There’s this thing that must happen when God flips your world upside down and changes everything in a matter of a few days.
You must learn to love change. You must learn to embrace seasons.
New ones. Scary ones. The adventure of them.
So I’m fighting my way through this new season of a fresh marriage, the toughness of graduate school, the mundane of biking to class and connecting with dear friends through the phone instead of that beloved face-to-face talking. And I realized something.
God has given me joy to love this season I’m in.
It hasn’t been easy, and I’ve fought this joy much too often, much too relentlessly. I wanted the normal. The easy. The old ways of my simple life.
I want to have pizza dates with my Daddy instead of texting him to say hi.
I want to meet my brother’s new girlfriend and get to know the real her, instead of those pictures that only sometimes speak louder than words.
I want to love on my best, dear, since-middle-school friends in the flesh.
And I want to hug my Momma in person when she sends surprises just because she likes to send mail and make my day.
These things of life aren’t a part of this new season. And when the reality of that sunk into this change-resilient heart, it stung.
But, like I said, God has given me joy in this season.
How, you might ask? He has provided. He has been exceedingly faithful even when I am weary and faithless.
He has pursued my heart and given me hope and filled those stung places with joy.
Missing those I love doesn’t go away. My soul doesn’t magically accommodate change. I don’t always love this new adventure.
But God still gives joy.
Staying up too late because my husband wants to hear my heart. That’s joy.
Meeting with a new friend for coffee and laughing much too hard. That is joy.
Learning more than I could ever imagine about counseling hurting people – this passion in my heart that seeps. It brings joy.
Biking to class alongside the river at the base of the mountains. Um, yes. You guessed it. Joy.
When we search for joy instead of allowing those simple moments to pass by, heart change happens. We start to let the walls of that change-resistant fear crumble and real joy fills the cracks. We share Jesus more. We love people better. We become more complete. We change.Search for joy instead of letting the simple moments pass by. Click To Tweet
So what are some practices to help you through change?
You can practice gratefulness.
Daily remember the Lord’s providence in your life. How has he provided? Be specific, because when you can point out the faithfulness of God among the change, your heart feels a little more comforted and a little more okay.
For this, I love to keep a journal – not necessarily full entries, but an ongoing list of the Lord’s provisions. You could also fill a jar with slips of paper outlining God’s goodness, post pictures on your refrigerator to remind you of blessings, or create a gallery wall of memories that point to God’s faithfulness.
You can share with others.
Believe me when I say that I know being vulnerable can be hard. But I bet you that another person in your circle of people is experiencing change just like you. You just have to be willing to search for them! Let God put the people in your path, but then be vulnerable when He does place them there.
When you first suggest meeting for lunch or coffee, let this person know that you’d love to spend some time talking about the difficulties you’ve experienced recently. Then, reciprocate by allowing them to share their heart if needed.
For advice about finding trustworthy friends, check out this post – How to Find a Trustworthy Mentor.
You can be sad.
I’m a huge supporter of feeling emotions. And I believe that it is okay to be sad. Things have changed and life is new. I think that if there wasn’t some sadness, you might not be able to embrace all that has happened. So, let yourself feel the hard emotions. Be sad. It’s okay.
Take some time to cry. Mourn the losses of what you thought would happen, the plans you hoped would work out. But then move forward, dear soul. Move forward knowing that God’s got this.
You can remember.
Remember the past. Reflect on the memories. Reflect on the relationships and the lunch dates and the goodbyes. If your change involves moving like mine did, it is perfectly normal and even good to remember. And even if your change doesn’t involve moving, it is still healthy to reflect and remember where you’ve come from.
Share memories through text or email. Call your loved ones often. Take pictures of everything and send them to your best friend. It’s okay. Remembering is a good, good thing – it’s evidence of God’s favor and blessing in your life.
So those seasons? God gives them to us – they’re a gift. He chooses to allow seasons of change to enter our mundane lives to make us more like Him & to make us more reliant on Him.
When you practice gratefulness, share vulnerably, feel the sad, and remember, your change-resistant heart becomes a container for joy for one reason.
Jesus is greater than all of those changes and we can trust him.