THE CHANGE EQUA­TION

Activated - - NEWS - By Maria Fon­taine, adapted Maria Fon­taine and her hus­band, Peter Am­s­ter­dam, are di­rec­tors of the Fam­ily In­ter­na­tional, a Chris­tian com­mu­nity of faith.

This is a time of great change in the world— tech­no­log­i­cal, eco­nomic, re­li­gious, po­lit­i­cal, busi­ness, and en­vi­ron­men­tal. The re­sults are seen in gov­ern­ments, or­ga­ni­za­tions, and in the lives of fam­i­lies and in­di­vid­u­als. Al­though it’s some­times more ev­i­dent and eas­ier to rec­og­nize and take stock of at the start of a new year, change is ac­tu­ally con­stantly af­fect­ing all spheres of so­ci­ety.

Many peo­ple, from re­li­gious lead­ers to pro­duc­tiv­ity gu­rus to life coaches to po­lit­i­cal lead­ers, re­al­ize the ben­e­fits of change and em­pha­size flex­i­bil­ity. Ev­ery­one knows that it is rough to go through, but when the dif­fi­cul­ties are weighed against the ben­e­fits that change brings about, most agree that it’s worth it.

Much of the ben­e­fit we de­rive from the changes that come into our lives de­pends on how we look at them and whether or not we em­brace them. As al­ways, our at­ti­tude is a key fac­tor. At­ti­tude can make the dif­fer­ence be­tween suc­ceed­ing de­spite dif­fi­culty or suc­cumb­ing to it. Life is a jour­ney; and change, even big change, is a part of life’s equa­tion. As we fol­low God and read His Word, we will find the faith that can help us through dif­fi­cult times, in­clud­ing times of painful change.

Some fac­tors that have helped me to de­velop a pos­i­tive out­look on change in­clude:

Try­ing to an­tic­i­pate the re­sul­tant good re­sults ahead. Since there of­ten isn’t any way we can stop change—and if we try, it will knock us over—I’ve found that in those cases the best thing to do is em­brace it and go with the flow. Be­ing pos­i­tive can mean the dif­fer­ence be­tween rid­ing waves of change and drown­ing in them.

Ask­ing God to help me to see the ben­e­fits of the changes that He’s al­low­ing in my life. When I ask Him

for the un­der­stand­ing and wis­dom to get the most out of th­ese changes, He speaks to me and gives me the an­swers that I need.

Re­al­iz­ing that at times the tough­est things that I have to pass through are the things that are the most ben­e­fi­cial for me in the long run. It can be hard to re­mem­ber this when I’m go­ing through a dif­fi­cult sit­u­a­tion, but some­times I just need to “hold on,” know­ing that once the storm passes, the sun will come out and I will see ev­ery­thing in a new light.

Con­nect­ing with God reg­u­larly for my per­sonal en­cour­age­ment and guid­ance, through His Word, through med­i­ta­tion and prayer, etc. As desta­bi­liz­ing as change can be, God will al­ways re­main our an­chor, and His Word will give us faith that will make the ride smoother.

Re­mem­ber­ing that God loves me and cares deeply about me and my hap­pi­ness and well-be­ing. In His great and all-abid­ing love for me, He some­times has to al­low some­thing in my life that might not seem good, but that will ac­tu­ally turn out to be an ex­pe­ri­ence of great ben­e­fit. Be­liev­ing that He can man­i­fest His love through dif­fi­cult cir­cum­stances, and hav­ing the faith to see that even tough things can be good things, is a chal­lenge, but I’ve found that if I can ac­cept that chal­lenge, I’m well on my way to feel­ing more com­fort­able and at peace with change.

Some­times God sim­ply can’t bring the good that He wishes to bring into our lives with­out us pass­ing through some pretty stormy times. So if you’re feel­ing the waves crash­ing about you, trust Him and have faith that He knows what He’s do­ing. He de­sires only the very best for us.

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