(Photo by Selma Komisky)
Coping With Seasons of Change
By Brittney Perez
Fall is my absolute favorite season. From the change in weather to the colors, sweaters, pumpkin spice everything (lol), it’s just all good stuff. When I think about fall, I also think about change. There’s something about that transition from summer to fall – and much like how the seasons change in our world, our lives change as well. Sometimes change can be difficult for us to comprehend and work through, but that doesn’t necessarily mean change is a bad thing. In this article I’m going to discuss a few ways we can experience change in the various seasons of life.
One of the ways we can experience change during this time of the year can be centered around school. Whether you’re fresh out of high school and starting college or changing schools, that transition can have its challenges. You may find yourself in a position where you, yourself, or the friends you had in high school are going off to college – out of state or not close by – and it can be challenging to handle that sort of change and the emotions that come along with it. Friendships are an important aspect of life, so when those we are close to relocate or we find ourselves in a new environment, absent of our close friends, we can feel the weight of that change. It can feel more like a drastic change than a subtle one.
Another way we can experience change is when relationships begin to develop. As the season of fall begins to set in, leaves are falling from the trees, and the environment starts to look a little more sparse, relationships may be budding. The places we find ourselves spending the most time, like work or school, is usually the places we meet people. Having been a student myself, I know that, though the first few weeks of school can be stressful, once you start to feel more acclimated to your new surroundings, you start to focus more on building relationships with people. Now that you’re maybe not focusing so much on where your classes are and all the assignments you’re going to have to do, you may find yourself focusing more on that cute guy or girl in your English class. New relationships can be a beautiful thing and a welcomed change; everything is exciting and new and it’s great to get to know someone and allow someone to get to know you. If you are in a new relationship or dating, you understand or are beginning to realize that healthy relationships take time and effort. It can be a challenge to manage school, work, extracurricular activities, and relationships, and these changes can be stressful, but the sacrifice is worth it.
Seasons can bring all kinds of change and lately I have found myself in the midst of different changes. Over the summer I started going to a new church as the Lord directed me. As much as a blessing it has been, in the beginning I found myself navigating what felt like uncharted waters. Sure, I was still in the midst of God’s body (the church), but I didn’t know really ANYONE. I felt like the new kid on the first day of school. Now keep in mind I had been going to another church for 7 years, so this was a big change – but it was a big change that has yielded much blessing! God has been so faithful and even though at times I had my doubts and would have rather stayed put, He has caused me to lie down in green pastures (Psalm 23:2). Just in the few months that I have been attending this new church, I have gotten to know a lot of people that have begun to feel like family, and I have had opportunities to get involved as well.
Along with attending a new church another change has occurred in my life. I recently got a new job that I will soon be starting after having worked for my current job for 7 years (there’s something about the number 7, lol)! Although I’m somewhat nervous and don’t fully know what to expect, I’m excited because this is something I have wanted for a while. These changes, though bittersweet at times, have been a blessing for me. God is good and I’m looking forward to how He will use me in these new areas of my life. It’s crazy how fast things can change, but change can be a good thing.
Maybe you’re in a similar season of life as I am with new things happening, like going to a new church, starting a new job, or beginning a new relationship, school, etc. Change can be exciting, but it can also be very hard to cope with and work through sometimes, depending on how big the changes are. I know I’ve had times in my life where change has caused me to experience depression and anxiety. It’s that fear that maybe you won’t be able to adapt, fit in, or handle that which is changing, and that can have effects on your mental, physical, and spiritual health.
If you find yourself overwhelmed by the changes happening in your life, know you are not alone. For many, change isn’t always easy or welcome. More people have a hard time adapting to change than you may think. It’s also not something I feel a lot of people are open about. When I think about the seasons of life changing, I can’t help but think of this song by United Pursuit, which is so fittingly called, “Seasons Change.” In this song, there is a line that says, “Though the seasons change, Your love remains.” I’ve found this statement to be so true. God has been faithful to me during the ever changing seasons of life – good and bad. When the seasons of life get hard or feel overwhelmingly difficult to cope with, try to remember a time(s) in your life when God has been faithful. I know when I do this, it gives me hope because it’s in His nature to be faithful. In some way, shape, or form, God always shows up and through the midst of change that truth is so comforting. I believe that’s why you see so many times in the Old Testament the Israelites being called to remember the faithfulness of the Lord, how He brought them out of slavery, through the Red Sea, and saved them from their enemies. When you bring to remembrance the faithfulness of God, it changes everything.