To the Woman Facing Change
To the woman standing knee high in boxes as she packs up her life.
To the woman sitting on an examination table who was just told she is facing an uphill battle.
To the woman who just lost a loved one.
To the woman who just wore a cap and gown and walked across the stage to receive her diploma.
To the woman facing change…of any kind.
You are not alone.
As I listen to women around me, I am reminded that we all face change. This week, though, change was always before me. I walked with a friend as she left her job. I listened to a woman as she struggled through the changes that came with being married. I said good-bye to couples who headed overseas. I mourned with a friend as her family member struggled to live. I rejoiced with a lady who is graduating. I packed up my own house because I am moving to another state. And maybe you are facing some kind of change right now. Life constantly changes, yet many of us desire permanence. How do we handle our lives when they seem out of control?
First, there are some things you need to remember:
1. The Lord is faithful and good.
God is interested and involved in your life. And this brings hope because you know His character. Look at what Scripture says about Him:
- “Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments.” (Deuteronomy 7:9).
- “For the word of the Lord is right and true; he is faithful in all he does.” (Psalm 33:4)
- “The one who called you is faithful and he will do it.” (1 Thessalonians 5:24).
- “If we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself.” (2 Timothy 2:13).
- “Praise the Lord. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.” (Psalm 106:1).
The truth is, God is a good Father. He cares for you and He knows the plans he has for you. This truth allows you to face change with confidence, knowing that God is good. And that good work he began in you, He will be faithful to complete it. (Philippians 1:6)
2. The Lord goes with you.
One of the hardest parts of change is the feeling of loneliness that can accompany it. I have a fantastic family who walks beside me as I go, but they won’t physically be there. It still scares me to know that I am walking into the unknown. But I can take comfort in the fact that the Father walks with me. And He is in control. Joshua, when he took a leadership position and his life drastically changed, was told, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified, do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9). While you may not be marching in to war against the giants of the Promised Land, you too can take courage in the fact that you do not go alone. The God who defeated death goes with you. As the old hymn says, you “can face uncertain days because He lives” (Because He Lives).
3. The Lord is your constant who never changes
One of the difficulties of change is that you lose the perceived control that you think you have over your life. You’ve built a rhythm and a routine. You know, or at least think you know, what tomorrow looks like and you believe that you don’t have to worry about it. But the sayings are partially true: “the only constant is change” and “the only things that are certain are death and taxes.” Except they forgot something: God is constant and his love is certain. You may not be in control, but you follow a God who is. And James says that “every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows” (James 1:17).
While there are things to remember, there are also things you should do:
1. Say your good-byes well
No matter what changes you face, you are saying goodbye to something. Some of you say goodbye to friends and family. Others leave a familiar job and set out for the unknown. Others say goodbye to a significant relationship. Others simply say goodbye to a routine or a familiarity. But you all say goodbye. And you need to know how to say goodbye gracefully. This includes mending broken relationships, encouraging those you leave behind, and making the transition, as best you can, without regrets.
2. Take time to grieve.
Because you all say goodbye to something or someone, you need to be ok with grieving for what you lose. There is no shame in grief. Grief allows you to deal with our loss. You can grieve over lost relationships, lost jobs, lost routines. And this grief is ok as long as you keep your eyes on Christ and do not let your grief overcome you. Sometimes, your grief makes you feel like a palm tree, being blown about by the hurricane. It bends and it flaps around, but it doesn’t break because it is rooted. You are rooted in Christ, even when you face the grief associated with change.
3. Spend time with the Lord
When you face change, do not forget the importance of your time with the Lord. When so many other things seem out of control, you must spend time with the one who is faithful, good, ever-present, and constant. When change comes, you can only face these uncertain days by drawing near to the Lord and seeking his face. He is the peace in the storm of transition.
So if you are facing change right now, remember who God is. Recall his faithfulness, delight in his proximity, and rest in his constancy. But also act! Say goodbye with grace. Allow yourself to grieve, as one rooted in Christ. And guard your time with the Lord, never taking your eyes off him as you walk in your transition.
-Your sister who is also facing change