Friday, August 16, 2013

When Things Change

Today, I can't help but be reminded of a lot of things that are no longer part of my life. It's one of those days that used to be significant but isn't anymore, a day that used to mean something wonderful but now is just another day.

Which brings me to think about change - about the nature of change, how much it impacts us, and how much has changed in my own life in such a short amount of time. 

Change is so hard to deal with, especially when you have to experience a change that takes you from somewhere you want to be to somewhere you didn't plan on being at all. I know very few people, if any, who look forward to change or enjoy it. We get comfortable with the way things are, and we get attached to the way we like things to be, and I know I can say for myself that so often, I come to depend on the relationships I have.

So then, when something changes, it is so uncomfortable. To say the very least. Depending on where your identity lies, it can be earth-shattering.

In this current season of my life where everything has been changing - my relationships, my plans, my routines, my priorities, even the place I live and who I live with - I have been presented with a great challenge: how will I handle the change in my life?

Will I run from it? Will I let the disbelief that I ended up in a place so far from where I had thought I would be hold me still, stuck in a moment that I can't get out of? Will I be angry that things didn't go my way? Will I resist, taking the risk of missing out on beautiful new opportunities? Will I be resentful? Bitter, even?
I'd be lying if I said I haven't struggled with every single one of those.

OR -

Will I embrace the change? Will I square my shoulders, and resolve to make the most of the season that I'm in - regardless that I hadn't planned on being there in the first place? Will I see all of these new, different, unfamiliar things in my life as new adventures? Will I let go of my attachment to how things used to be, and forge headlong into the way things are, the way they will be? Will I trust that I serve a God who has beautiful plans for me, plans to prosper me and not to harm me, plans to give me hope and a future? Will I trust that He knows the desires of my heart better than I do, and that only beautiful things are in store for me if I do trust Him?

I'd like to be able to say that this is the attitude I've had consistently about all of the recent changes in my life, but that's so not the case. When your life gets turned upside down, I think your first instinct is just to survive. Honestly, this positive outlook on change is coming with time, with perspective, and with a lot of prayer. I am very much the kind of person who likes to make my plans and stick to them, the kind of person who likes to know what's happening and be in control. But I've realized that sometimes - oftentimes- you have to just accept that you (ironically) can't change everything that's changing, and so you have to just go with it.

And attitude is everything, I think, when it comes to handling situations that make you uncomfortable. Situations that challenge your normal, that take you out of your comfort zone.

But I hear that's where the magic happens - outside of your comfort zone. Outside of your box. You don't get to have adventures when you sit on the couch day after day - emotionally, or physically!

So that is my heart for this time of change, of transition - to figure out how to make the most of it. To embrace the new routines, the new relationships, the new way that everything feels. To be expectant of greater things ahead than anything I've left behind. To just keep swimming. And I'm finding that sometimes, change can be really, really good.

What changes are you navigating in life?

The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. - Psalm 18:2

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. - Jeremiah 29:11

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