How to manage change

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I don’t know about you, but change is not my favourite thing. I think we all have some resistance to change, especially if it is unforeseen change.

I think it’s a vulnerability thing.

We see ourselves as vulnerable when there is change in and around our lives and we feel it puts us at risk of not being in control of our emotions or our time or our resources.

However, change is a necessity for growth. We must keep finding within ourselves the capacity for change, the desire for change and the acceptance of change.

Change involves risk, it involves discomfort, and it involves the unknown.

And that’s OK!

To continue to embrace change we must be prepared for the messy.
We can tell ourselves a little messy is OK.

Proverbs 14:4 cautions us:

Where there are no oxen, the manger is clean, but abundant crops come by the strength of the ox.

Let’s look at the modern version of that in applying it to our lives:

So, it’s great to have a museum quality house because there are no children around. But, children bring joy, they bring the new generation, they bring growth and they bring with them the ability for us to influence them, although the house may be a bit messy.

There you go . . . life is messy . . . it’s inconsistent, but it’s full of blessings when you look for them.

So, change brings its blessings too. We do not need to fear change.

Recently, changes in several areas of my life simultaneously brought huge anxiety to me. I couldn’t sleep, I was fearful and frustrated.

In talking to a trusted person about the changes, the light went on. I wanted to have control, and each area in a neat little box, and could not.

This was a messy time, and I needed to make peace with that.

What really helped me was to sing the hymns the writers of old had penned in their own unsettled times.

When peace like a river attendeth my way
When sorrows like sea billows roar
Whatever my lot thou has taught me to say
It is well, it is well with my soul

and

What a friend we have in Jesus
All our sins and griefs to bear
What a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer

Our perspective must change when we face change.

We must see God the Holy Spirit at work in and through our lives in every change:

  • ill health
  • relationship conflict
  • job loss
  • financial strain
  • death of a loved one

We are God’s and all that happens to us is God’s.

Change is good.

Heraclitus said, “The only constant in life is change.”

We develop our resiliency muscle when we lean into the change with the positive emotions of peace and joy instead of resisting it with the negative emotions of fear and doubt.

Trust that God has ordained this change for your life. He is in control even when you are not.

Elizabeth Elliot’s first husband was martyred by the people he had gone to evangelise; the second died a painful death by cancer. Yet, she gave this advice: “Trust in God, obey him, and do the next thing”.

Let’s exercise our minds and hearts to accept change as God-ordained for us, for we do not have to fear change.

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose for them. – Romans 8:28

What do you find helps you in times of change?

Alison Ward

Alison is married to Steve; they have two married daughters, and five grandchildren, and live in Gauteng, South Africa. She has pastored with her husband for thirty-three years, has a nursing background, and recently completed a master’s degree in leadership and coaching. Alison is passionate about teaching the Bible and partnering with women to fulfill their gifts and potential.

   

2 Comments

  1. Salamina August 28, 2016 at 5:41 pm - Reply

    I would like to join,, pls send me info

    • Aldyth Thomson
      Aldyth Thomson December 23, 2016 at 8:12 pm - Reply

      Salamina, we have just put a signup form for the blog on our home page at http://www.beautyforashes.com. We’d love you to sign up there for the blog and you’ll even get a free 2017 printable monthly calendar. Blessings, Aldyth Thomson

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