Benjamin Franklin once said, “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” I believe what is also certain is change. We will have to deal with changes in our lives – all our lives.
Change is certain, change is inevitable, change is all around us.
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:
A time to be born and a time to die,
A time to plant and a time to uproot,
A time to kill and a time to heal,
A time to tear down and a time to build,
A time to weep and a time to laugh,
A time to mourn and a time to dance,
A time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
A time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
A time to search and a time to give up,
A time to keep and a time to throw away,
A time to tear and a time to mend,
A time to be silent and a time to speak,
A time to love and a time to hate,
A time for war and a time for peace.
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Whether we like it or not, our lives are constantly in change. Nothing stays the same for long.
Changes can be big or small, chosen or happen to us, exciting or fearful, easy or difficult. Before we dive into our reactions to change and how to reset our default responses, let’s first discuss the three types of changes so we can identify these in our own lives.
Changes we choose: Even when we enter into change voluntarily, the adjustment is not always easy
Some changes we voluntarily take on – a new haircut, going away to college, getting married, taking a new job. However, even when we walk voluntarily into a change, it can still be difficult.
For example, you may choose to have a baby, but no one is ever truly ready for the change that a newborn brings into your life. Some people manage that change quite seamlessly, while others will struggle to adjust to this new life, even mourning the old life that’s changed so dramatically.
Changes that happen to us: The changes we didn’t ask for are often the most difficult to accept
Other changes happen to us – illness, death of a loved one, loss of a job. These are the unexpected changes, unplanned and unwanted. These are the ones we resist kicking and screaming, try to avoid, try to ignore and hope they go away, the ones we wish had never happened to us.
No one wants to lose their mom to cancer at a young age, have their child to be diagnosed with an illness, or lose their job and face the financial burdens that follow. Yet, God can redeem even the tragedies of this life to produce something good.
God-driven changes: Allowing God to change us is when we really start living
Changes we choose and changes that happen to us aren’t the only types of change. There’s one other type of change – God-driven changes. When we open our hearts to God and allow Him to work within us, He may lead us to changes in our lives.
These can feel like changes which happen to us, but there are steps we have to agree to take. I believe these are their own category of change – and an important one to recognize and accept in our lives.
[reminder preface=”Question: “]Which type of change are you facing today? How are you responding?[/reminder]
[callout]This post is part of the “A Better Change” series. For more information on this series and to find related posts, click here: A Better Change Series – Overview[/callout]
Sharing with: Motivation Monday, Unforced Rhythms, Testimony Tuesday, UNITE
In many ways, these are all God-driven changes! 🙂 It takes courage and faith to accept the challenges and doors He opens and closes, but in the end we are always blessed! Beautiful post; blessings to you all week long!
Yes – while I’m not sure God orchestrates all the changes we face (I don’t believe he makes bad things happen to us), He can lead us through them and lead us to something redeeming from whatever we’re facing.
I love that passage from Ecclesiastes, and I am currently in the midst of mega-changes – both asked-for and non-asked-for. 🙂 He is faithful through the limbo and the pain and the emotional roller coaster of all of it. Appreciate your thoughts here, Kathryn, and your presence over at my place earlier today. 🙂 You are a blessing!
Change is such a roller coaster, but thankfully God can keep us on the track! I often think of this tension we feel while in the change like a rubber band. We’ll be stretched to our limits as we change and grow but God will keep our band from breaking. Praying for you as you navigate through your changes!
Jen Daugherty says
I’m usually one to embrace and accept change, and I tend so like shaking things up a bit. But man, those unexpected changes can hit you out of nowhere and leave you reeling, that’s for sure! But whether we realize it or not, God’s right there, walking with us.
Visiting from #TestimonyTuesday!
Yes – some changes are easier than others to accept! I’m not one who likes to stick to ‘status quo’, but that’s easier when it’s a change I choose. The ones that blindside us are the hardest!
Kathryn-I love the way you described the different kinds of changes. I have been through all but currently as my life is changing it is more God-driven. This is exciting to me, but the reason why this time in my life is open to God-driven change is due to retiring from my job at the end of this school year and me calling out to God to lead me and use me as He will. All of this is nerve-wracking but very exciting.
Your series on change is going well. Thank you for carefully thinking through each of the components. Blessings to you!
As I’m becoming more aware and more open to the God-driven changes, I’m finding those the most exciting (and most scary). It’s hard to blindly trust, but I’m super-excited to see where God is leading me. Excited for you to see what chapter God will write for you next – sounds like a lot of opportunity!
Kelly Hausknecht Chripczuk says
I’m deep in the middle of some God-driven change, not what I would choose at all for this time and quite difficult, but there’s the promise of God’s always redemptive work that keeps me hanging in there. Ah, change. Thanks for linking with Unforced Rhythms.
Saying a prayer for you in your season of change. Keep trusting that God does redeem it all and will support and guide you through!