I don’t enjoy change.
I’m guessing that’s not news. Plenty of people don’t like change. I find myself to be a bit unique in that I like new things, but I usually don’t enjoy change. How’s that for a lesson in semantics?
Here’s the real issue: My name is Lisa, and I like to control outcomes. Don’t turn your nose up at me. You’re probably more like me than you’re willing to admit. After all, haven’t we all met people with at least a few dictator-like tendencies?
Joking aside, I realize that most times my issue with change is timing. I’m a habit-driven person by nature. I prefer preparation over spontaneity. When I can anticipate change and prepare for it, I’m able to take it in stride. Even when I don’t agree, if given time to wrap my mind around it, I’m inclined to embrace it.
Sometimes I even find myself welcoming the challenge of new things springing up where I’m responsible for the outcome. Why? Because I can affect that new outcome. However, when change requires that I only adapt rather than contribute? There may be some gritting of teeth.
If you’ve ever seen the movie Something New, you have an idea of what it’s like to be me. The main character, Kenya, is remarkably portrayed by Sanaa Lathan. In short, Kenya was tightly wound (aka uptight), successful in the corporate arena, and had amazing, thoughtful girlfriends. However, she and her friends had yet to find Mr. Right or even Mr. Right Now. After another ‘break up,’ she and her friends decide to adopt a new mantra to live by: Let go and let flow. They decided to let go of some of their staunch requirements and branch out to men they wouldn’t normally consider to see what, if anything, they were missing.
The movie is more than ten years old, but still, one that I recommend. Through much of the film, when Kenya stepped outside her routine, it was like being struck by lightning. Frazzled, she jolted her back to her safe place. While many would argue that some of the themes in the movie are archaic or unrealistic, one thing still stands out for me: even “good” change requires making adjustments.
Like Kenya, I like neutral colors and sure things. However, I serve a God who ensures my dreams exceed my comfort level. Those dreams and desires challenge me to ease into His grace to accomplish what I never thought I could. And that requires walking through change. Even when my faith falters because nothing is as I’d hoped, I get out of bed, hoping something beautiful will come from the ashes that are the remains of my comfort zone.
I may cry, mourning the parts of the old thing that I miss. (This usually means I’ve romanticized what that part of my past was really like.) My sobs would give the impression that the former was terrific. The truth? Familiarity fueled those emotions. Even in adverse circumstances, I loved being able to predict my misery, or boredom, or the like.
Why share this embarrassing footnote? Because several of you may be a little like me. You may believe that what’s old is best because it’s familiar. And you may habitually shy away from things that scare you. These days, I categorize which experiences I hold onto and which ones I grab like a rope and use to swing out into the unknown.
On the one hand, I’m treading lots of new ground – blogging, writing, teaching. Conversely, I’m hanging onto my job and its steady paycheck so tightly, my business ideas are all jumbled up in my mind. Surely I shouldn’t move forward until I’ve ironed those ideas out and made them nice and tidy, right?
Now that I’ve pulled back the cover for you to see how it looks when I do it, what’s your impression? Don’t you feel I should have faith in God and confidence in myself to step out? I mean, writing and publishing two books in the past three years is nothing to sneeze at, so why not trust God even further?
Now that you can see where I’ve limited my potential due to fear of the unknown taunting me from the backseat as I journey through life, look in the mirror. Where have you hesitated on pulling the trigger on what God is tugging at your heart to do? How have you kept yourself busy with everything except what He asked you to accomplish? What excuses are you feeding yourself to help you sleep at night? Feel free to start a conversation in the comments. Let’s talk about it!
Hey Lisa! There’s a statement you’ve made about change. “That in making changes it may require you and those around you to make adjustments for the changes to work.” So I will admit that the excuse that I’ve been feeding myself would be that since my husband struggle with accepting any adjustments so that the changes can work, that it is best for me not to embrace the change to avoid conflict and contention in my home and relationship. Even though it doesn’t take away the tugging of God, I find myself torn between peace within my home and that which I am familiar with stepping out of my comfort zone in pursuing change. Do you have any words for me?
Hi Courtiney! Thanks for reading and sharing your comment. Every situation is different and I don’t want to suggest this is an easy answer that will fit every home or relationship. However, my suggestion is to consider what the suppression is doing to you internally and how your relationships may fare once they boil over. In other words, generally, a tug from God is related to things that He’s gifted, graced, or guided us toward doing because He intends to use it for our growth and His glory. I believe we can only ignore it for so long; otherwise, we run the risk of shutting off a piece of our hearts so we don’t have to continue ignoring the tug. Can we be sure that our relationships will survive something like that?
But again, I understand it’s not that easy. There may be financial, childcare, or other important family considerations that will require prayer, communication, and compromise. Yet I have to believe that our families will benefit from our obedience to God even if we may not initially be able to fully explain the “tug.” Thoughts?
Hi Lisa, reading your post inspire and leaves me asking questions at the same time. I want to know what God is tugging at my heart to do and I don’t know how to find out.
Hi Sherri, I can relate! My suggestion, consider the past couple of years. What broke your heart, or dominated your thoughts and conversations? The conversations may have been casual, but the work that He’s destined us to do (Ephesians 2:10) can often be found in the things that we can’t shake. So first, think back and narrow down a few topics that have nagged at you. Don’t worry if it seems small, or even ‘too large’ for you. Once you identify a few, see which ones have things you can do or learn now, even in the midst of the pandemic. For example, if teen suicide was on your list, maybe you start learning about the different programs in your area and find out the process for volunteering. Learn if there are any credentials you need, etc. Maybe you take a class. –Get the idea?
Narrow down the list of your interests based on what’s grabbed your attention. And then make moves in those areas. As you begin working on them, allow your passion to rise to the top. Sometimes what we think we want to do differs from what we’re passionate about. But sometimes without taking action, it’s hard to discover which is which. I hope that helps a bit! Keep in touch this month. Perhaps one of our guests can assist further. Blessings!