"... the mind controlled by the Spirit is LIFE & PEACE." -- Romans 8:6

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Re-Learning How to Do Change

This is one of those things I've probable written about five hundred times: some variation of change and how to deal with it. I know I've written about it because I've experienced it an awful lot. Ironically, my childhood, in general, was just about as stable as can be. I lived in the same house from three to eighteen years old, went to the same church in that length of time, and played soccer with most of the same friends growing up.

Also, if anybody asks, I am NOT a fan of change.
Consistency, routine, schedules, plans -- those things are where it's at.

But then I graduated from high school and change has seemed to follow me closely since then, and maybe even grown in intensity as the years pass. Now I fight to maintain some sort of consistency, routine, schedule, and.... well, I think I've about thrown "plans" out the window.

I really, really wish, after all of the crazy change and huge steps of faith I've experienced in the last eight years that I could write a book of advice. Instead, I'm here in the middle of big-time life change and feel like I'm just learning to walk again. Nevermind filling a whole book, I can barely find the words to articulate my thoughts and emotions in my own journal! This, my friends, is possibly the worst part. When I can't write, even thinking and processing on my own feels like such a chore.

Here are some lessons I'm re-learning and writing down so MAYBE this time they'll stick:

  • The stress of change lasts longer than I think it should. I need to allow myself to feel what I feel and take extra care to do things that give me rest. I probably won't make a best friend after two weeks of living in a new place. Without a car, I should maybe just hold off on finding my way around the city. Give yourself time. But also remember, seasons come and go--it won't last forever.
  • Celebrate small wins: There's a really great pizza place within walking distance! My new house is better than I even imagined! I can get myself home from a few select locations without using GPS! My significant other and I live in the same CITY, rather than two different COUNTRIES! There's a place here called "Yogulatte" (frozen yogurt and coffee) -- enough said! 
         So much winning.
  • Grace, grace, grace. When you pay rent in cash because you didn't order checks in time, there's grace. When you have to ask for rides to meetings or the grocery store, it's okay. When you're late because it takes a while to figure out how long things take and best routes, etc, that's alright. When your zip code and house number are similar enough you keep mixing them up... don't worry, I wrote down my address for reference, just in case. The point is -- majority of what I'm worried about right now, people around me are not even thinking twice about. 
          Just let it go.
  • If you want to make friends, you have to be a friend. Say yes to fun "extra" things to spend quality time with new people and build community. This combats loneliness, also common in seasons of change, and helps you feel settled. I'm very introverted and my job requires a lot of extroversion, so sometimes this is hard. But I want people in my life, so this is just a season where I need to be very intentional in that. 
  • Above all the "self-help" advice and random tidbits to remember, the most important, the most consistent is this: Jesus is still King. My emotions may be all over the place and indecipherable, but thank you Jesus, His love for me remains steadfast and His plans for my life are completely intact. That piece of my heart that searches for some semblance of consistency and stability in an ever-changing world finds more security in Christ than I could ever find elsewhere. The struggle of change is like the few minutes before the climax of a movie. It's like God says, "Hey, just sit tight, because what's coming is about to be AWESOME!" It's hard and confusing now, but the best part is right around the corner. 
When we trust that God truly is in control and He cares deeply about the details of our lives, then we can experience life-giving peace in any season of life. 
I know that sounds like a prescription for peace, which isn't realistic. As much as I wish life could be one big formula of A+B=C, vast majority of the time, it's full of things that seem to just not make sense. Maybe trusting in God is the last thing on your mind, it seems ridiculous and far-fetched, or you feel spiritually "dry" and placing your trust in God is just harder than normal right now. I believe that God's Word transforms our hearts--read, meditate on, pray through, discuss, wrestle with, and think about truth until it sinks into the depths of your heart. Don't give up.

Lauren Boebinger//

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