When you think about change and how it has affected your life, what do you think of? Has it made a positive or negative impact on you? Have you liked the change? Let me be real blunt with you; I hate change. I don’t like when my plans get changed, I don't like changing my routine, and I really don’t like when my life is changed. Through the 19 years I've been here on this earth, I've been through my fair share of change, both good and bad, but all of it has been difficult in their own ways. Today I want to share with you two very different changes in my life, and how both of them affected me in very different ways.
Since the third grade, I have been in and out of homeschool. When I wasn't homeschooling, I attended private schools. Let’s just say my educational career has had a lot of change in it. My freshman year, I started going to a new private school after being homeschooled for a couple years. All new people, all new experiences, a new atmosphere, and a new start. I was nervous and didn’t know what to expect, my anxieties were through the roof. My first day there, I walked in and was unsure how I would feel at the end of the day. To my shock though, I instantly fell in love with everything. The students, the teachers, the classes, the field trips, the memories, everything. It was an amazing year. That quickly changed.
The next year everything had changed. New building and location, tons of new students, teachers I had never met, new classes, new routine, new everything. I wasn’t seeing my friends nearly as much, and I wasn’t dealing well with all the new changes already. Let me describe it for you so you don’t think I'm too dramatic. We went from 10 kids in my grade to quite possibly 30-40. I know that may not seem like a lot, but to me it was enough to push me over the edge. My anxiety skyrocketed. I was begging my dad not to send me to school, and when he did finally get me to go, I would cry the whole way there and fight him to go inside. He and I started fighting constantly, resulting in him almost sending me to Georgia to live with my grandmother because he couldn’t deal with the stress much longer. The fear of change took over my life, resulting in my dad pulling me out of school and I have been homeschooled since.
That experience was a bad change, because of my attitude towards it. I was telling myself I couldn't do it. It was too much for me. I wanted it my way, the way that made me most comfortable. If I had had a different mindset, it could have been so much better and turned into good change. How though? If it caused me so much stress and fear, how could it have been any better? Well, now let me share with you a recent change in my life, that was much bigger than the last, which has been nothing but good.
Late last year, my dad started dating a woman he had been seeing off and on for a few years. For different reasons, they always ended up separating. In the summer of 2019, they rekindled for the last time and fell in love like they never had before. Well, just a few short months after that, they finally decided to get engaged and start their life together. From then on, everything started moving pretty quickly. Our family went from three to five. We moved from Bethalto to Godfrey after living there for 14 years. We were changing our routines, changing the way we did family activities, changing our lives. All of our things, the things we knew, were disappearing and being changed forever. Those are just a few of the many changes we have gone through in the past year. So much change in such a short amount of time, but there was never a time where I had any serious breakdowns or outbursts because of it. I won’t lie to you, it was hard at times, nothing is ever perfect. All in all though, it has been some of the happiest moments in my life.
Why was the second change so much easier than the first? Why was my reaction, my attitude, so different? Maybe because I became older and matured. I realized I couldn't always get my way with things, but I believe there's something much deeper than that. In the two very significant changes I've had in my life, my mindset and relationship with God were at two very different places. When I was going through all of those changes a few years back, I'll be honest with you, I was in the beginning of losing my connection with God. I was getting involved with the wrong people, doing the wrong things, and I was separating myself from Him. I don’t think I realized it at the time, but as I look back at it I see that I was so fixated on the earthly relationships I had and had no interest anymore to pursue one with God. I was falling into a hole of negativity, sin, selfishness, and idolization that only God could pull me out of when I was ready to take His hand.
Now, with the recent changes I’ve been through, my mindset and life have been quite different.
Late last year, right before all of these new changes started happening in my life, I decided to fully give my life to God. I was tired of the way I was acting, the way I was thinking, and the way I was feeling all the time. I knew that if I didn’t change the way my life was going, that I would never experience real peace with any difficult situation I faced in my life. After I started pursuing my relationship with God once again, the amount of peace and ease I’ve had with all the changes I’ve been through recently is pretty incredible. I never could imagine in a million years that something so different and impactful towards my life would come with me being so peaceful towards it all.
If I wouldn’t have made the decision to follow Christ right before all of that took place, how differently do you think I would've reacted? I can tell you right now, a lot worse. I would’ve pushed away, been jealous, acted out, had a terrible attitude about everything BUT God. He renewed me. My attitude, my thinking, my actions, He changed me. Instead of letting the change in my life affect me negatively, He changed the way I looked at it and made it one of the best things in my life!
When I made that decision a year ago, I never would’ve thought I would be where I am today… talking about the experiences in my life and trying to encourage others with them. Getting ready to start my first semester in college. Getting ready to celebrate the love story between my dad and Jodie and become one whole family. Because I didn’t trust God with the changes in my life before, I stayed stuck at the same place for years. But when I trusted Him with the changes in my life, He took me to places I could’ve never imagined! I love this quote and I hope you do too, “God may change your direction, BUT He will never change His promises.”
I know change is scary, believe me I know. Believe me when I say this, God will not put you through change if it's not supposed to happen in your life. Even if it seems like the worst thing in the whole world, it’s not. He knows what He’s doing in your life, so trust Him! He has something amazing planned for you and promises to fulfill that plan. Fix your attitude, don’t let it affect you negatively, and try to see the good in CHANGE!
How will you do that today? How will you let the change in your life affect you? I’m hoping and praying that you lay it ALL down at our Father’s feet and trust that He will show you the good in it. You’ve got this, and He’s got you! Oh, and always remember that girl, you’re not alone!
Check this song out for a little encouragement today!