Change is Good!

Turning to God opens our thought to new ideas and actions that help us respond to change with a sense of peace and confidence.

By Amy Sparkman

Categories: Fear, Freshness and Newness, Guidance, New Year/Change

“In heavenly Love abiding, No change my heart shall fear;
And safe is such confiding, For nothing changes here.
The storm may roar without me, My heart may low be laid;
But God is round about me, And can I be dismayed? (Hymn 148, v1)

It’s the end of summer and the start of a new school year. Life is changing… yet again. We learn quickly how to deal with expected change – in courses and classrooms, books and binders, practice schedules and homework loads. We adjust to new patterns and establish new routines pretty easily. But what about unexpected change? How good are we at adapting, accepting, welcoming, embracing, coping with and responding to change that we don’t see coming and don’t want?

Sometimes change is subtle, yet palpable – we feel it more than we can see it or pinpoint its cause. Other times, it’s obvious or abrupt, even abrasive: a friend moves away; another friend is somehow different; a sibling goes to college; parents divorce or remarry; someone we know is diagnosed with a serious health issue. All of these changes can make us feel vulnerable, insecure, and uncomfortable.

The solution is not to ask, “How can we stop things from changing?” That would involve a fruitless pursuit of absolute control, which is impossible. The question worth exploring is, “How can we become more receptive, open, and even eager to embrace change?” When we find the answer, we’ll grow stronger, more confident, more resilient and flexible, more open to the good that is always present… if we have eyes that recognize it. (We do not want to be examples of “Having eyes, ye see not…”!)

Ever since my children were babies, when change seems like too much to deal with, I sing hymns – and now they do, too. Song phrases and then the full verse come to mind, compelling us to listen – to hear – the meaning of the words. They assure us of a supreme power much greater than ourselves, of a divine power that’s constantly caring for us.

Here are some of my favorite lines from hymns:
“I walk with Love along the way.”
“God is working His purpose out.”
“No change my heart shall fear…”
“My best, my ever friend…”
“All, all is well.”
“Walk thou with courage each step of the way.”

Singing hymns can quickly lift our thinking and our hearts right out of the dark hole of fear and anxiousness.

We also recite favorite Bible verses that come to us when we’re truly listening for God’s help, for inspiration:
“The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want.” [Ps 23:1]
“I and my Father are one.” [John 10:30]
“Acquaint now thyself with him and be at peace.” [Job 22:21]
“Whither shall I go from thy spirit?... Even there shall Thy hand lead me and Thy right hand shall hold me.” [Ps 139:7]
“God is Love.” [1 John 4:8]
“Trust in the Lord with all thy heart and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways, acknowledge him and he shall direct thy path.” [Prov 3:5-6]
These verses inspire and re-inspire strength, courage and conviction. They turn us away from worry and insecurity. They assure us of God’s tender, constant love.

Turning to God opens our thought to new ideas and actions that help us respond to change with a sense of peace and confidence. Turning to God lifts our heart, brightens our path, and rekindles our joy. Change adds radiant color and unique texture to our life-adventures. The more we trust that God is always with us and always ready to guide our thoughts and actions, the more we will recognize that change is a catalyst for unfolding good.

Lots of change is in store for all of us – parents and children, alike – this fall. Let’s go find it – and grow!