You, Me, and Change

Three tips for cop­ing

Activated - - FRONT PAGE - By Marie Alvero Marie Alvero is a for­mer mis­sion­ary to Africa and Mex­ico. She cur­rently lives a happy, busy life with her hus­band and chil­dren in Cen­tral Texas, USA.

Change is a scary thing. Even the best of changes have some down­sides or fall­out, and the worst of changes usu­ally have some sil­ver lin­ing hid­den in them. But no mat­ter how much I know this in my head, some­times it’s hard to be­lieve it in my heart.

Re­gard­less of your po­si­tion on change, the re­al­ity is that change is in­evitable. No mat­ter where you go, change will find you. I love rou­tine and pre­dictabil­ity. Yet I’ve dis­cov­ered that the most mean­ing­ful and sat­is­fy­ing things in my life came about as the re­sult of changes. The growth into ex­cel­lence in a new field: the re­sult of dras­tic change. A sta­ble and ful­fill­ing marriage: the re­sult of a ma­jor change—not to men­tion on­go­ing changes and ad­just­ment. The joy of par­ent­ing: also a change. Mean­ing­ful friend­ships: gen­er­ally born through change. A healthy life­style: yep, be­cause I changed.

The truth is that my life would be far scarier if it had never changed or con­tin­ued to change—po­ten­tial un­ful­filled, pas­sion not pur­sued, gifts undis­cov­ered, truths un­learned.

Here are some of my tips and tricks for cop­ing with change and the un­fa­mil­iar:

1 Reframe the change:

Of­ten, when I’m re­sis­tant to change or dread­ing a spe­cific out­come, it’s my per­spec­tive on the sit­u­a­tion that’s off, and get­ting a new take can make all the dif­fer­ence. Some­times that new out­look comes from talk­ing with some­one who has a broader view of the sit­u­a­tion, some­times it comes from re­search­ing and bet­ter in­form­ing my­self about the change. I can also get it by wait­ing to form an opinion and be­ing open to what­ever hap­pens.

2 Choos­ing change:

Rather than let­ting change be some­thing un­fa­mil­iar that I hide from and re­sist un­til it over­pow­ers my life, I can seek out change. Sim­i­lar to how ath­letes stay in shape for run­ning a marathon by con­tin­u­ally train­ing and im­prov­ing their per­for­mance, I can be ready for change by prac­tic­ing change in my ev­ery­day life. Th­ese can be small changes, like try­ing a new recipe, work­out rou­tine, or restau­rant; or big­ger ones, like pur­su­ing a new hobby, line of work, or friend­ship.

3 Remember what doesn’t change:

“I am the Lord, I do not change.” No mat­ter what else changes, 1 whether for good or bad, within your con­trol or far be­yond your reach, God’s sovereignty isn’t chang­ing. Times of change and un­cer­tainty can strengthen your faith and re­liance on God’s love, care, and prov­i­dence, and that’s a very good thing.

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