All of us are constantly dealing with transition and change in our lives.
My life is practically built on change: moving out, college, marriage, death of friends, travel, different jobs… But moving from Oregon to South Carolina was definitely a big one.
Everyone is different in how they embrace it. Some seem to dread change and even become angry about it, while others thrive in it. Why is that?
Change can be good.
I’d love to share just a few things that have really been important parts of coping and adjusting to so many big changes at once.
Here are a few things that have helped me this year:
1. Pray Fervently–You’ll never feel such peace.
I know this seems super Christianese… and you’d think that working in a church, one would just pray automatically, all the time-but that is very untrue.
Entering a new community in a leadership position can be tricky. Working with people can be stressful as it is tempting to overanalyze the emotions of others.
This year, I’ve learned to be very intentional about prayer. Every night I go on a walk. I don’t exactly just walk down the street and back either, I usually walk for at least an hour. The exercise is great and time goes fast as I spend most of it processing, planning and praying.
I have found that prayer helps me to love others, gives me wisdom in tricky situations, and reminds me that I don’t have to be in control of everything. Prayer keeps me grounded even when life is unpredictable.
2. Be Great at Your Job–It takes the stress right off…
There are a ton of perks in my job at the church. I work my own hours, with great people, doing something I really believe in! There are also some unexciting parts of my job, too. Let’s be honest, budgeting, spreadsheets, emails and long planning meetings are not exactly my idea of a party. There are a few skills I have had to learn (and am still learning).
You know what is even worse than being someone who isn’t naturally detailed in the middle of an administrative position? Not getting any better at it.
When I worked in a church of 100 people, I could get away with being pretty last minute. Working in a church of 1,600 people is very different. I’ve actually had to plan, prepare, communicate, organize, and study.
I decided to grow in hard areas-and by doing so, I was relieved of so much stress. Be great at things that stress you out, it does wonders for your sleep life.
3. Accept Where You Are–You can’t change everything.
There were several moments of panic for both Anna and I during our first few months here in South Carolina-It would be those times where we realized something expensive was coming up or one of our friends got married back home and we couldn’t just “go.”
We are content partially as a conscious decision-maybe you could call it a step of faith. Around six months in, we realized it didn’t matter if we panicked and that we couldn’t control everything.
Life becomes much more simple when you learn to “roll with it.” Accepting your situation also brings a lot of unexpected joy-even in a difficult circumstance. What things in your life are simply out of your control? At some point, we all have to stop fighting life.
4. Find Things You Love–Why not have some fun?
The weather here is perfect like 85% of the year for riding around on my moped. It feels awesome outside to have the wind in your face at a speedy 35 miles an hour.
Seriously though, it saves me a ton on insurance and costs $4 per month in gas. I live a mile from my office, so I couldn’t get around cheaper unless I rode a bicycle. I do like bicycles, but down here those guys all get hit by cars. Virtually nobody in this town is brave enough to ride a bike.
I also love getting downtown because there is something really cool about walking around in a city that experienced the Civil War, and has been around for so long. Palmetto trees, history museums and the warm Atlantic Ocean have all been so fun.
I find new things down here I like all the time-though sometimes I have to look for them. We all have to look sometimes. Seek… you’ll find.
Those are a few of the things that have made the last year of my life so fulfilling. This year has absolutely rocked me. I hope some of the things I have learned this year can be an encouragement to you in whatever change or transition you’re going through this week!