Coping with Change

I seem to write about the things closest to my heart and mind in the various seasons I go through. And the words which I think best describe my life right now are chaos, change, and weariness. Chaos and change certainly bring weariness, and being already a naturally weary person, perhaps chaos and change just escalate that for me. I’m tired, not only physically, but also emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.

Some changes are temporary, like my summer job change. I’m not needed as a nanny during the summer, so I’m picking up more hours at my second job. The change might be good- give me a break, refresh myself for this fall… Or it could also just result in separation anxiety. When you spend so many of your working hours with a little human, you may inevitably become quite attached and rather possessive. Thus, the separation anxiety. Or, if it’s like last summer, I might have a case of self-diagnosed baby fever. Whatever the result may end up being, it’s change.

The other change I’m dealing with right now is even bigger and more personal. It speaks of a kind of grief and sadness, a longing for what used to be and is no longer, an aloneness (Apparently, that must not be a word, because it’s underlined with a red zigzag. But I say it’s a word in this case.). It involves someone dear to my heart moving further away from me and closer to others. All is not right in my corner of the world, this I know. It’s change, and I can’t stop it. It’s too late.

Some things I can change. The sheets on my bed, for instance. The trash bag in the kitchen. Dirty diapers. Those are possible changes. But some things are totally out of my control. Things like: my age, another person’s decisions, and the weather. Let’s not even talk about how cold it is, and it’s nearly June!

So, ultimately, how do we deal with changes that are hard? Well, you could start a habit of buying frappes and milkshakes. I don’t recommend that, actually, even though I’m guilty of it myself. Or you could buy a Shire shower curtain for the bathroom. Guilty again. The sad thing is that the excessive coffee, the chocolate, and the shopping are not a cure. Neither is social media. And if I turn these kinds of things into coping mechanisms, I may live to regret doing so.

There are ways to deal with stress, anxiety, and sadness that are more helpful in the long run. You could cry. It helps to clear your heart of some of those stored up emotions that need an outlet. Find a godly mentor to help you sort through the mess. This, speaking from experience, is extremely valuable. Surround yourself with a solid church family. My church is one of the biggest blessings in my life.

Find an animal to cuddle with. Seriously, sometimes a non-human, living creature can be quite soothing. Especially if it happens to be a kitten. Okay, I understand not everyone is a cat person. That’s fine. If you prefer dogs, I give you liberty to snuggle them instead.

Write, draw, scrapbook about the situation- whatever your creative outlet happens to be.

Spend time with a little person.

Plant a garden.

Talk to Jesus. I’m not good at this one anymore, yet it is more important than all those other things. He is the only one who is truly capable of taking the burden off of my shoulders. Jesus isn’t just the One who carries my sins. He also carries brokenness and heartbreak and difficult relationships, longings and sadness and weariness. Will everything automatically get better when we give these things to Jesus? No. Some situations will stay the same. They may even get worse. The difference is that we are allowing Him to be in control of it all.

Susan, relax. He’s still holding you. And- He’s still holding the world.

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