5 In Book study

Embracing Life’s Transitions // Week Two

I’ve learned the hard way that change can push us, pull us, rebuke and remake us. It can show us who we’ve become, in the worst ways, and also in the best ways. – Shauna Niequist, Bittersweet

Kristen opens chapter two by telling the story of her cousin John, and how his 6.5″ would intimidate those who crossed his path.

Are you intimated when change crosses your path? #embracinglifestransitions #girlmeetschange Click To Tweet

We can try to run from it, but we can’t hide.

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I don’t handle change well. I like routine, for things to look and feel the same. I get comfortable with a part of my life and I want to hang onto it for dear life.

I will admit, change invokes a certain fear in my heart — even the good changes.

But what if I were to choose to not give in to the fear that change brings? What if I, as Kristen so beautifully pointed out, chose to walk toward it with an assurance of safety. What if I could really acknowledge this change as God’s next best for me?

We can open our arms towards heaven knowing that this change, no matter how intimidating, is approved by a good, gentle and gracious God who desires us to see and feel him in our every day lives.” – Kristen Strong, Girl Meets Change

 Just how God gives us a fresh, new and different sunrise each day, so our lives are made of moments that differ and change with the wind, all to bring depth to our story.

Outward Change

I am so quick to look at my surroundings and my circumstances and think that’s it. I’ve lived the best part of my life and it’s all down hill from here. But the story doesn’t end just because my circumstances change.

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I love how Kirsten shared the story of Joseph. This man, full of hope and promise, thrown into prison.  Boy did his circumstances change! But he chose to believe that God could use him there, in that dark and desolate place, and that God would somehow bring him into His purpose. Wow!

Joseph’s story did not end with him low in the pit. And it won’t end for you there either!

Inward Change

If anyone had reason to be unsettled due to an inward change, it was Mary. Imagine being visited by the Angel of the Lord in your young, teen years and being told you, a virgin, were to give birth to the Christ child. Mary had every reason to turn and run. But instead, she simply said “yes”.

I am the Lord’s servant…May it be to me as you have said.” Then the angel left her. (Luke 1:38 NIV)

Mary said yes to this change and was willing to face ridicule because of it. She truly believed that nothing was impossible for God.

I have a long way to go in accepting change as Mary did. Instead, I mumble, groan and complain and want to throw a giant, “why me!” pity party. I’ve been known to ask God to find a way for me to escape the change, but in His wisdom and love, he reminds me that the only way out of change is through it.

The only way out of unwanted change is through it. #embracinglifestransitions #girlmeetschange Click To Tweet

Sometimes God brings us into a difficult season of change to grow and mature us. We often will not see the purpose behind it until we’ve come through it.  All the while we must remember that change is not the end. God’s grace and goodness are.

Kristen reminds us that just as God did for Joseph and Mary, He will use the change to carefully and purposefully weave His blessings into our lives.

What are you battling with the most? Inward or outward change?

How has Chapter Two impacted you? I would love for you to share in the comments below.

5 Comments

  • Reply
    Michele Morin
    November 17, 2015 at 8:27 am

    Right now, I’m walking through a season of boys coming and boys going. Setting the table for four and then finding out that I’m going to be feeding nine. Last weekend, I caught myself forming the irrational words, “I don’t mind unexpected company. I just wish I could know about it in advance.” Hmmm.
    I’m realizing from my irrational thinking that it’s AFTER we survive the change that we learn the lesson. I can’t take a shortcut AROUND the change and come out with the same insight that I would get from trusting God through the process of acceptance and . . . making more hamburgers.
    Blessings, Barbie!
    Michele Morin recently posted..So You Won’t Forget

  • Reply
    Trudy
    November 17, 2015 at 10:14 am

    I love the Biblical stories you bring forward, Barbie. I hope that with all the changes God is putting us through right now, I may look at the “good, gentle and gracious God” behind it all. Thank you for this encouragement that God has our good in mind. My husband’s work is slowing way down, and it’s scary not to have enough money coming in to pay the bills. Blessings and hugs to you!
    Trudy recently posted..God Is Bigger Than All the Evil in This World

  • Reply
    Dolly@Soulstops
    November 17, 2015 at 10:58 am

    Barbie,
    Thank you 🙂 We’re going through an unexpected season now but I know God is in control and even though change is hard and painful, I trust the God of resurrection will bring good out of this…blessings to you 🙂

  • Reply
    June
    November 18, 2015 at 7:44 pm

    “Change is not the end” that’s so true, Barbie. I’m a lot more open to change since the event that rocked my world three years ago. I pray that as you move through your change you will be able to look back and begin to see the evidence of how God is growing your faith, too. Have a blessed week, friend!
    June recently posted..Inspired by . . . brown-eyed visitors

  • Reply
    Kristen Hamilton
    November 19, 2015 at 3:57 pm

    Barbie,

    Thanks again for this book study! I love the book and it is *perfect* (HIS perfect) timing! As I’ve shared my current season of life in the comments here and on your FB page, I won’t go through it again.

    Over the years, I have learned to embrace change and have learned the lessons Kristen shares. (She articulates them so well!) With this last big change over the summer and relocating to Maine, I actually went into it thinking positively and openly. I had to believe that God was completely in it and in control – that this is what He wanted for our family. So, as with our other moves, I expected to see His hand all over it. So I actually started a journal – my “moving journal,” – just to record ways I saw Him working and praises. I like to think of it as going into it with “my eyes wide shut!” In other words, I just shut my eyes and jumped, but kept my eyes wide open to see God in all of it. I knew that going *through* it was all I could do…and I knew from experience that there was/is likely a purpose…so I’m actively seeking it! I’m like, “Let’s just get to the bottom line, here, please God!” …but at the same time, I know that’s not how He typically works. What counts is in all the lessons, character building, revelations about Himself, and drawing me to Himself while going *through* things that He cares about most.

    I can say that it has always been the times of being thrust into unexpected change that has brought me closer to Him. In God’s “upside down” kingdom, what in reality would look like valley (low) circumstances, have actually ended up being my mountaintop (high) experiences. So this time, maybe I’m trying to pull God along faster, hurrying down the path because I want to see what’s next!

    I’ve already seen answers to other prayers I had been praying months and months ago be answered by this move. Other things are turning out a little more stressful. But again, I’m being taken deeper and deeper into relationship with God. In the wake of the outward relocation, I am working through deeper questions, lessons, and spiritual growth stuff.

    Thanks again! (Your new site design looks great!)
    Kristen Hamilton recently posted..Book Review: Miracle on Voodoo Mountain by Megan Boudreaux

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