For Anyone Who Dislikes Change
For Anyone Who Dislikes Change
3 Healthy, Biblical Responses to Change
Happy Fall! The weather is changing, stuffy noses feel like the norm, and pumpkin-flavored everything is on the grocery store shelves. I don’t know about you, but I feel like summer went way too quickly. As much as I love pumpkin pie, I would much rather have an endless summer. But as much as I wish for warm weather, vacations, and salty skin, change is inevitable. To be honest, I dislike change. It can be hard, chaotic, and bring up a lot within me. Even when the change is good, it can still feel overwhelming and daunting. It makes me feel out of control, which stirs up a lot of fear and worry.
Perhaps you feel similar to my love for all things summer, or maybe you are facing a different kind of change in your life - in a relationship, job, or other situation. For whatever change you are facing today, I want to remind us of a well-known Psalm from David. This Psalm is read, sung, and recited in churches all over the world. Most likely, you have come into contact with this verse at some point in your life. But as we read this today, let’s reflect on our responses to change:
Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me. Psalm 23:4.
What we see here is that there are three ways for us to respond to change:
#1 - Recognize.
We often hold tension or stress in our bodies, minds, and spirits. It can be easy to ignore this tension as we continue through the chaos of life. As change brings up stress and tension within us, it can be hard to become aware of the ways that it is affecting us. What would it look like to be still and recognize how your body is reacting? Perhaps for you, this looks like meditation and reminding yourself of truth. Maybe it means talking it out with a friend and processing the change. At the beginning of Psalm 23:4, we see David first recognize what is occurring. There is an awareness of the valleys and dark seasons he is experiencing. How many of us have said something similar to this? “Well, it’s a hard adjustment, but it’s fine…” Here, David first recognizes the darkness and sits in his reality. He doesn’t try to mask it or stuff it down. He sits in the awareness that change can bring dark valleys.
#2 - Seek Guidance.
In the midst of change, it can feel overwhelming to reach out to others for help and guidance. It feels easier to grin and bear it in hopes that everything will get better. As a society, we assume that admitting we need help in a season of change is a weakness. I think it’s necessary. We see in Psalm 23:4 that David first brings awareness to the reality of situations and then seeks the guidance of the One who created him. Once we become aware, we can more clearly see where we need help. Where is a place of need for you in this season of change? Do you need tangible help while you sort through the newness? Or do you need someone who can help you process this new season?
#3 - Seek Peace.
As someone who deals with a lot of worry during change, the idea of “seeking peace" can slightly feel triggering. What if I can’t find peace? Everything seems to be overwhelming in newness, but peace comes as we first seek awareness and guidance. As we see in this Psalm, David recognizes the reality of the situation while also seeking comfort from his Creator. And the same is true for you and I. We can be overwhelmed while also allowing comfort. While it may not seem like these two emotions can easily fit together, it is possible to hold both at the same time.
Change can be extremely daunting. Whether it is the change of seasons, or a new season in life, recognizing the steps we can take in response can be beneficial. My hope is that you first sit in what is occurring within you; recognize where you are and what you are feeling. Don’t shy away from the realities of what is happening. Turn to others to express your feelings toward change and allow them to seek peace with you.
Elyssa is a writer, communicator, and learner. She loves to adventure and explore beaches in San Clemente with her husband Jeremy. She is continually learning more about her ongoing journey with anxiety and writes it all down at elyssafaith.org.