Life's Doorway

Spare Change

In the last three months, I’ve gotten engaged, moved, planned a wedding, changed church homes, and will be wed in a little less than 2 weeks. I suppose you could say I know a little about change.

Plans are coming together, but there’s still this feeling of uncertainty that hangs over my life like a thousand pound weight. I know it’s not real, but it feels that way. Everyone is offering to help, to get tasks done, to lend a hand, but I just don’t know how to ask for the help I need most: carrying the big burdensome weight of change.

Fortunately, over the years I’ve assembled some handy tips for dealing with change. It’s good to remind myself of these, and I hope you find them helpful as well!

1. Change is good! There are difficult seasons when we absolutely cannot wait for change to happen, so that we can be free from some terrible time or another. This season too won’t last forever. Even the time in transition isn’t permanent.

All of the uncertainty that I’m feeling will eventually settle into certainty. All of the questions will eventually be answered – or not – and that’s fine too. As I often like to remind myself, “It’ll all be ok in the end. If it’s not ok, it’s not the end.”

2. Change in and of itself isn’t bad. Change brings about new, often much better things, opportunities and circumstances. But I find it’s way too easy to let change feel bad, dreadful even.

Don’t let it feel that way. Consider that excitement and fear are the same internal experience. Go on, imagine them both now. If you’re having trouble, just picture yourself on a scary rollercoaster. There! That feeling inside you – it’s both excitement and fear, one and the same! Don’t let the simple idea of change rob you from enjoying the excitement that comes in this time.

Some change will happen whether you’re willing or not, and you really only have 2 options: to resist it or embrace it. Resisting (or having a bad attitude) only sours your own experience whereas accepting can allow you to enjoy the time and not miss the splendid moments still to be found – such as the childlike goofy times spent with my fiancé as we moved late into the night.

3. This leads me to my last and most significant point: change is inevitable. You may think you can control or mitigate the amount of change in your life – and that’s true, to a point. But the more effective way to handle all future change is to immunize yourself against it. And the only way to immunize is to train yourself to be able to handle whatever change may come your way.

It’s the same with pain. We all aim to minimize the amount of pain we have in our lives, but that’s a pipe dream. Instead, try increasing your ability to deal with pain. Then, when you do get hurt, you’re able to cope. You have skills and strengths in place that allow you to feel the ferocious bite of pain more as a sting or small prick.

How do I do that? For me, it’s an unshakable trust in God that gets me through. And though the phrase is nowhere to be found in scripture, I so often come back to, “It’ll all be OK in the end. If it’s not OK, it’s not the end.”

With that said, I have another change to announce – which I know we’re both ready for now. A new season in life means new demands on time and resources, so I’ll be taking a pause from writing at this time.

My infinite thanks go to the creators of the Pipestone Flyer and Black Press, and most of all to you!

Life’s doorway has a way of opening new opportunities to change, and I hope your next season is a great one!

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