You, me, and change

Change is a scary thing. Even the best of changes have some downsides or fallout, and the worst of changes usually have some silver lining hidden in them. But no matter how much I know this in my head, sometimes it’s hard to believe it in my heart.

Regardless of your position on change, the reality is that change is inevitable. No matter where you go, change will find you. I love routine and predictability. Yet I’ve discovered that the most meaningful and satisfying things in my life came about as the result of changes. The growth into excellence in a new field: the result of drastic change. A stable and fulfilling marriage: the result of a major change—not to mention, ongoing changes and adjustment. The joy of parenting: also a change. Meaningful friendships: generally born through change. A healthy lifestyle: yep, because I changed.

The truth is that my life would be far scarier if it had never changed or continued to change—potential unfulfilled, passion not pursued, gifts undiscovered, truths unlearned.

Here are some of my tips and tricks for coping with change and the unfamiliar:

Reframe the change: Often, when I’m resistant to change or dreading a specific outcome, it’s my perspective on the situation that’s off, and getting a new take can make all the difference. Sometimes that new outlook comes from talking with someone who has a broader view of the situation, sometimes it comes from researching and better informing myself about the change. I can also get it by waiting to form an opinion and being open to whatever happens.

Choosing change: Rather than letting change be something unfamiliar that I hide from and resist until it overpowers my life, I can seek out change. Similar to how athletes stay in shape for running a marathon by continually training and improving their performance, I can be ready for change by practicing change in my everyday life. These can be small changes, like trying a new recipe, workout routine, or restaurant; or bigger ones, like pursuing a new hobby, line of work, or friendship.

Remember what doesn’t change: “I am the Lord, I do not change.”1 No matter what else changes, whether for good or bad, within your control or far beyond your reach, God’s sovereignty isn’t changing. Times of change and uncertainty can strengthen your faith and reliance on God’s love, care, and providence, and that’s a very good thing.

  1. Malachi 3:6