Five Thoughts on Facing Change
Change. If there is one thing we can be sure of in our lives, it’s that there will be change. Moment by moment, day by day, year by year, changes happen in every area of our lives. How do you react to change? Do you fight change with every ounce of your being or do you embrace change as an opportunity to grow? Perhaps you do a little of both.
Some changes are hard. Some are uncomfortable and heartbreaking. Some are frightening and overwhelming. Some are dreaded and resisted. Yet there are some changes that are exciting and joyful and welcome.
Many of us fear change. We spend our time worrying about the changes that are coming, wondering how they will affect us and our loved ones. The new baby brings many concerns: Will I be a good parent? Will I be able to protect him/her? Will he be a bully? Will she be selfish? The new job: will I be able to do it? Will I like what I’m doing? What if I lose it? The education you’re working toward: Will I pass this class and the next one and the next one? Will I ever finish? What if I don’t graduate? That new move: Will I find a place to live? Will my old house sell? Will I like where I’m moving to? The list is never-ending.
Our family has faced our share of changes in the last several years. Changes that affected the dynamics of our family. The hubs and I retired from our jobs—big change for both of us. Our children went off to college, married, graduated, and found jobs, which left us as empty-nesters. We’ve each lost a parent (my mother and his father) and said good-bye to other friends and loved ones. We gained a daughter and son by marriage, and have been introduced to new friends along the way. We have discovered (quite by accident) that even though we feel 25 years old in our minds, our bodies are nearing 60 and feeling the stress of age.
We are on the sidelines now, watching as our children meet the challenges of major changes in their lives. While their changes affect us to a small degree; the changes have more impact on their day-to-day lives. Our daughter graduated from college a little over a year ago, started a “professional” engineering job, and she and her husband bought a new house. Our son-in-law recently got a new position, that while bringing a raise in pay also brings more stress and responsibilities. Our daughter-in-law has recently accepted a new job in her degree field (while continuing towards her PhD) and our son has a pending position in his degree field (engineering) which will require them to relocate. This brings many changes in their status: they both must quit their current jobs, sell their home and re-establish a new one closer to their new jobs. While my son waits to hear on his engineering job, he might need to find a temporary job to help with finances.
All these changes are good, exciting changes. Changes that they have prayed for and waited for and looked forward to with great anticipation. However, it’s a little intimidating. God answered their prayers, so now they need to face the challenges of having everything fall into place.
How often has this happened to you? You pray and pray and pray some more, asking God for just what you want. Sometimes He answers quickly. Other times he answers differently than we anticipate, (After all, He does know what’s best for us!) At other times, we must endure a waiting period where we struggle with discouragement and doubt because He doesn’t seem to be hearing, much less answering, our prayers. Then one day our dreams come true—our prayers have been answered. And, once again, we begin experiencing doubt and apprehension over the changes this answered prayer will bring.
Here are some things we need to remember to give us strength as we face the changes that come our way. Perhaps you could use a few of these reminders in your own lives.
- God is in control. Nothing happens that surprises Him. He answers our prayers. He is always with us; we don’t have to worry. He’s got this.
Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails. Proverbs 19:21
- God doesn’t change his mind. Just because things are changing, doesn’t mean He is changing.
God is not human, that he should lie,
not a human being, that he should change his mind.
Does he speak and then not act?
Does he promise and not fulfill? Numbers 23:18
“I the Lord do not change”…..Malachi 3:6a
- God knows everything. He knows what is going to happen before it happens. To us, there may be surprises and challenges that come up along the way, but He will face them with us. The best way for us to be prepared is to stay in touch with Him.
11 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
- Don’t worry. Don’t get overwhelmed. Don’t get discouraged. Satan just loves to take our focus off God. Continuously.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
- Trust God. He never changes. He is in control. Nothing surprises Him. He will take care of us because He loves us and we belong to Him. Seek His guidance. Seek his peace.
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
Yes, friends, change happens. It is inevitable. But it also means we are growing. Growing into the people God created us to be. We should look at change as opportunities for growth; growth that will bring us closer to the Lord.
Bring on the changes!