As you may recall in my previous posts, in 2016, I went through some of the toughest and most drastic changes in my life. 2016 was when I got my current job. It was also the year my brother moved away, and I started to attend my current church, after having been at my previous one for ten years! Here I am, three years later, and am about to undergo, and have undergone even more changes in my life! First of all, at church, we are in a period of transition, where we will soon be getting a new pastor, as my current senior pastor will be stepping down after 40 plus years of service to our church. Second of all, there have been so many changes that have been occurring at my job that I couldn’t keep track of them all unless I really thought about it! Finally, there are some other personal changes that I have been going through or will be going through that will have a great impact on my life. Even in these various changes going on in my life, God is still teaching me so much, that can be not only applied to me in the situations I find myself in, but also to everyone else, in their life situations.
The first thing I am learning is to not waste time because time is fleeting. In the past, when I thought I had a lot of time, I had more of a temptation to waste time, because I thought that I still had a lot left. I thought that if I saved certain tasks for later (i.e procrastinate on some things), that I would have something to occupy me later so that I wouldn’t get bored. For instance, if I wanted to enjoy watching a certain movie, I would save it for a time “when I really got bored” so I would have something to do later. While it is good to be able to delay gratification sometimes, I am learning more and more that I shouldn’t wait to enjoy life while there is still time, because there may not be a later. Also, something that I have been learning and that I really, really regret, is that I never really said everything that I needed to that was on my heart to those people I loved, and now some of them are leaving. For instance, my current pastor is leaving after 40 plus years of service in our church, and I have only been attending for less than three years. I regret that I did not really get to know how amazing my pastor is as a person and as a pastor, because I never really spent much time with him or his wife. From now on, I will strive to make time for the people that matter the most to me. Instead of spending hours stressing about work or surfing mindlessly online, I will strive to spend more time with those I love and like. I also strive to not be afraid to say the things that I need to say to those I love and/or admire the most. I had been afraid to say some of the “nice” things too, because I didn’t want to sound “fake” or too “mushy.” However, now I realize that since it is from my heart, I am not being fake or mushy. So, is there something on you hear that you would like to tell your loved ones or friends? Don’t wait until it is too late to tell them how much they mean to you. You may never get another opportunity to say what you need to say!
The second thing I am learning is to stop worrying about the future and trust God. When I first underwent some of these changes, I admit I had a worrisome “What-if” mentality in my head. Since I didn’t know exactly how these changes would impact my life, I assumed the worst, and that made me miserable and cranky. However, through the message that my next pastor was preaching yesterday, I learned that I need to let go of the worry and the possible “What-if” scenarios that may or may not play out, and just trust the process. For instance, one of the changes at my work is to my schedule. I was content with working mornings, but now they want most people to work second shift, including me. I was initially worried that this change would stress me out to breakdown point, and I even tried to fight it a little bit. However, God showed me, in the sovereignty He had over the events of my life, that this change was from Him. I learned from God through that message yesterday that when I entrusted the situation to Him, that He would give me the strength and the resources I needed to get through the change in my life, and indeed He has! When we worry about the future, we don’t allow God to work to change us so we can successfully adjust later on. We get stuck in the past and “What-if” scenarios, and we waste time worrying, instead of asking God to help us get through today.
Finally, I am learning that God’s presence and guidance will help me through the transitions in my life. This year, I am striving to let God have control of my life and not to “help” Him through the situations in my life. In fact, the more I try to control certain things in my life, the more chaotic and destructive my life often becomes! However, when I relax and not let my anxiety and my desire for control take over me, as I let go and allow God to work through me, I find that I am much more calm and able to do His will. Often when I try to fight the changes in my life, the more apparent the changes become! This also happens when I am trying to escape a situation or a person. For instance, if God wanted a person to be in my life, but I didn’t want the person in my life for whatever reason, God would make it so that I would see the person more often! However, when I just tried to deal with that person in a godly manner, the situation either became better or that person that was bothering me in my life would finally leave.
Even in the changes of my life, I am comforted by the fact that God never changes, and that He will continue to teach me valuable life lessons as I am being shaped into His image. I am learning to use my time more wisely and more intentionally for the people that I have been called by God to minister. I am learning to be less anxious about change, and to trust that God will bring me through all these transitions. God is still working in our lives, even through change. The question is, will we continue to let Him?