After dinner and before trick-or-treating Saturday, my girl excitedly puts on her sapphire blue Athena “Greek goddess” costume a friend kindly made for her. I curled her long hair, and for the first time I put real makeup on her–just enough to honor a special evening. She added her own handmade headband as well as snazzy gold earrings before turning around to face me. As I drank in the head-to-toe view of my daughter, I had to sit down.
When in the world did she stop being a little girl and turn into a young lady?
In that moment, I realized I sat on the edge of a new season, a season where my daughter is almost a teen. Part of me wanted to bring back the little girl, to tell her to march right back to her room, find her old Cinderella costume and tiara, and put them on pronto. But then I remember this change comes right on schedule, and she is growing exactly as she should.
But that doesn’t always make the change easy to swallow.
When you stand on the edge of something new, it is often impossible to prepare yourself for all of it. There are components no book can explain. There are parts no teacher except that of personal experience can fully convey. So you hold the hand of Jesus and know deep down he’s not going to lead you down a dark tunnel to nowhere. He may lead you to a tough and trying place, yes, but only if the gain is greater than the pain.
When a changing season knocks you off balance, go ahead and sit down and catch your breath. When you’re able to stand again, perhaps these 3 things will help keep you steady as you bravely welcome the change rather than resist it.
3 Things to Keep You Steady as You Sit on the Edge of Something New
- Have landmarks that provide a rhythm to your day. When change affects your internal or external environment, it’s good to have regular rituals and routines. Traditions ease transitions. When transitions throw you for a loop, traditions help steady you. For me, this looks like a short Bible reading and devo in the morning before the kids are up. It looks like having tea in the afternoon after the kids have settled into homework and I’ve started dinner. It looks like weekly walks around the neighborhood and Friday night dates with my husband, (Thank God for teenagers so we can actually leave for a while and not worry about a babysitter!) It doesn’t matter what the routine is as long as it’s something that’s a blessing and help to yourself. Giving yourself a predictable rest will help return your heart and soul to a steady place during your change.
- Wield your sword. In Ephesians 6 we find the armor of God laid out for us. Within that armor, the only offensive tool is the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God (Ephesians 6:17). If I’m in a season of keeping my sword at my side and not using it, difficult change is much more likely to throw me off kilter. I don’t want to wait ’til the hard change is on my doorstep to use my sword. If we are in daily practice of taking that sword out of its sheath and wielding it–that is, reading even just a few verses from our Bible–then when change comes, I am better able to see it in a healthy perspective. I forget it, but it’s true: When I am breathing in the Word, I am breathing out a better day, a better season, and a better view of my change.
- Process what you’re going through out loud with someone. I know this requires bravery because it requires vulnerability, and it’s certainly easier if you’re a verbal processor. But during seasons of change, sometimes just saying the thoughts you’re thinking and feeling out loud go a long way toward helping you make sense of it. Explaining the good, bad, and ugly of your situation to a safe person helps prepare you for how to maneuver it. If you don’t have that someone, I’m praying now God places a good listening friend in your life with whom you can share every insecurity and fear.
From before you were born, God has been writing a God-for-you story he wants to tell through your life. The God who created the ground you walk on wants to walk with you through every moment of your unsettling change. Together, let’s lean into our change–and into the story he’s writing in our lives.
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