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“Circumstances of life she couldn’t change” – Linda Berkery

The circumstances of her life she could not change, but she took them to the Lord, and handed them over into His management…and the result was that although the circumstances remained unchanged, her soul was kept in perfect peace in the midst of them. Mrs. H. W. S. pub.1875

What changed?

She changed her life insurance policy and her address when she changed her name.
She changed diapers, bed sheets, and TV channels.
She changed the color of polish on her toes as often as the seasons changed —
Just for a change of pace.
And every year she looked for a change for the better.


She changed her mind and exchanged the blue party dress.
She changed socks, clocks (spring forward/fall back), locks on the bathroom door.
The size of her family changed, but she kept her rituals.
She changed towels, oil in her car, the furnace filter.
She raised couch cushions, to find small change — she always needed small change.
But the circumstances of her life she couldn’t change, so she took them to the Lord.

Her heart never changed, but her prayers changed when her husband’s heart had trouble.
The surgery made a lasting change. A good change.
It changed his life.
He exchanged the leaky valve. His heart ticks with unchangeable rhythm.
She wouldn’t change a thing.

They both changed doctors, but never bothered to change the dentist.
She changed jobs, and parishes, and the title of her book.
On Epiphany, to honor the Wise Men, she returned home by a different route —
It was a nice change of scenery.

Her weight changed, her height changed.
Her bedtime changed. Did her memory change?
She seemed to have changed places with her mother.
And she was tired of changes unfolding from her body.
She experienced the change. And changed the subject.
(But always remembered to bring a change of clothes.)

Wedding bells rang. She saw children grow and change.
The old crib welcomed grandbaby guests — more diapers to change.
Some things never change.
Her daughter gave her a makeover-changeover for a 50th reunion.
Yet her classmates exclaimed, You haven’t changed a bit!
That was not true.
Her hair color shifted to grey and more than once she changed her attitude.

2020 — The Decade Changed.

In March, the weather and the world changed. It was unexpected.
It wasn’t a nice change or a welcome change, or even the proper time for a change.
In the exchange of air and the shake of hands, was an unseen change.
A changeup pitch coming right at us.

Her days changed and didn’t seem to change at all.
She walked after breakfast and after supper — the path unchanged.
She still changed sheets, towels, passwords.
As if that could change reality.
She ordered groceries and carefully changed the roll of paper.
Scarves changed to masks.
Grandson’s voice began to change.

Some habits had to change. And they were hard to change.
Grandchildren couldn’t or wouldn’t come to visit.
Facetime replaced hugs and infant snuggles. Such a terrible change.
Easter came and left, so did an empty Mother’s Day, and the months of summer.
June, July, August. No change. Not with the heat.
The virus didn’t change.

But she was not alone. A collective we began to change.
She sang again like she did in the sixties.
For the times they are a-changin;…
Although the virus didn’t change, we changed.
And became a force for change.

She remains in hope, but lives with questions —
When autumn comes and the trees change colors, what else will change?
And if the circumstances remain unchanged, will we have peace in the midst of them?
Will we remember to bring the circumstances of our lives to the Lord?
For — this — changes — everything.

Linda Berkery

Linda Styles Berkery grew up in the family funeral home in upstate NY. Linda loves to practice contemplative photography as part of her prayer. Her writings on faith/life have been published in various magazines, and blogs. Her faith memoir, Reflections: A Wardrobe of Life Lessons, was well received in 2019. She has been married to Jack for over fifty years. Linda loves dark chocolate, makes cinnamon bread when it snows, and still mails handwritten letters to family and friends. Reach Linda on Facebook at Reflections: A Wardrobe of Life Lessons or email

iola bookazine change issue

This article is from the change issue of iola. You can get your own high-quality bookazine for a moment of peace here.