I am probably what change experts would call a laggard. I didn’t get a cell phone until I was in my 30’s and only joined Facebook a few years ago because without it, I would not be able to see photos of my husband while he was away on missions. It’s not that I am absolutely against change; I know that it’s important for growth, not only in organizations but in individual lives. But I do really appreciate comfort and security and I have a bit of a nostalgic side that longs for the “good old days”.
But change is always happening. There’s no way around it. In my own life, I am very aware of how little control I have over this force called change. As my body prepares to birth a baby boy, I know that I must let go of many of the “good old days” of our neat little family of four and embrace the possible chaos (and hopefully “better days”) of five. And as a parent of daughters who are literally changing right in front of me, I so often want to take them in my arms and somehow stop them from getting so big, even though I know that my job is to help them grow and become the people they are called to be. I cry at significant milestones in our daughters’ lives, not only because I’m happy and proud, but because I am mourning another loss of their child-likeness. Our bodies and lives are evidence that change is inevitable and necessary.
I don’t think being a change laggard is necessarily a bad thing. I think most people who are not as open to change are usually happy and content with their lives. Why would you want to change something that is so good? But people are also resistant to change because of the fear of the unknown – what if this change fails and things are not as good as before? What if we allow change to happen and lose the good stuff?
So if change is necessary and often better, how do laggards like me deal with it? Part of my process is to let go and allow myself to not only grieve for the good things of the past, but to also celebrate and find ways to remember them. Sometimes this continues to occur long after the change has happened, but for me it is a crucial process, as it then allows me to embrace the new things in my life.
Part of my dealing with change is also remembering Who is really in control. While my fear of change is natural, my trust in God and His plans for me need to outweigh this fear.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)
Lastly, I try to see and recognize the new things that God is doing and trust that they are good, even better, than what I already know. I intentionally choose to be thankful for what I had, what I have and what I will have.
“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” (Isaiah 43:19)
Thus sometimes, with all these things I need to do to accept change, it may take longer for people like me to embrace a new thing, but it doesn’t mean I won’t get there. I’m just on a slower train.
All this to say, change is happening. Even as I write this post, I feel a certain sadness realizing that even in this little blogging space that I’ve called home for the last year or so, things will change. No matter how much I overestimate my abilities, I am certain that I will not be able to sustain writing these weekly posts. And so change is inevitable … but good? And I just need to trust that God is going to do a new and better thing.
Dear reader, be sure to come back next week to see what new things God will be doing with this blog!