If you share my sentiments, dealing with life altering changes can be difficult to do. Not only difficult but daunting, draining, dreadful, and any other “D’’ letter adjective you can think of. I recently moved from the west coast to the east, after living out west for 4 years. I was gainfully employed, my children were settled into school, and I had a church home, and friends that I knew I would miss dearly. Oh, lets not forget the weather; imagine being able to wear flip-flops all fall and winter long. Sounds like a solid life right? In my adult life, one thing that I have learned is, change is inevitable, and it usually occurs just as you start to get a little comfortable. BAM! Just like that, your world is shaken up a little.
My move to the east coast was due to a mandatory relocation for my husband’s job. Great for him, but my immediate emotion was panic ,as I thought about having to start all over. I had to find a new job, new schools for my boys, new place to live, church, friends, and all the other essentials you can think of with moving across country. Let’s not forget having to adjust to living in a cold weather climate, which I’ve never had to do. The thought of starting over put me in a stupor for a few days as I let the what if’s overcome me. What if I can’t find a job, what if I don’t like the schools, what if we choose the wrong neighborhood. What if I can’t find a midwife that I feel comfortable with, oh yea, we’re expecting!!! Then as quickly as the doubt crept in it, it went away as my heart was convicted with a spirit of gratitude. Things could be a lot worse, and they were by no means bad. My family and I were healthy, my husband was remuneratively employed and could support the family without my income until I found employment, and while we worked out the other details, we had each other. Putting things in perspective, I was grateful.
Even if the change that lies ahead might be the best for you and your family or alternatively, an unexpected or sudden occurrence that has lead you to face change with grief, one thing remains the same, how you cope with the change or the transition makes all the difference.
One of my favorite scriptures is Romans 12-2: And be not conformed to this world; but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
When you wake up every morning, and as you go about your day, you have a choice about the attitude and outlook you have on life. It is easy to feel woe is me, but it takes faith and courage to look past your circumstances and be intentional with your thinking. Your intent should be, I know who the author and finisher of my faith is and I know regardless of how it looks right now, things will work out. I’ll let you in on a little secret, in all my years on planet earth, things ALWAYS work out, just as they are intended to.
We aren’t robots, we are human, and sometimes life is hard, I get it. Sometimes you have to encourage yourself to build up your faith. Here are some helpful habits that have helped me to cope with change.
• Be Honest with yourself- Your feelings are real and they shouldn’t be swept under a rug, otherwise you never deal with them. I wrote how I felt about my move on paper and it helped to see what my fears were about my transition, it also allowed me to read it, and some emotions, I realized could be quickly overcome.
• Pray- Now that you know how you feel, pray about it. From your mouth to God’s ears. The best solution to any problem is to give it to God, for he is the ultimate problem solver, including being the mender of a broken heart.
• Daily affirmations- Have you ever heard, fake it till you make it? Well listen, it’s real. After our move and deciding I would not harbor ill feeling towards it, I would wake up every morning and give thanks and say out loud, today will be a great day, and it would be. Being positive and grateful starts with you making that choice.
• Phone a friend- A little disclaimer, not just any friend, but one that will uplift you, give you honest, Godly, and realistic insight. You can’t just tell anyone your problems because everyone doesn’t have good intentions in mind. God puts people in your life that will love you and encourage you out of a rut, and let me tell you, I’m thankful for my friend that did just that.
• Devotions- I started a devotion geared towards the feelings I was struggling with. It helped to read what the Bible had to say about overcoming. Also, reading devotions helped with me being able to reflect, reading the word and about similar situations renewed my mind and faith.
If we’re being honest, coping with change is not easy, but our attitude and mind-state about change allows us to positively work through any of life transitions. May you cope with peace of mind and the realization that the best is yet to come!