How to Cope with Change

3 tips for facing life’s twists and turns
How to Cope with Change
Image: HSDYL / SHUTTERSTOCK

I had a conversation with a friend the other day about my upcoming career transition. “Has it been uncomfortable?” she asked.

“Hmm, kind of like wearing sandpaper underwear,” I said.

After four years as CEO at MOPS International (which stands for Mothers of Preschoolers), I’m making a change in order to do ministry in partnership with my husband and another organization.

My time at MOPS has been such an incredible privilege, and I will forever be a raving fan of the transformational impact MOPS can have on a young mom’s life. So why the change?

I bet you have felt these same inner urgings at different times in your life. God is whispering something. You feel it deep in your heart, and you know there’s new coming. It’s a bittersweet ending mingled with the exciting undercurrent of next. It’s change.

Here’s something else I bet you have felt: the uncomfortable space in between, the moments of second guessing and questioning. God am I hearing you right?

I know there are people who love the very thought of change and run toward it with open arms, as if to a friend they haven’t seen in a while. I am not one of them. I read my favorite books over and over again. I order the same foods at my favorite restaurant. I love to watch movies so many times that I can recite the lines. Why? Because I find comfort in the predictable. I like to know what’s coming and how it will turn out. Some people would say that’s boring—I prefer the word familiar. This is why, for me, change is downright itchy.

Here’s what I know: God is a lot more concerned about my wholehearted obedience than he is about my comfort. He wants my devoted trust and my dependence to be on him, not on my comfortable surroundings. It’s in the moments of discombobulated uncertainty that I hold his hand a little tighter and lean in a bit closer. It’s in these moments that God has taught me a few things about change.

1. God Always Has a Next

We see it all around us. Each day ends as the sun gently sets, and a new day soon dawns. Friends move away, and new ones come. Our babies become children who become teenagers who become adults who have children of their own. We step into a ministry, and then, in God’s timing, he opens a new door.

We can know this in our head, but when change comes, even change we initiate ourselves, it can cause an angsty fear to rise up. It has been helpful to remind myself that change is God’s idea, he orchestrates it, and it never takes him by surprise. Since he doesn’t fear it, neither should I.

Sherry Surratt

Sherry Surratt is the Director of Parenting Strategy for Orange Family Ministry. She is the former CEO of MOPS International and the author of several books, including Brave Mom, Beautiful Mess, and Just Lead. You can connect with her online at SherrySurratt.com or follow her on Twitter at @SherrySurratt.

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May 25

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