Challenged by change
By Tonya S. Swindell
Lyrics from an old hymn said: “…Time is filled with swift transition…” As a kid, I couldn’t comprehend those words because change seemed to happen so slowly. Later I realized transitions can occur quickly and without warning.
Over the past two years, my family endured a house fire, relocation and evolving expectations of parenthood. Mental, physical and emotional adjustments became necessary. Some changes occurred gradually; others happened rapidly. Many times I felt uneasy as I struggled to find stability.
Most days I felt challenged by change, especially when forced to accomplish tasks outside my perceived comfort zones. Some transitions occurred at a pace reminiscent of the tortoise who slowly crossed the finish line in Aesop’s Fable. Others occurred quickly and left little time for thinking, planning or strategizing.
Even though it was uncomfortable, change made me learn alternate ways of doing things, handling situations and engaging in relationships. It increased my readiness to endure challenges at a time when I least expected it. Change helped me to consider what was possible when faced with seeming impossibilities. It also caused me to take inventory of my strengths and weaknesses.
William Pollard said, “Without change there is no innovation, creativity or incentive for improvement. Those who initiate change will have a better opportunity to manage the change that is inevitable.” Doug Baldwin commented, “Change is inevitable. Change will always happen; but you have to apply direction to change and that’s when it’s progress.”
A co-worker told how she became more flexible after being made to switch offices several times within one year. Other people told how losing a job prompted them to go back to school. Change made some people abandon old relationships. It was not easy, but change produced great rewards.
Change could result in spiritual awareness and thinking that is less rigid. It can also lead to greater willingness to follow God’s direction. John Maxwell said, “Change is inevitable. Growth is optional.”
My spiritual stamina developed during unexpected challenges. The Anchor for my soul provided guidance to help me manage it. When stressful times arose, my desire for comfort increased. Change became a catalyst to seek help when it was needed.
Hebrews 13:8 says: “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today and forever.” Change has a way of creating powerful surrender. When I recognized God’s consistency and let go of my need to lead; I followed His guidance to gain more adaptability.
Change made me grow in unexpected ways. It provided greater variety for mundane days. Change helped me to be cognizant that life’s not supposed to be stagnant. Change helped me see the value of creativity.
Embracing the challenge to change, wasn’t the worst that could happen. It produced versatility in areas I couldn’t imagine. Change was a serious trainer for my spiritual growth. It helped me to make progress, in areas I needed it most, like patience, longsuffering and every spiritual fruit. Change was a catalyst for my breakthrough.
Tonya Swindell writes a blog for www.inspirenewlife.org and is a teacher for Kingdom Building Equipping School (KBES.com). She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.