5 ways to find contentment in the midst of change
There aren’t many constants in life. It has been said you can always count on death and taxes–which seems right.
As a follower of Jesus, I know from experience that God is constant–the same yesterday, today and forever.
And change–Change. Is. Constant.
Whether its the weather, your age, hair color or culture. You can count on change to be a constant.
Frankly, I don’t like change and I’ve done enough life and ministry to know, I’m not alone. About the time I think I’ve figured out how to manage the last change, something changes again and it can make me feel out of control, anxious and overwhelmed.
As a follower of Jesus, you and I have been gifted peace–not based on our the security of our circumstances but based on the Spirit who takes residence inside of us. But it can be hard to embrace and receive the peace of God in the midst of transitions especially when our focus is on the wrong thing.
In the middle of change, here are 5 practices that can help you find contentment:
1. Be Thankful Through The Journey
Make an intentional choice to search for the good–areas you can be truly grateful. I have created a discipline of writing down 5 things every day for which I’m thankful. I am careful to think creatively and notice little things in the midst of chaos. It’s amazing the shift in my perspective when I call out specific areas of gratitude.
2. Embrace the Mess
I don’t like mess. I like neat and tidy. I like the floors swept, the clothes folded and the kids in bed on time. I want it all to look like my imagined picture of perfect. Just because I like neat and tidy doesn’t mean it isn’t messy. If you do life with people, its going to get messy. People are messy, kids are messy, families are messy and the in-between is certainly messy.
Do you know it’s in the messy, God shows His character? He reveals my need for Him when things are outside of my control. If I get too worked up over the mess, I might just miss His message. Don’t get so bogged down in how you think it should be that you miss out on the beautiful story God is writing.
3. Label Your Emotions
Let’s be honest—you feel something about your present circumstance or your impending change. Often, our negative behaviors during a time of transition comes from a lack of dealing with our emotions. If you’re afraid, call it what it is—fear. If you are frustrated with what you are walking through—name it. Then, take it to God. If you don’t label your feelings, it is hard to surrender them to God.
God’s word speaks to every emotion. And often when your emotions are a result of change–you feel fear, sadness, anger and grief. The Bible deals with all of those emotions.
4. Cherish the Moments
During times of transition–slap-dab in the middle of no-man’s land, we can have some of the most precious moments with those closest to us. We are truly making memories. Years from now, we will look back on this season with pleasant memories or traumatic memories depending on the choices we make right now.
Transitions offer a catalyst for meaningful conversation with children, friends, and even acquaintances you may not have had were it not for the change. These moments should be cherished.
5. Document the Wonders of God
The ground can feel shaky in the midst of change. You’re not sure where everything fits or how all the pieces will fall. It is in these in-between times when the evidence of God’s hand is most clear. God is your provider physically, emotionally and spiritually. He goes over and beyond meeting the needs of those who lean into Him for strength.
You want to be content through change? Don’t miss what God is up to.
He is at work. He is paving the way.
I love the way God says it through the prophet, Isaiah in Isaiah 43:19:
See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland.
Be confident that God is doing His thing. He is working out the details even if you don’t understand or see it.
But when you do see it–write it down!
You don’t want to forget all God did to bring you to the new place. If you’re not there yet, seek to find contentment knowing God is working in you and for you.