Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Change

I have never been a huge fan of change. I like tradition, consistency, and steadiness. While I do enjoy adventure and new experiences, I prefer them in intermittent, controlled doses--not the upheaval of unexpected, unwelcome change that can often occur in life. I think that is one of the reasons I love to read so much--experiencing different ideas, places, and stories from the comfort of my cozy chair.

Part of this is very much a female thing. In Bringing Up Boys, Dr. James Dobson describes a woman's tendency and preference for stability and a man's inclination toward adventure. To me this is not saying that women don't like new and adventurous experiences--I would be the first to sign up for a back-packing trip across Europe or a safari in Africa. I just want to be able to return to the familiar rhythm of everyday life at home afterwards. It's that nesting instinct that is the "home-making" gene we carry.

I do know, though, that the Lord has used "change" tremendously is my life to grow and teach me. I had to be removed from my comfort zone to prevent me from becoming stagnant.


Change.
We love it. We hate it. It is good. It is bad. It is easy. It is difficult. It makes us vulnerable. It gives us confidence. It shakes our very foundation. It grows our sense of security. It stretches us. It causes us to withdraw. It is frightening. It is refreshing.
Change is challenging. Change brings a creative flow of feelings and experiences that give life more quality. Change brings new perspectives. Change teaches us. Change….
Change is an inevitable part of life.
--Ann Kiemel Anderson

So while change can bring discomfort, anxiety and many other unwelcome feelings, we can take solace in the the fact that God is refining us through these changes and "bringing all things together for good." Change brings a clearer perspective, often times when things we have come to depend on have been stripped away. We are driven to declare our dependence on Him alone. I can now look back with gratitude at these times of change.

*******

In relation to parenting, I believe that this is so important to model to our children--dealing with change. In working with college students, I encounter many that have no ability to deal with change. If they are not in control or having their circumstances controlled by their parents, many can't cope with dealing with life and the many changes that they are experiencing or will experience. They seem to either spiral out of control or shut down.

My husband and I strive to respond in obedience and faith to the changes that God brings into our lives, and pray that our children will see that change is inevitable, but that we do have a stability and security in Christ. There is no need to fear change--He is in control, thankfully not us!

So the next time you are facing a big change in life, be challenged to ask God what He might be desiring for you to learn from it. Meet change with obedience and faith!

9 comments:

Jane said...

What a great reflection on change, so true. I love that quote. Thanks for this Kelly, I needed it, as I am facing 3 major life changes in the space of a few months! This has been really helpful to read. Thanks!

Susie said...

Another wonderful post Kelly. I think I am one of those like your college students who have a difficulty dealing with change. However, being in the ministry I am in, God had to teach me really quick to be open to change. I think it helped when I remembered that God really does have my best interests in mind, like growing me and molding me through the changes.

Almost forgot to say, thanks for your sweet comments on my blog look and carnation story.

erin said...

I am not a huge fan of change, but then again, I get bored when there isn't enough change in my life. . . God uses all things. But, I, like you, prefer the comfort of home and have serious nesting instincts!!

And, I remember going through a bit of what you described when I was in college. I remember sitting in my dorm room longing for the future when I would be married and in a "home" again. Just missed the comfort of being part of a home.

Thanks for the challenge!!

janiswrites said...

I have been guilty of not embracing change. I have come to see that change can be a good thing, because I do learn and grow from it. Going through the refiner's fire of change can transform you into something and someone even more beautiful! Thanks for the wonderful post! I really enjoyed it! Blessings!

Jill said...

Thank you for your post. God has been working on me so much lately in this area. Although I thought I was OK with change of circumstances, He has revealed my inability to be 'flexible'. You are so right is saying that this is where God moves, and grows us. In our weakness He is strong.

God has used you this morning to keep me reminded to be flexible.

Jennifer said...

I wouldn't say that I crave change, but I don't seem to be too resistant to it--maybe precisely because God always does grow and change me.

I also wanted to remind you that Friday is the deadline to post your Read to Me summary. I'd love to read how you fared.

Susanne said...

Great thoughts, Kelly. I'm not a huge fan of change or risk but life is full of them. And we need to be able to trust God with them. Your point about college students and how some don't know how to handle it really jumped out at me.

Sandy said...

I love Ann K. Anderson's quote. I really do not like change, but as I grow I'm getting more comfortable with it. I'm learning to trust more.
Great post! Glad I found your site.

Elise said...

Boy, did I ever need to read this today, as we are facing big changes that feel almost crippling to me at times, and exciting at others.
I am so thankful you reminded me that He is steadfast, sure and never, ever changes!