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.

Book study

Embracing Life’s Transitions // Week One

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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.

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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.

Faith

Day 14: When You Want To Run Away

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This post is part of a 31 day series on change, where I share my reflections in just 5 minutes.  To read all of the posts in this series, click here.

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Away

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In  the midst of a major life change, it can all get overwhelming to the point where you just want to get up and run away.  But what would I be running from?  My family?  My house?  The mess in my house?  The expectation of finding a new job? I have to admit that I’ve wished that I could pack up and go. If I had my way, I would head to Hawaii or some other tropical place where I could sit out in the sun and listen to the ocean, forgetting about what was (or wasn’t) waiting for me at home.

But one can never really run away from life. No matter how much we want to bury our head in the sand and forget about the challenges that lay ahead, we simply have to be willing to endure. Its’ hard, painful at times, and I move through feelings of shock and disbelief, even still, but the reality is that my situation is not going away. There is no where I can go and hide.

I am thankful that God is always with me. Whether I am living high on a mountain top, or bending low in the valley, God is there.  He will never turn away from me, even on those days where I forget to invite Him in to the process.

[Tweet “I may want to run away. But God will always find me.”]

Join me as I share 5 Minute Reflections on Change by clicking the button below!

Faith

Day 13: All Is Work

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This post is part of a 31 day series on change, where I share my reflections in just 5 minutes.  To read all of the posts in this series, click here.

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Work

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I’ve been looking for work now for about three weeks. I’ve submitted so many resumes, and have had several leads from my Recruiter. But still, there is no work to be found, at least, not yet.

You would think that I would be enjoying my down time, not having to get up and go in the morning. So many people would welcome a break from their work day, and I understand that. But I like to work. It keeps my mind off of all of the things that weigh me down. I like to know that I am making a contribution, that I am making a difference. For so many years, what I have called my work became “who I was”.  My work became a part of my identity and it’s hard to know how to go about my day with out doing what I’ve always done.

But just because I’m no longer getting paid to do the work that I once did, there is still work to be had.  The Bible is clear in that no matter what it is that I do, I should work so as to please the Lord.  I’ve had a lot of time to reflect and pray into the next seasons of what “work” means for me.  I am also looking around and seeing all of the work that I’ve neglected, due to a full time job and just being tired at the end of the day.

  • My marriage needs work.
  • My relationships with my children need work.
  • My house needs a complete overhaul.
  • I have several bags of donations that need to be taken to the thrift store.
  • My pantry is overflowing with who knows what and needs a good organization.
  • There is dusting, vacuuming and moping to be done.
  • There are bills to be paid and a restructuring of finances.

All is work, when you are doing it for the Lord, but it doesn’t have to be a drudgery. I can have joy as I use the hands the Lord has given to me to be a homemaker in this season.  I can willingly, with a heart of joy, attend to tasks that I’ve been ignoring for so long.

[Tweet “Today I will accomplish the work that God has for me right where I am at.”]

Join me as I share 5 Minute Reflections on Change by clicking the button below!

 

 

 

 

 

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