Today I’m picking back up with my Inner Beauty posts on Saturdays. I took the summer off from these because I needed time to adjust to the pace of delivering videos every Wednesday. And, while the pace certainly hasn’t slowed down, I’m ready to resume exploring the qualities that make a woman beautiful from the inside out.
Let’s talk about change…
Whether we initiated and sought out a change or it sneaked up and knocked the wind out of us, adjusting to change is hard for many of us. Even the shifting of seasons is bittersweet for those of us who love one more than the others. “Going with the flow” is one thing when you’re leisurely kayaking down a gentle river, but it’s completely different when you feel like life as you knew it has suddenly disappeared.
Are you working through a change in life right now? Was it welcomed or has it been forced upon you? Have you had time to process it or was it sudden and overwhelming?
Whether life is in the process of changing right now or you know things could be different any day now, I have just a few thoughts on how we might navigate changes in life with grace.
- Be patient with yourself. Change is hard. No, I mean it’s really hard. Know that when you have to say goodbye to a loved one, move to a new place, start a new job, leave a job you loved, downsize or bury a beloved pet…you’re doing something really difficult. So give yourself a little grace. Don’t beat yourself up for feeling sad, tired, overwhelmed, uncertain or frustrated. These are normal emotions.
- Be courageous. Yes, change is hard. But you were created to be able to do hard things. Not alone, mind you. I believe we need God to help us navigate change well. And we also need other people. But you can do this. You are stronger than you think. And you can do hard things.
- Express your emotions calmly and ask for support. I find that big emotions are sometimes the hardest to express. I’m afraid if I open my mouth and start talking they may spew out like a torrent of water from a fire hydrant. But I think it’s important that I try to let at least one or two people in my life know that I’m going through something hard so they can pray for me, support me and offer me a little grace, too.
- Don’t sweat the small stuff. If you’re going through a big change in life, you may need to let go of a few of the little things in life temporarily. Even little things that you enjoy may need to be put on hold for a season so that you can get your bearings in your new normal. That’s perfectly okay. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
- Let gratitude shape your attitude. I find it so helpful to turn my longings for the past into thankfulness for what used to be. While it’s counterproductive to cling to what was, it’s productive to feel grateful for what I had and to trust that what I may have lost will either be substituted with something else or I’ll learn, by God’s grace, to be content without it.
- Look for the new blessings. If we look back too long we may miss the good that is going on around us. Train yourself to look for the new blessings in your new situation. They’re there, I promise.
If you’re going through a change that has left you heartbroken, I’d like to suggest my Bible study, Joseph – Keeping a Soft Heart in a Hard Place. This in-depth 7-week Bible study explores the life of Joseph (son of Jacob) in Genesis 37-50. I wrote this study after struggling through a very difficult and painful change in my own life. Many women have said that it has helped them through painful seasons.
Do you have thoughts you’d like to share about today’s topic? I’d love to hear from you today! I tend to take as much time off from work as I can during the weekends, so I may not reply to your comments unless you ask me a direct question. But I’d love for you to carry on this conversation in the comment section below. And you can know for certain that I read and value each and every comment.