The Key to Successfully Handling Change

The house is quiet.  It’s a foreign sound.

For years—no, decades—my house has been full of laughter, voices, music and the occasional sibling squabble. We affectionately call ourselves The Loud Family”.  Not one of us is an introvert.  If you know us, you’re nodding your head right now.

This summer has been a whirlwind of activity.  The kids have all been home (newly married Kylie and Tim have even been living with us until their place is ready). Our home has bustled from morning till night with someone coming or going.

Last night I flew home after getting Ashton settled at college.  Kylie’s in Haiti. Taylor now lives in Los Angeles.  JP flew home late from a visit with his mom.

So last night it was just me.

Normally when the key turns in the lock someone’s around to yell “Hey Mom!”  Someone’s there to greet me or give me a hug.

But last night no sounds rang from other parts of the house; no one bounded down the stairs; no one hugged my neck. I was greeted by silence.

All I could think was What do I do now?

It’s not the first time I’ve had this thought.  It happened when I graduated from college.  It happened when I had my first child.  It happened when my youngest started kindergarten.  It happened when we made a major move.

If fact, I’d venture to say it’s the thought that replays more often in the mind of a woman than any other.  With each changing season we’re faced with the question, what now?  Yes, it’s scary and terrifying and a little sad, but it’s also brimming with new possibilities. The new normal doesn’t have to be bad.

Just different.

Different can be good in a different sort of way. In fact, different can be great.

With the right attitude and plan of action.

I wish I could say I’ve always known how to handle change in a positive, healthy way, but the truth is, I haven’t. As a new mom I sometimes longed for the days when I could grab my purse and be out the door in two minutes flat.  When the kids were in pre-school I wondered how my wardrobe suddenly morphed into sweat pant central and I secretly envied women who actually got dressed in outfits that required heals. When we moved I longed for the safety of the familiar, even though our new city meant new opportunities.  When I began traveling and speaking more frequently I sometimes longed for the days of travel-free weekends.

I had to learn the key to successfully handling change is to look forward with anticipation and look back with gratitude. I had to learn to stop saying “I wish it was” and start saying “I’m glad it is”.

So whether you’re a new graduate, a new mom, a new employee, or a new empty nest-er, don’t cling to your old way of living—you’ll just end up frustrated and depressed. Embrace the new season, thanking God for every moment of the old one.

Here’s what I’m saying to myself today and to every woman who also finds herself in a season of change: You, girl, are about to grow. You’re about to change because your circumstances have forced you to, whether you like it or not.

Don’t fight the change, embrace it.

Ask God how He wants you to use it.

And let me know, will you?  I’d love to hear your stories of change.  I’m expecting great things in you and for you!

 

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.

~Ecclesiastes 3:1

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