How do you deal with CHANGE?
As the seasons change around us there are times in our lives when the season change within us. We go from single to married, no kids to kids, chaos to empty nest, career shifts, loss of loved ones, etc. We all experience change but how we deal with it is something unique to each of us.
Ever since I was a little kid, I have been no stranger to MAJOR change. Growing up I lost one house to a fire that left us homeless and one house to a gas explosion that left us homeless again. I graduated college and my parents had moved to another state and I realized there was no home to go back to and it was a ‘make it’ or ‘break it’ time in my life. I wanted children and God gave us triplets making us a family of 6 overnight. I studied to be a school teacher and God led me down the path of becoming a Pastor. Today I stand at the door of change once again…. The path ahead is not completely clear and there many emotions at any given time.
Change can leave us feeling insecure, exhausted, confused, troubled, and anxious to name a few. Some keep so busy they don’t deal with the HEART of the change within. When we experience major change, we can tend to ask WHY too long and never get to the WHAT’s NEXT?
I am no expert and I am far from perfect at living through change, but if you find yourself being face to face with life altering change, here are some words of advice from someone accustomed to it:
- PRAY – God gives and He takes away for His perfect will for your life. You may find this hard to believe in the midst of difficult times, but the more you dwell on the idea that your Heavenly Dad is FOR you and not just messing with you, the more peace you will find. He will guide you, protect you and provide for you. Remember His ways are not our ways (Isaiah 55:8). Talking to others as you manage through change is helpful but don’t neglect to talk to the ONE who created you and has good plans for you. (PS – He can handle it if you are a little upset – just don’t get stuck there).
- SURRENDER – God does not require us to be perfect to come to Him. What He desires is for us to be surrendered and dependent upon His wisdom not our own. You may be broken or worn down by the circumstances of your change but bring your brokeness to the Lord, He will not reject you. “The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God.” Psalm 51:17(NLT)
- THINK FORWARD not backwards: When big change occurs, we sometimes can get stuck in the web of all that we are losing or all that seems too big to handle when in reality, we can’t always see clearly. Thinking backwards only causes us to stay in an emotional state of grief or denial. I recommend setting a goal for yourself to list out 3 FMA’s (forward moving actions) each day. This will keep your heart and mind guarded from getting stuck in the muck of self-pity and it will actually help you move toward the direction God may be calling.
- LET GO of the OPO’s – People react to change in all different ways. When we begin to compare how we are responding to the change we face with the way others would deal or think we should deal, we get derailed and lose sight of what God is doing. Letting go of the OPO’s (OTHER PEOPLE’s OPINIONS) during a time of change is important to keeping focused on the ONE voice that can actually transform you and your circumstances.
Change is part of our human experience. No one escapes it. God uses change to shape us and prepare us for WHAT’s NEXT!
A favorite of mine and a reminder that the only thing that NEVER changes is our God!