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Changes Change Us - For Better Or Worse
By Alexandria Lukashonak

Have you ever been reading something while your mind was off somewhere else pondering something entirely different? I do this a lot, just recently while reading Peace Like a River by Leif Enger.

As I read Peace Like a River, I started wondering why miracles are rare these days-big miracles, that is, not the little everyday ones we take for granted. God must have thought I needed a shakeup because right there on the very page in front of me were these words, "People fear miracles because they fear being changed." Since miracles contradict the order of things, they change us in one way or another, and we all know how we tend to resist and fear change. We need not fear, though; for God, in his miraculous and loving way gives us what we need to face and deal with the changes in our lives.

I married my husband, then Carl Lukashonak, dreaming that we'd buy a big white house with a wrap-around porch and beautiful garden on a tree-lined street. There, we'd raise a family and grow old together. This kind of change I could surely welcome. But, God had another plan, a strategic plan I call "The Big Change." This began when the "house money" was spent in New York on my PhT: "Putting hubby Through" seven years at Iona College and St. Vladimir's Seminary. Carl was then ordained to the priesthood and became Father Cyril Lukashonak. These years were good; in fact, they were wonderful years. However, there never was a wrap-around porch.

One beautiful spring day almost 25 years later, Fr. Cyril and I were about to leave for Florida to vacation and buy a condo for our distant retirement. However, in the words of Fr. Andrew Yavornitzky, "God paid Father Cyril a visit, and what a visit it was!" There would be no trip to Florida and no growing old together; for Fr. Cyril was taken to his True Home to be with Jesus Christ. Who knows the whys and wherefores of things? We only know that "man proposes and God disposes." It is our faith and trust in God's will that carry us through, and even these have peaks and valleys.

Some changes are wonderful and truly miraculous, while others are challenging. Nevertheless, changes change more than our lifestyles, they change us. We may lose faith and feel sorry for ourselves, or we may become more compassionate and caring for our fellow life travelers. I can honestly say that the changes I've shared with you brought me tears and sorrows, but they also provided a huge outpouring of love, affection, and support from beautiful souls, as well as joy, and-ah, yes-a kind of beauty.

Change has taught me to appreciate the present moment and to be more aware of the gifts God has given me in this life: good friends, a beautiful summer day, a gentle winter snowfall, music and art that stir the senses and make an ordinary day special, and the ability to pray and seek strength. And with Him "I need not be afraid, though the earth should change"(Psalm 46:3).

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