I'm no stranger to change. And I'm sure you aren't either. It's just a part of life. Whether it's marriage or divorce, death or the birth of a child, moving away or moving home, graduating or changing jobs, relationships starting or relationships ending...we've all been there.
But there's no reason we should be left lonely and confused when change happens. Here's 5 ways to handle life change.
Accept the Change.
Things are going to be different. And that can be scary. But different does not always mean bad! Sometimes, change can be oh so good. But still, it's hard to watch things change. It makes us feel powerless and out of control. Because well, honestly, change is something we just can't control. The sooner we accept that this is something that is outside our power to control, the quicker we can come to terms with the fact that change isn't bad-- just different.
Recognize why you are holding onto the past.
What was it that you loved so much about the past? Why is it so scary to feel like you're losing it? Maybe if you just graduated from college, you're scared to lose the feeling of closeness with your friends and roommates. If you're getting married, maybe you're scared to lose your independence. If you're moving away, maybe you're scared to lose the familiarity of your hometown. If you're getting divorced, maybe you're scared to lose having someone by your side. If you're in between jobs, maybe you're scared to lose financial security. If you're about to have a baby, maybe you're scared to lose extra time with your husband (or sleep!) It's good to dig deeper and ask ourselves, "Okay, why do I feel like I'm losing control right now? What am I going to miss the most?"
Find a way to pursue what you are missing.
Once you've identified what you're truly going to miss the most about this old season of your life, try to find a way to incorporate this in your new season. If you just graduated, even though you aren't living with your roommates anymore and you're busier with a full-time job, promise yourself that you will text your old roommates at least once a week to see how their doing, and push yourself to bond with your new co-workers to make new friends.
If you're getting married, talk with your fiance and see if he would support you in finding some independence by still going out and doing your own thing ever once in awhile.
If you're moving, maybe you look for a new coffee shop that reminds you of the one back home.
If you're getting divorced, maybe you call up an old friend and ask if they want to grab dinner soon.
If you're in between jobs, maybe you get together a budget for when you're back on your feet.
If you're about to have a baby, maybe you rope in some friends and family members so you can schedule date nights with your husband once a week. It's nice to be able to find what you miss in this new season.
Nothing will help you through a hard time more than gratitude. Even if you don't understand this new season of life, and you don't feel comfortable with it and you're still a little scared, try being thankful. Write it down in a gratitude journal, or just try to say thanks for this new season throughout the day--especially when it gets hard. When we close our fists and grasp tightly to our past season of life, we don't allow God to bless us with something new. So open your hands, trust that He gives good gifts and see what happens.
Be gracious with yourself
Life is hard and sometimes, you just need to mope around and cry because life changes and that sucks. Give yourself permission to cry after that first week of your first full time job or your first week in a new town after moving. Don't believe that lie that becoming a mother or wife for the firs time is all happy smiles all the time. Let yourself grieve your old season of life. But after a while, you gotta give yourself some tough love and tell yourself what a great new adventure you have awaiting you!