Embracing the Fear of Change
Updated: Jun 17, 2021
Why is it so hard to welcome change? For some people it’s easy because they are awesomely carefree and as curious and spontaneous as the wind. They live their life thriving on change! But for many, change comes at a cost and there’s often fear involved. Change means we have to step outside of our comfort zones. It could be anything from graduating from school, moving to another home or state, a new relationship, starting a new job, starting a business, starting a new church, rebuilding your life after heartbreak, starting a new life, starting a family or perhaps you’re trying to move on after the loss of a loved one. For some, even little changes are a challenge such as trying new food, or eating tacos on Wednesday instead of Tuesday. So, we are looking at anything from the smallest change, to the big life-altering changes, but the same obstacle stands firm. Change can be very hard.
Why? Change is a challenge and is often accompanied by fear. I know for me, filtering change in my limited brain capacity becomes this complex pathway for processing that takes into account the past, present and future. Some say that they are comfortable and have spent a lot of years becoming comfortable and now if they welcome this life change, they’ll be uncomfortable again. For many, there’s the “what if’s”. What if I fail? What if I’m not welcomed? What if my family goes against it? What am I going to miss out on if I go from here to there? Sound familiar?
So how do you process change? Do you embrace it or do you put it as far away as you can? For me, it’s the latter. There is certainly fear in change. But we have to measure our fears. First, ask yourself where the fear is coming from. Is it fear of the unknown? Is it an “internal alarm” fear? Is it a scary fear that makes your heart jump where you might try to cross over a busy road and a car is racing toward you. When you get scared, your body reacts physically and hurries out of the way. That fear keeps you safe! Without this type of fear we wouldn’t last very long because we wouldn’t be aware or care about the threats around us.
When we head into the unknown, there’s always blind spots. It’s scary. You don’t know what’s there. It’s those very blind spots that we can’t see in change and it’s hard to trust that.
I’ve heard many times: “With change, I’m not sure what comes next”. Well, who among us does?
We can certainly be ready for change. Especially us moms and grandma’s. We are knitted to expect the unexpected. We plan our days accordingly. We have tissues in our purses for a multitude of reason, next to little packs of confetti just in case a celebration arises. We schedule our doctor’s appointments conveniently around bigger life occasions. We always have at an arsenal of supplies with us at all times. A water bottle, wipes, pens, gum, band aids, paper, crayons, Advil, hand sanitizer, chapstick, and snacks.
However, as prepared as we can pack our purses, life doesn’t always work that way, as we all know.
In reality, there’s no preparing for what’s ahead. Because just when we feel comfortable, our life can be shaken like a snow globe. The reason we always want to be prepared is because it feels safe. We all want to feel safe and we think the surest path to safe is knowing. Sure! It’s certain. It’s security. But change is unpredictable. So, what are we to do? There’s only one answer and it’s something better than our circumstances to depend on. And this, ladies and gentleman, is where God comes in.
God alone has the answer to the question, “What happens next?” He doesn’t often share the answer with us either. Explaining is not in His everyday repertoire. It would be nice, don’t get me wrong. I would love to receive a memo, text, email, carrier pigeon, or smoke signal reciting everything will work out. You know…just to set my mind at ease. But where would our faith come in? Look at the man named Job. This awesome man of faith was blindsided by life. He literally lost everything and that is not an understatement. Family, gone. Land, gone. Livestock, gone. Health, gone. Home, gone. But then, God shows up. And when He does, He does not talk about what happened to Job. No, instead the Lord talks about who He is. Because the One who tells the sun to rise each morning and set each evening, the One who stops the waves on the sand, the One who calms the storms, the One who is the maker of the stars, and the roar inside the thunder knows that even if He explains it all, something else will happen tomorrow.
Change. Every day we experience change. Job experienced change. But Job knew where to place his confidence in the midst of the tragic changes in his life. Do you know where to place your confidence? Perhaps we put it in family, material things, wealth, education, or just in life experiences. But the secret that Job found was this:
Confidence in change is not a place at all, not a relationship, not a material thing, not an educational degree. Confidence is a person. He is holy, forgiving, loving, powerful, good and gracious.
Raising the bar on confidence, gentleness and hope,