The Fear and Pain of Change

Change—it can creep up on us faster than we anticipate. When it hits, how do we respond to it? This last spring, we sold our fifth-wheel toy hauler because we weren’t using it more than once a year. Both of our boys live on their own now so no one is around for camping anymore nor do they have time. This was extremely difficult for me because I didn’t want to risk that our boys might still want to go camping with us and be stuck with no camper. My husband was the practical one. I was being emotional, not wanting that part of our family life to be over. But it was. And I couldn’t accept it. After some tears, I eventually submitted to my husband’s wishes and agreed to sell the camper. Facing that my life had moved into a different phase so abruptly came as a shock. I couldn’t believe how fast the years had gone.

Change can be painful. It’s the end of an era that may have brought so much joy to us that it’s hard to see it end. Merriam-Webster says that an era is a period of time that is associated with a particular quality, event, person, etc. But era’s end and with time comes change. Change is a loss of control. It’s losing something we can never get back and it requires energy to adjust to our new situation or surroundings, to the new normal. We may try to resist it even though we may benefit from it. If we get stuck in yesterday, we miss the blessings of our new future. I cherish our camping days as a family, but I see a new phase of our lives beginning and bringing much joy to all of us. The Lord is showing me the new normal and it’s good.

Change can also be fearful. Fear of the unknown can cause us to hang on to what we love because we don’t know what will happen if we let go. As Christians, this is where we need to give our fears to God. Whether we fear that we won’t see our children much anymore, we fear their safety or even our own loneliness, we need to remember that we, and our children are in the Lord’s hands, and not ours. Psalm 121:5-8 reminds us that the Lord is our provider and protector: The Lord watches over you—the Lord is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all harm—he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore. What a promise!! For now and forevermore!! Fear is a lack of trust in the Lord. When we fear, we are not trusting that the Lord will handle our circumstances in a way that will be favorable to us. But when we turn that fear into faith, trusting that the Lord knows our every need and the desires of our heart, we will see Him go one better, not only bringing peace to our hearts but maybe even a new normal that is even better than what we desired!

What seems like negative change in the beginning is tough for everyone. Christians have moments of weakness like everybody else. We need to ask ourselves what we will do with that weakness. Where will we place our fears? Give them to Jesus and remember His promises. He is our provider and protector who holds us by our right hand.

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