The Pressures of Change

I’m not one who appreciates change as much as I know I should. Over the years, I have become a very structured individual, and I don’t do well when change comes my way – when the hand is suddenly re-dealt, when the table is flipped, when the chips are scattered. All of it tends to send me into a tizzy. I’m not proud to admit that, but that’s the truth. I tend to be more inflexible than I would like to be.

Lately, change has been coming my way in spades. A little over a year ago, we moved back here to Arizona from the Bay Area – a move I have been incredibly unhappy with. Just when I start recovering from that, my grandfather dies. Then I start to move out of the mourning stages, and my wife gets a new job with a schedule that is anything but structured. And then my son started Kindergarten – after I have been a work-from-home-dad with him for the last five years.

Life will bring change. God will bring change. Some changes are good. Some changes are normal. Some changes are bad. Some changes are dark. It doesn’t mean I have to like the changes that comes my way, but I do need to handle them appropriately. Instead, I’ve felt my anxiety levels skyrocketing to where any minor change in life, schedule, plans, or daily routine throws me off course. My focus and my motivation suffers, and I end up spending most of my days biting my nails, trying to solve what-ifs, and pushing every ‘red alert’ button I can find – frantic with worry and frustration.

Instead of rising above it, instead of getting a foothold over the last major change to occur, instead of realizing that change happens and I can either use that change to my benefit or end up being done in by it – I end up drowning in all of the changes. It’s a cycle my wife just recently pointed out, and I know she’s right. I’m getting hit, and I’m going down, little by little.

Have you ever felt this way? Like you’re the nail and life is the hammer, and the hammering won’t stop to let you take a breath? Sometimes this constant change can turn into frustration, bitterness, and even depression. How do we rise above it? How do we conquer that which is intent on conquering us?

I’m reminded of a speech about life that Sylvester Stallone’s character gives to his son in Rocky Balboa

My part in this life is to keep getting up, no matter how many times I’m hit and no matter how hard I’m hit. But I know also that because my trust is in God, I must find peace in knowing that no matter what changes, no matter what structures are destroyed on a daily, monthly, or lifetime basis, that God is in control of all of it – and that there is purpose in the change. His plans are better than the ones rolling around in my head, so I must defer to His judgment and know that

God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. – Romans 8:28

So instead of going down after I’m hit, instead of wallowing in depression and frustration, I’ll simply stand to my feet – as painful as it may be – and surrender myself to God’s will for my life. He’s counted the hairs on my head, right? So there’s a good chance He cares for where I want to be, and sees me where I’m currently at, and knows the changes that are beating me down, and simply desires the best for me.


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