How well do you handle change? As for me, honestly, I stink at it. Yes, I’m a grown-up and often just resign myself to dealing with it as grown-ups should, BUT given the choice, let’s just say ‘change’ is not on the top of my ‘favs’ list. Especially if it’s negative change! DUH!
I like the familiar, the predictable, and the comfortable. Old is fine. Worn out works. If technology hadn’t insisted, I would probably still be using my old brick phone. Seriously!
But avoiding change isn’t always a choice and resisting change isn’t always healthy.
The other day as I was choosing our turkey for Thanksgiving dinner, it struck me that in years past, I was afraid a 24 lb bird wouldn’t be nearly big enough. Now I’m concerned my 14 pounder is way too big.
Sigh… My how things have changed. And this one isn’t for the better.
In the midst of a long, overwhelming day or a weak moment, the unwanted changes in life can debilitate the best of us, including me. I’m definitely not exempt from a good pity-party now and then.
So, if unwelcome change is inevitable, how can we embrace it along the way and stretch ourselves to enjoy each and every circumstance? I’ve got some great ideas to get you (us!) started:
Find the blessing – I’ve talked to people suffering through horrific, life-changing circumstances, and in spite of their situation, most still acknowledge the blessings they have. The truth is that the majority of our difficult life circumstances won’t ever be classifed as ‘horrific’, so take heart, there are always blessings to be found.
Celebrate the blessings of others – Sometimes it’s beneficial to remove yourself from the spotlight and focus on someone else for a bit. The ability to do this even when your life isn’t picture perfect is a great anecdote for envy, bitterness, and despair. It’s hard to be negative when you’re feeling joyful, even if the joy is for someone else!
Pave the way for the future – When unwelcome changes occur, what intentional plans can you implement to pave the way for a brighter tomorrow? Instead of letting your circumstances freefall, take a responsible, proactive approach and make a positive difference down the road.
If you must throw the towel in, do it with confidence – Change IS going to happen, and if it’s something completely out of your control, forge ahead with the assurance that in the end, it will ALWAYS be okay. Remember, God shared the end of the story with you. No guessing. No maybes. But his promise of everlasting love and life is our gift forever. Keep his word tucked close to your heart to shore you up in times of trouble.
If I took my own advice, which I try hard to do (LOL!), I would respond in the following way to Thanksgiving Day 2014:
Even though I won’t be able to enjoy Thanksgiving with many of the people I love, I’ll get to celebrate with a few very special ones. The family I’ll be missing aren’t absent because of tragedy or illness – Thank God! Most have wonderful plans with other people in other places. Even though I’m bummed for me, I am truly happy for them! Perhaps I can look ahead to next year and get some invites out EARLY? There are a few who will be elsewhere because of strained relationships. If I miss them that much, perhaps I can spend more time and energy praying for and working towards reconciliation? And guess what? God will be celebrating with each and every one of us, and what better guest could we ask for? None! Feeling so blessed right now!
Finding thankfulness in unwanted change can definitely be a tall task, but it can be done. Spend more time and effort rejoicing in the beautiful life God gave you and resist wasting precious moments in despair and regret.
This Thanksgiving I challenge you to not only acknowledge the obvious blessings for which you are most grateful, but also to uncover and appreciate the blessings hidden in change.
Wishing you and yours a most blessed and joyful Thanksgiving Day!
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