Coping with Change

By on June 13, 2012

By Daphne Tarango –

I embrace it.
I reject it.
I long for it.
I avoid it.
I enjoy it.
I dislike it.

I’m talking about change. Can you relate? Parts of me want change; other parts resist it.

Sometimes, we bring change on ourselves. Sometimes, change finds us. New careers. Illness. Family dynamics. Moving. Death. Any number of life events can produce mixed feelings within us.

  • We welcome new adventures, but we don’t want to give up our routines.
  • We like new challenges, but we don’t want to be too uncomfortable.
  • We see great opportunities, but we don’t want to make the effort.

How do we cope with change? How can we balance the push into the unknown with the pull of the familiar?

C – Call to God for wisdom.

With any life event, some things need to change; others don’t. Sometimes we focus on changing the wrong things. Other times, we resist changing anything. When we have the courage to ask God to show us the things that truly need to change, we are better positioned to allow Him to work in those areas. And we’re free to continue enjoying the things that don’t need immediate change. He alone can teach us to identify our immediate growth areas (Psalm 119:66; Psalm 139:23).

H – Have a support system.

We’ve never been here before, so it’s best to get all the advice and instruction we can (Proverbs 19:20). Having people who are on the other side of the transition or life change can give us valuable insight on how to handle the ups and downs of our new life. But it’s not all about getting advice. When we find people who are experiencing the same things at the same time we are, we relate to each other’s struggles. Sometimes words aren’t even necessary—they get it.

A – Avoid comparison.

Sometimes we look at others who are further down the path, and we want to be like them—immediately. We forget that they weren’t always there themselves. They too had to go through initial stages of their own changes. Of course, we can learn from them, but we are not them. We might say, “That is where I want to be,” but God might have a different way of getting us there. (Proverbs 16:9).

N – Note the ups and downs of the journey.

We each have a story to tell. No one else can tell our story. Keeping a record of both the big and little steps of the journey helps us not to lose sight of where we started, where we are, and where we’re going. It doesn’t have to be a formal journal—it can be as simple as making and collecting our own “memorabilia.” Along the way, we can pull out our notes and share with others how God has helped us each step of the way (Psalm 102).

G – Give thanks to God.

He never changes! We can rely on Him when everything around us is in flux. “He is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). What a relief! We can also thank Him for giving us the gift of change. Yes, the gift! “Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way” (James 1:2-4). When God says it’s time for us to change, He knows we are ready to move to a new level in Him. Thank you, God, for believing in us.

E – Enjoy the ride!

Let’s celebrate our small victories. Laugh at our mistakes. Look for glimmers of hope in our new realities. After all, we serve the God of all hope. We’re going to screw up. We’ll have moments of sheer frustration, anger, disappointment, and discouragement. It’s okay—we can feel those feelings too. We will cry, but we will also laugh (Psalm 30:5b). We will grieve, but we will also dance (Psalm 30:11).

Change. How are you coping with it?

 

Daphne Tarango is a freelance writer who comforts others with the comfort she has received from God (2 Corinthians 1:3-4). Daphne has gone through lots of change in her 30-something years, but with God’s help she is learning to say, “Thank you, God, for the gift of change.” For more information about Daphne or to read more of her work, visit: http://DaphneWrites.com.

About Daphne Tarango

Daphne Tarango is a freelance writer who comforts others with the comfort she has received from God (2 Corinthians 1:3-4). Daphne has gone through lots of change in her 30-something years, but with God’s help she is learning to say, “Thank you, God, for the gift of change.” For more information about Daphne or to read more of her work, visit: http://DaphneWrites.com.

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Coping with Change