Our lives are ever changing. When you think about how not one day is the same, it can be a beautiful yet scary thought. I see the beauty in change, giving me a chance to grow more into the person God created me to be. But I also see the fear of change, anxious about the unknown.
When I have been scared or anxious about a change in my life, I tend to get in my head and go through a series of events. I first become anxious. I then try to plan out the change in my head (hoping to ease my anxiety), but then I think of all the various choices and get hung up on which is the right choice. After debating with myself I finally just shut down and don’t even want to change.
Because I now know my pattern of anxiety with change, I can better cope and overcome my anxiety. I grew to become more grateful, more trusting in the Lord, and more okay with change. Now, that’s not to say I still don’t get overwhelmed with change. In fact, I am currently 26 and trying to plan big next steps in my life. I fell into a big hole of endless questioning of which path was the “right” path and struggled with understanding my identity, who the Lord is wanting me to be.
Turns out my prayers were answered in our latest live event “The Gathering”. This is our newest thing where we gather as women to reflect, listen, and share with one another what’s on our hearts. We led this month’s discussion around the topic of “restoring our identity.” I had the opportunity to share my journey and struggle with navigating being myself in my 20s. After I shared, my fellow sisters spoke so much truth that it truly restored who I thought I was.
I wanted to share the wise words of two of my sisters. One is Tammi, Little With Great Love contributor and blogger of Whispers of Love and Faith. The other is our newest sister, Christina Brown, a life coach and speaker.
If you’re struggling with:
- Trying to know God’s plan for you
- Being brought down by others
- Understanding who you are
- Being okay with change
Take the time to reflect on these women’s words and their own journey with change.
One of the things I loved about being a young adult is that you can change and you can decide who you want to be. You can be going along one path and then decide it’s not what you want and turn around and go in a different direction.
There’s a beauty and a freedom when we allow the Lord into that space within us, where we don’t become rigid in terms of like, “this is what I think I’m supposed to do” and “this is who I think I’m supposed to be.” But we have this fluidity and the spirit where we’re like, “Lord I don’t know why, but you know I’ve always had this calling to work with children,” or “I thought it was supposed to be this, but now I think it’s this,” and the excitement that comes with a new layer of an onion (of our life) that gets peeled through. It reveals a new layer of something I didn’t think about myself. It’s that whole new self discovery and it continues as we go through change.
You know, I look at myself at 46 and where my identity and my restoration is being focused on now is loving Tammy as a child. All she went through, the difficulties when she was eight and when she was 10 and when she was 12, and to now lovingly look back on her and say to myself, “You did really good. Now let me take care of us.” Because at 46, I can handle a lot of the stuff that I couldn’t handle back then. And now that I can handle it, let me start to spend some time figuring out why I react in a certain way and where my trauma has been as a child and where these little things have created my personality for good.
I think it’s kind of the opposite of a midlife crisis. When you become so rooted in who you are that you’re able to kind of look back and say, “Okay, let’s start really examining how I got to this point.” Doing this in a very pure, beautiful God-given way, because where I am in my life now I’m starting to be a role model for my teens who are undergoing these same things. And now I’m able to say I know what you’re undergoing is tough.
I can now tell them not to be afraid to stand alone, not just in your beliefs but in who you feel called to be in the Lord. Also look for older women that have walked that path before you. Look for older women who are willing to mentor you in a way that’s not judgmental, but in a way that reminds you of the promises of Christ. Just surround yourself with the community of women who just need to love you where you are and help not only strengthen your roots, but help you grow.
We have the ability to change and the ability to also just discover in our 20s or for “as such a time as this” in our 20s or “such a time as” of me and my 40s.
What does that look like? …Because no, I thought I was supposed to be this, or I did do this for a while and now the Lord is leading me here. Like having that mindset of the Lord was calling me here, and now he’s calling me here.
Or we think, “I needed to start this area” and “I need to work through in order to be involved in these things” or “in order for this door to open or this door to shut and then this window to open.” I think we we get so caught up in “what if I make the wrong choice” or “what if I do it wrong.” It’s really like we get caught in almost like a dichotomy of if this, not this. No, life is not really this or that. Some think discerning has to be God speaking in a neon sign with an arrow pointed this way. No, that’s not it either.
Discernment is just stepping in the will of the Lord by asking what His will is for your life, so it is just the process of even praying that prayer of what I wanted to do your will. When we cry out to God and we come to the understanding that His will is greater than our desires and it’s just in that prayer alone we are in the will of the Lord because we’re seeking him.
If we’re simply seeking him, our life might be that you do something or discover these gifts and talents about yourself for a period of time, and then the Lord leads you in a different direction. It’s not that one choice was wrong and one was right, it’s just that there’s more about you and you become this onion unfolding.
For example, kids grow, right? So my motherhood and mothering 18 years ago or 20 years ago looked one way than it does now. One wasn’t right and wasn’t wrong, but my learning of my identity evolves and grows, and so does the journey that the Lord takes us on.
I guess that’s some of my insight of looking back. There isn’t a right and wrong, and we’ve got to get out of that idea of a misstepping. We need to come to the realization that the Lord is going to bless our choices, because if we are in the Lord then the Lord is with us and he’s going to use that. He’s going to use all things to those who are in Christ. Jesus is going to use them for good.
When it comes to pursuing the Lord, we first and foremost have to say we are in the Lord Jesus. We’re asking His will. We are discerning it. He’s not here to dupe us. He’s not here to trick you. He’s not a God of confusion. He’s got a God of peace. He’s a God of love and compassion. When we stay in these truths and we stay in that peaceful presence, and then there’s the freedom of finding His will, there’s the freedom and knowing that His will is greater than our desires.
The Lord is never trying to trick us into picking a certain path or make a change. The Lord gives us the freedom to choose, and He is present in all our decisions. There is a freedom and peace when we can trust the Lord through change, knowing He will be by our side regardless. This is why I’ve learned to be okay with change.