Book study

Embracing Life’s Transitions // Week One

GirlMeetsChange_FB2

The first line of the first chapter stopped me. I had to sit and ponder. And then I had to ask of the Lord. “Really? Are there really far better things ahead than what I’ve been asked to leave behind. Because really, Lord, I thought what I had was pretty good.”

“There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind.” – C.S. Lewis

How about you, my friends. Did this quote stop you and leave you pondering or questioning your current season?

Sometimes the pain that change brings is unbearable. You can almost feel it from the inside out as your heart cracks open and your gaping wound is exposed. At least for me, that is the way I’ve felt through long seasons of change. Some changes are welcome with open arms and hearts, yet I’ve kicked and screamed my way through, wondering where God was in all of it. Why is it necessary? And if it is His plan, why does it hurt so much.

CHAPTER 2
I can imagine the life Kristen had dreamed of, and yet, she was no sooner married then she was asked to pack up and move cross-country.  As if being a newlywed and married to an air force officer wasn’t enough. Kristen had to fasten her seat belt and prepare to meet change head on.

Have you found yourself asking these questions of the Lord in your season of change?

“How am I supposed to make room in my heart for the new realities change brings when I want nothing more to do with change in the first place?”

“How can I live my life well when life feels completely unfamiliar and foreign?”

Where do I find contentment in the middle of this messy change? #girlmeetschange Click To Tweet

For me, contentment (or the lack thereof) has been a huge part of my long season of change. From the time my husband lost his job over 4.5 years ago (thankfully he’s employed now), to the time we had to short sell our home of 16 years, to having to sell cars and jewelry just to eat, to my most recent layoff and having to settle into a new job — in all of it I realize I’ve been searching for contentment.

It's not that I didn't know how to be content. I didn't want to be content with change. Click To Tweet

Acknowledging that God wants to be in our lives more than those things we hold onto is the first step to acceptance, and the first step to contentment.

When your life is suddenly turned upside down by change, you have two choices: accept or reject.

“It takes time to maneuver the rough textures and shadowy shades of change that dips its fingers into all parts of our lives. It takes time for our hearts to accept it. But when we do learn to accept it, we see how God uses it to take us from the (Arbuckle) wilderness to our own (beach) paradise.” – Kristen Strong, Girl Meets Change

I don’t now about you ladies, but I’d much rather be sitting on a beach in paradise somewhere than wandering around in the wilderness unsatisfied with where I am in life today.

How has this first chapter impacted you?  What stands out to you the most? I would love for you to leave your thoughts in the comments below. You can also visit me on Facebook.

Next week we will discuss Chapter 2 – The Way Change Moves.

16 thoughts on “Embracing Life’s Transitions // Week One”

  1. Michele Morin says:

    I really identified with Kristen’s struggles with change, because I tend to react negatively to change myself. And . . . I have a tendency to be evaluating all the time, “Is this what I should be doing?” I’m in such a different place than I ever anticipated I would be at this point, and yet there are so many good things that God has given out of His grace that I can’t doubt His care and love for me. When I reviewed Kristen’s book, I came to the realization that I only embrace changes that: 1. Are my idea; 2. Produce a good outcome — as I would define it. Part of maturing in Christ, for me, has been letting Him define what is “good.”
    Michele Morin recently posted..10 Critical Concepts for Women’s Ministry

    1. Barbie says:

      Thanks such a great point Michele. Sometimes we are so quick to label change as something that is not good. But God only has our best at heart and even though sometimes the change is hard, heartbreaking at times, we can have faith that God will show us His goodness through it.

  2. Lisa notes says:

    Contentment often seems like a roving target. But it’s always encouraging to hear that it is possible to find. I’m in a good season of life right now, so it’s easy to be content, but I know that change is ALWAYS just around the corner. That never changes. 🙂 And I want my contentment to rest on God’s provision in every season, not my circumstances. Thanks for the encouragement here, Barbie!
    Lisa notes recently posted..When our love isn’t enough

    1. Barbie says:

      Thanks for stopping by and joining the discussion Lisa. I am on a journey of contentment and have much to learn.

