“You’re not very good with change, are ya?” I can clearly remember those words carelessly flying out of my dear husband’s mouth (and the innocent look he gave) as we unpacked and moved into a new home. Granted, we were newlyweds, still learning a lot about ourselves in our new husband and wife roles – and learning even more about each other.
I was proving that change was indeed difficult for me as I grew weepy one minute, then became an over-compulsive declutterer the next. Nonetheless, that didn’t stop me from feeling somewhat flustered by those words that seemed to make a beeline straight to my heart. And, the whole time, I was thinking, who really is good with change?
We have grown a little since those early married days. My sweet husband has learned that I am not quite so good with significant changes, and so he has gotten better at approaching me with a little more gentleness when those occur. On the other hand, I have learned that “joking around” is part of his love language, and laughing really is good medicine.
Change. Does anybody fully embrace it?
Yet, change is one thing we can be certain of in this life (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8). While some seasons bring about joy and others carry the heavy weight of overwhelm or sorrow, it can stir a bunch of emotions within us. Yes, I believe even for the “un-feelers”-like my precious hubby.
But there is hope! When changes come fast and furious (or even if we know they are on the horizon), we can hold on to this promise:
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Hebrews 13:8
Maybe you find yourself rattled by a season filled with changes. Peace may feel out of reach. Rest may feel unattainable, and you have no clue where joy is hiding. Well, friend, here is my personal prescription for peace, coming from a gal that truly struggles with change. May it bring forth a little comfort for you.
Early on in our marriage, we had another (and very wise) couple tell us when we feel ourselves getting frustrated, feel misunderstood, or when things get heated, hit the “reset” button. In other words, take a step back and give each other space. As in literally go into separate rooms. By taking time to step away and cool down, we are not as apt to act on impulse or get carried away with our emotions by doing or saying something we will later regret.
Change can bring a wild ride of emotions. When peace is robbed from you (or a loved one) during a season of change, we can do or say things that simply aren’t true and cause friction. So, when tensions rise, hit the emotional reset button. Remove yourself from the situation, take a deep breath, and set your eyes and heart on the One that is constant. When you find yourself alone, reach out and pray for discernment and wisdom on how to approach this season in a new way.
When we bring our hearts to Jesus, we no longer depend on our own strength but rely on God to shift our focus, lead and sustain us, and grant us peace. After you take a moment to restore a sense of calmness, retrace your steps back to your loved one and start anew. Seek forgiveness when needed and grant it as well.
Ways you can reset:
-Step outside or take a walk
-Play some relaxing music
-Practice calming techniques such as deep breathing
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I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I sat in a glider seeking God to give me just a little rest at 2 o’clock in the morning, rocking a fussy baby—begging for peace to wash over me. Praying to see the joy in the new mom season because living in survival mode was stealing that away from me. I was so tired and weary.
Then I had a sweet friend stop by. She took my fussy little bundle and told me to go take a shower. She saw how desperately I needed a little self-care. Then she offered to watch my baby, so I could take a nap. I burst into tears as her kind gesture was just what my exhausted body desperately needed.
Rest can do wonders for our bodies. While physical rest is important, we also need mental, emotional, and spiritual rest. We can do that by creating safe spaces for us to rest. For example, you may take a break from social media to rest mentally or emotionally. You may slip off to your room and ask your hubby to give you a moment while you just lay in bed with a book.
As you go about your day, no matter what season you find yourself in, you can be in constant communion with God. Seek Him and allow Him to carry you through. Pray and ask for rest and be willing to receive help when it is provided. It will bless you more than you know.
Ways you can rest:
-Seek support, and don’t be afraid to ask for help
-Prep and plan ahead of time so you can relax when you feel worn out
-Take breaks from things that are draining or overwhelming you
Psalm 139:14 says that we are fearfully and wonderfully made. It is a beloved verse that many believers cling to for hope when they struggle with their bodily image. However, as we go through various seasons in our lives, we can let our body, which is a temple of God (1 Corinthians 3:16-17), slide into bad habits. Stress can often take a toll, leading to unhealthy coping methods.
Jesus provides us with a beautiful example of how to refuel ourselves. We see in the gospels that in seasons of change, Jesus stepped away and took ample time to pray. Jesus was the most beautiful example of teaching us how to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17). We see Him as He prayed at His baptism (Luke 3:21-220), after healing people (Luke 5:16, Mark 7:31-37), before performing miracles (John 6:11), even among knowing His fate, retreating to the Garden of Gethsemane to call upon the Lord (Matthew 26:36-46). Jesus even reaches out to His Abba Father while on the cross (Luke 24:30).
We can also refuel by being mindful of what we are putting into it. A healthy diet is beneficial on many fronts, but when we are undergoing changes and various forms of stress factors already surround us, healthy foods and getting plenty of water are beyond beneficial.
Ways you can get refueled:
-Pray throughout your day
-Put in place a healthy diet
-Drink plenty of water
Prayer for Peace
We know that in this life, we will come across seasons of want and seasons of plenty. We will have seasons that bring peace and joy and seasons that will break our heart. We ask that you come alongside us in every season and reclaim our peace. We thank you for Your wisdom and guidance and pray we follow the path you lay before us with complete confidence that with You, we can embrace change with a heart full of gratitude.
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Alicia Searl is a devotional author, blogger, and speaker that is passionate about pouring out her heart and pointing ladies of all ages back to Jesus. She has an education background and master’s in literacy. Her favorite people call her Mom, which is why much of her time is spent cheering them on at a softball game or dance class. She is married to her heartthrob (a tall, spiky-haired blond) who can whip up a mean latte. She sips that goodness while writing her heart on a page while her puppy licks her feet. Visit her website at aliciasearl.com and connect with her on Instagram and Facebook.