it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it's a duck. Not, if it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it's a horse. It doesn't work that way.

So how does one come to terms with this? My first thought was to try to reinvent myself. Change my actions and ideologies to be a better person. But hell, that's insincere too. It's aggravating to see those that have hurt me suddenly start acting a different way to try and prove that they're not who I knew them as. My first thought is who do they think they're fooling?

In the end, there may be nothing one can do once a damage has been done to another person. The bed was made and now it's time to lay in it.

I felt like there was no in between over apologizing as I'm used to and just apologizing once and moving on. Over-apologizing is gaslighting, and just moving on from a conflict is insincere. Where does the true learning from a mistake come from then — especially if the person you hurt never forgives you? Does one just sit with they've done forever then? Talk about being a living corpse!

What can be done is to try and forgive yourself. This is a new concept that randomly came to me after I had been living with guilt over how I hurt someone for two years. And I still feel selfish for doing this. But I feel more confident going forward telling anyone new my mistakes and being honest about why I did what I did so they can make an informed decision about me.

I wouldn't have been able to verbalize anything about my mistakes in the past. Over-apologizing is manipulative and insincere. It's trying to make myself and the person I hurt feel better for what happened. Apologizing and just moving on is cold. It's like pretending it never happened. Forgiving myself for what I've done helped me understand everything and all emotions around the situation and why it came about. It actually helped me learn from it.

This isn't something that comes about automatically. You have to sit in the feelings of not being forgiven and see yourself villanized through who you hurt for a LONG time. Know you caused that pain. As you see this over and over again, you'll start digging deeper into exactly why you caused that pain.

It can feel synonymous to justifying your actions. That's a no-no. Just accept that this is who you are when a situation like this arises in your life. Learn and understand why. Lots of therapy will help you understand. Then, train yourself to tell anyone new that you want to be close to what you did so they can decide if they want to keep knowing you. Dealing with seemingly endless amounts of rejection because of your transparency.

Because you may come across someone who wants to be in your life despite the mistakes you made. That is what makes forgiving yourself worth it.

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