The Courage to Choose Change

When was the last time your faced a change?  And for that matter, how did you do?  I’m just asking because I’m in a season of change – lots of change. 

It happened kind of gradually.  So gradually I didn’t even realize all this change has occurred.  I woke up one day and decided it was time for a season of no change.  I needed a rest.  I needed a time of stability. 

You see, about a year ago God upset my apple cart.  I was humming along.  All things were on a status quo.  I had been at my job over 9 years.  I had lived in my house for 9 years.  I had many friends.  Family was great.  And while I had become a little restless at my job, I knew God would let me know when it was time to move and where to move.

God let me know alright, but his plans were nothing like I expected.  I chose a theme for my year.  It was the year of nonsense.  The year where I would choose to obey even when God wasn’t making sense and when I couldn’t see the destination.

So, on a sunny May day, God tapped me on the shoulder and said it was time to go.  He would tell me where.  To be honest, it didn’t make any sense.  A year ago today, I was preparing to leave my job just shy of my ten year anniversary.

Since that day, there have been various other changes I never expected in a year’s time span.  I went back to retail and got a part-time job at the World Market.  I started my coaching business.  I got my first official speaking engagement.  I started a second business writing websites, brochures, and blogs for small businesses.  I began to feel the financial pinch.  I decided to put my house on the market.  I researched what needed to be done.  I moved anything touching carpeting into my garage so I could replace the carpeting.  I decided to rent a townhome from my friends after I sell.  I moved to my friends house for renovations and showings.

And if that’s not enough, in the middle of it all, my dad passed away somewhat expectedly and unexpectedly at the same time.  And to be honest, losing a parent is a change you probably can never fully prepare for.

Are you exhausted reading about it?  I’m exhausted living it – that’s for sure.

The thing is, call my crazy, but I like change.  I’m the girl who doesn’t have a “usual” way of getting anywhere.  I change up the seating in my living room for fun.  But everyone has a threshold where enough is enough.  I could use some non-changing right about now.

I believe there’s a learning process to every journey and of course, I’m learning some things along the way to all this changing...

1.     Life changes – God doesn’t

Throughout all this change, God is the one thing that is not changing.  He is still with me through every change.  He walks with me through the ups and downs.   His love is constant.  He is faithful.  But most of all, He never changes.  Hebrews 13:8 tells us that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.”  That'll preach! 

2.     We need change 

I know what you’re thinking.  You may need change but I don’t.  For those of you anti-change peeps out there, change can be scary.  We like to plan things out.  We like to know what’s ahead.  But as a wise friend once told me – you have to say good-bye in order to say hello.  Sometimes, you and I, we just need to say good-bye.  Even though it’s hard.  Even though it’s not our first choice.  Sometimes that hello is far better than where we’re at now.  We may need to say good-bye to a friend.  A job.  Or maybe it’s donuts, but sometimes change can be good for us if we just embrace the journey.

3.     We get to choose  

You and I can choose how we show up in the world.  You and I get to choose how we navigate change.  You and I can choose to walk through change intentionally – honoring our life values and honoring ourselves.  One of the coaching tools I’ve used is called the Influence of Change Chart.  In using the tool, I ask my clients to walk through a change.  It can be a change they instigated, a change where they gave input, or a change where they did not have any input.  As we walk through the chart, we talk about how the change affected them, how it affected their relationships, what was the outcome, and how their values were honored or dishonored.  Once we’re finished, we take a current change and walk through the same chart.  Only this time, we talk about preparing for the change.  Choosing how to navigate change.  Choosing how you want to honor your values.  You and I can do that.  We can choose to walk through our changes intentionally – even when we didn’t choose the change we’re experiencing.

One more thing: change is a part of life.  Our world is ever changing and to be honest every one us will face a change.  Losing a loved one.  Experiencing a financial downturn.  Downsizing our homes.  Changing jobs.  Friends move away.  Our kids change right before our eyes.

Change is inevitable, but how we show up during our change is something we can choose.  We can choose to honor God with our change.  We can choose to trust God when our change seems like it’s too much.  We can choose to say goodbye and trust God with our new hello.

And so as I reflect on my own year of change, I am thankful for my year.  I’m thankful for each and every change that God has led me through.  I’m thankful for each experience and the blessings and challenges that have helped me grow.

It’s brave to trust God with change.  It’s brave to put your faith in a future you can’t imagine and can’t see.  But the reward for all this bravery is a deeper walk with Jesus and a confidence that God is the same yesterday, today and forever. 

I’d love to hear about the change God is currently leading you through and pray for your journey of saying good-bye so you can say hello.  Choosing to trust in the middle of change with you….