How do you handle changes in your life?

That is a question I keep hearing over and over again. Perhaps it is coming from fresh discussion about how my life has been turned upside down, or perhaps it is just that everyone is going through some major changes in their lives due to the changes in our economy and our society. So, hmm, how do I handle changes in my life?

Well here goes. The honest truth about me is that deep inside I dont handle change very well at all. I like the predictable, routine, mundane, vanilla life that involves major decisions like what to buy at the grocery store, or what spices to add to my cooking to shake things up. Now don;t think I am unable to be flexible with change… because over the years of my life there have been lots of pivital points that have cause me to process life differently, think differently, and even live my life with modifications.

Perhaps the most major change for me have been death of family, and close friends. Although my mom has been in heaven since December 1992 I still forget and reach for the phone to dial her number and just hear those words of wisdom, support and love…. Accepting the gaping hole that is left is hard. The more time processed since her passing the less palpable the pain seems to be…. but it is a change that will never again be the same.

Accepting changes in health are something eveyone deals with as we age. I have learned to accept those times when legs are stiff, or because I didn;t stretch before doing something and my muscles are now reminding me I am over 50. But accepting the limiting facets of diabetes in my husband’s life is one that is more challenging. He is a wonderfully intellegent man that can become the victim of his passion for pasta, causing his blood sugar readings to skyrocket. So we are learning how to eat more “diabetically” correctly.

And perhaps my most obvious change recently is from a full time job that I really loved and worked hard at to my backup part time job as my mainstay. (I love the part time job, but the content is often draining to all of us. That probably speaks to deep social issues, and could easily take several posts to work through.) So I work alot of odd hours, find myself haunting the house during the day when I normally would never have been home, and staying up way later than my usual 10p bedtime that once was routine.

How have I handled the changes in my life? Well, to some extent I have just bucked up, taken a deep sigh, and moved forward. But under the surface, deep in my mind there has been a war of sorts. I want to say “why me? why did this happen? why was i treated like that?

Then I think “why not me?”

Life brings a lot of blessing but the truth about life is that we all go through times of trial, of struggle, of changes that can either kill us or make us stronger….. and I want these times to make me stronger. I want to look back at the end of my life and hear that I handled it well, that how I accepted changes was graciously.

Last night I was not able to sleep and had the internet radio on when I heard something that brought clarity to my thoughts. The speaker on the radio was talking about a woman named Elizabeth Elliott – a woman from a good family, well educated, and committed her life to missionary service. In her first years of mission work her husband Jim was killed in the jungle of Ecuador by a tribe of people . Left a young widow with one child, living in a foreign culture she rose to the occassion, and subsequently lived with the tribe of people that killed her husband. She remained steadfast and raised her daughter, and married again, only to become widowed again. Her life was filled with challenges, but each time she dusted herself off and moved forward. This is her legacy- changes molded her character, not destroyed it.

Wow, so I am now asking myself again How do I handle changes in life? and I have purposed to lay aside the regrets, the frustrations, the percieved limitations, and move on. I am purposed to look at changes and challenges as another opportunity for character development… and perhaps one day someone will look at my life and say I finished well.

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