This season ahead is full of change for our family. I’m taking a big leap and starting homeschool with Grace. This means a lot of things are changing, namely my work schedule and what will be filling my brain and heart each day. The journey ahead isn’t just about teaching her to read and write and discover the world (I’m going to have to rely on Ari to teach math!); it’s about cultivating her heart. More on homeschool in another post as we figure out what’s best for our family.
Today, I want to talk about change.
Change–even good change–can be uncomfortable.
Change is hard.
Transitions are hard.
But, after the last two years of rapid life change, here’s something I never thought I would say about this season ahead:
I am grateful to be stretched outside of my comfort zone.
We humans like certainty and known outcomes, am I right planner friends? Our brains seek out patterns and habits because they require less brain activity, so change literally feels uncomfortable. It feels like a lot of work because it is more work for our brains—and hearts.
That means that true change is supposed to feel hard. It may even mean we are growing in the right direction and changing for the better.
You might be thinking right now that you do not want change, even if it’s for the better. But, let’s dig a little deeper.
Do you want to live more intentionally?
If so, then yes, you do want change! You just may not want the hard parts that come along with it.
We want it but we don’t want it, right? : )
Do you have a transition or something new ahead?
Whether you’re starting something new, taking a leap of faith, walking through a season of waiting, helping kids transition back to school, or are in the thick of something challenging that’s pushing you outside of your comfort zone, here are three tips for embracing change. Disclaimer: these tips don’t apply to every situation, but I almost hesitate to even give that disclaimer! Y’all are wise beyond your years. Apply these tips with prayer and wisdom! They have certainly helped me in many situations over the last two years:
1) Go with it to grow with it. Resisting change might be making you spin your wheels, holding you back from potentially better outcomes. We try so hard to resist change, but that’s like resisting the seasons and wearing shorts in the winter! Winter clothes in the winter months are a good thing. You should wear them. : ) The alternative is to stay in your comfort zone and not actually be that comfortable in the end. Growth and change are inevitable parts of every new season.
2) Think big picture to break out of small thinking. Ask yourself, “Will this change get me closer to where I want to be when I’m 80 years old?” For me, will homeschooling Grace be crazy hard in the short term? Yes, likely. Will it bring me to my knees? Yes, I anticipate so. But, in the big picture, will it help Ari and me cultivate Grace’s unique heart? Lord willing, yes. Will taking a leap of faith and hiring a new team member help us grow and flourish–and therefore change more lives? Yes. Will embracing the changes my body is going through help me to uncover solutions? Most definitely. Denial is a comfortable place to be until it’s not. 🙂 In the big picture, could that leap of faith, move, big step, hard thing, or transition be good in the end? Sometimes we won’t know the answers until we embrace where we are and dig in to find out.
3) Consider something crazy: change might be good! The times I’m stretched to change are times I end up feeling most at peace. Why? Because I rely on God more instead of myself. When everything feels out of my control and I just can’t fix it all or figure it out or handle the change, I remember that I don’t have to. As I wrote in Cultivate, “You likely have heard the popular phrase: ‘She believed she could, so she did.’ Those words are lovely and instill confidence, but that doesn’t last. I know a deeper truth: She believed she couldn’t, so He did. You don’t have to make it all happen. You just have to take one step forward in faith and let Him do the rest. Where you can’t, God already has.” Surrendering in times of change helps me to find a peace that passes all understanding–a joy that supersedes all the hard stuff.
Change is hard, but change is essential for growth. In order to grow, a seed first has to let go of its outer shell.
Your turn! What change are you facing right now? Has it been hard? Are you feeling some fear? Do you have a tip for embracing change that has helped you? I’d love to hear from you!