  3. Carrie says:

    This gives me a lot to think about and I’m only a lurker here! My past has so many scars that I never quite experienced the “settled” feeling. I was too busy running: from Him, from myself and from pain. It took me many long years lost in the wilderness to get me where I am today. Back to Him and the simple, powerful truth: He is all I need. When a tsunami of change threatens, I run to Him and hand it all over. What a freeing way to live! So brand new to me. Blessings, Friend <3

    1. Barbie says:

      I so have not arrived at feeling “settled” in change. Like I wrote in my post, I choose to not be content. I know the Lord has much to teach me. I pray my heart will always remain open. Thankful for you!

  4. Shelby says:

    I hate change. HATE.IT. Even the good kind. Give me a rut and a routine and I’m content. As I’m reading in this book, though, the Lord is quietly speaking to me that I need Him MORE — I turn to HIM MORE — when I am in seasons of change. And that maybe content — the kind of content that I want to be, with my circumstances – is exactly the wrong kind of contentment. He wants me content in HIM, trusting that any change that He brings to or allows in my life is for the Kingdom good — and that includes me.

    I’m so happy you’re doing this, Barbie! 🙂

    1. Barbie says:

      That’s such great point Shelby. May we never become so content with our circumstances that we fail to recognize our need for Him.

  5. June says:

    I’m not able to read along with you this time, Barbie, but just as I knew you would, you’ve offered up a good deal of encouragement and thought right here! My life took a complete 180 turn about three years ago, so I can relate to a lot of these feelings and questions. I can also, by God’s grace, say that Lewis’ quote is 100% spot on. That’s not something you can necessarily embrace in the midst of the change, though. God always has Better in mind for us, always. I’m praying God uses this book to offer you hope and healing, sweet friend.
    June recently posted..Inspired by . . . what birds see

    1. Barbie says:

      Thank you so much June. So thankful to hear you are in a good season. Hugs!

  6. Trudy says:

    Though I’m not able to read along with you, Barbie, I am already being encouraged by your posts. Thank you. In our present changes, I always seem to imagine bad things ahead instead of better. But I’m trying to trust God and His promise that He will supply all our needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. This line really catches my attention and gives me cause for reflection – “Acknowledging that God wants to be in our lives more than those things we hold onto is the first step to acceptance, and the first step to contentment.”
    Trudy recently posted..Our Intercessor, Our Friend

    1. Barbie says:

      So glad you are here Trudy! I too can tend to think upon the negative, forgetting that God has good things for us up ahead. Acknowledge our need for Him is the first step to being content.

  7. Dot says:

    Change is very hard for me,. I give God my worries and then take them back . Trust has always be an issue for me as I always managed to get hurt when i trusted someone. I need to Trust God as he is my father. I never knew my real dad and was always told I was abandon by him and my step dad adopted me but always through it up in my face. I was adopted at 3 years old it was not my decision So trusting a father is extremely hard for me..I am not giving up I am enjoying Kristen’s book. I pray for that strong trust and peace in my father. Kristen seemed strong even though she did not like change. She waited and trusted. My faith is strong it is the trust issue i am working on. Please keep me in your prayers.

    1. Barbie says:

      Dot, thank you so much for sharing. I am sorry you were abandoned by your earthly father. But you can have faith in the fact that God will never, ever abandon you, no matter what. He is a good Father. Yes, He seems far away at times, and sometimes we can’t hear Him or see His plan up ahead. But He is good and you will see His goodness here on this earth. It’s a promise. I will be praying for you, that you will learn to trust Him. He is faithful.

  8. Candace says:

    I would choose the beach any day too, Barbie! Change really can be so incredibly difficult. This has given me a much better perspective about it. Thank you :). I got this book in my swag bag at Allume. You have made me excited to read it. I’m going to have to lift it a few spots on my to read list.
    Candace recently posted..Tell Your Story

    1. Barbie says:

      We can be beach bums together Candace. You will really enjoy the book! Have a blessed weekend.

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