Preparing for Change.

Change can be difficult. When my son was small, he didn’t like his activities disrupted. He was a really content kid, until the unexpected occurred.  He loved to play–especially with toy trains and legos.  He would play contently for hours.  But then, if we needed to go to the store or visit a friend, he would get upset, sometimes bursting into tears.  Changing from one activity to another was hard.  Overwhelming.

He needed a transition period. It took us a while to figure out how to help him make transitions better, but eventually we discovered a secret — a timer.  I got one of those watches with a timer and when we had to leave to go somewhere or change from one activity to another, we set the timer for five minutes. We told him that when the timer went off, we would pick up the toys, or put on our coat, or get ready for dinner–whatever the new activity was.

I don’t know what it was about the timer–the five-minute warning–but somehow, it allowed him to build up the mental strength to change. He needed that preparation time.  That time to adjust to the idea so that he could move forward without getting upset.  As a young adult, he knows he still struggles with changes in his life.  And, I am grateful that he recognizes this so that he can find ways to adjust.

I struggle with change, too. I wrote a few days ago about how emotion–compassion, fear, discomfort, and tears–help move us to action, to seek change.  Other times, I recognize, desperately, that I need to change something in my life, but I’m too paralyzed to do anything about it.  I’m stuck and it feels better to just stay the course.  Or, I feel overwhelmed by the thought of the task. Or, with respect to social justice issues–like the global water crisis–I feel like anything I do will be too insignificant to have any impact. So, I do nothing.

I need that ‘five minute warning’–or some time period–to build up the strength mentally and emotionally before moving forward. And then I remember, Christ’s words:

I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain “Move from here to there” and it will move.  Matthew 17:20

So, I prepare for change. I know that I need to look to Christ. To have faith that, with Him, change is possible. I know that I need to get ‘unstuck” because He promises that faith moves mountains. I have to take the action, with faith in hand, and . . .

Christ will make the mountain move, not me. I just have to step out in faith.

Godspeed, Elizabeth


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Posted on March 23, 2010, in Christianity, Faith, God, parenting and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Oh, Elizabeth, thank you for this wonderful post! I have had so much change that is outside my control lately, and there is more to come. But what I need to change is my attitude about it. I can’t do it alone – Christ will move the mountain of my attitude, not me. What a blessing to know someone else struggles with change, too.

    And I like the part about your son. My son was the same way when he was young. He still moves slower than molasses in January sometimes from one thing to another, but he does much better with little changes now.

    • Thanks Linda. It is a blessing to know that we are not alone–that we have others, like us, who similarly struggle. And, it is a great blessing to have the comfort of Christ during these times. I’ll keep you in my prayers. –Godspeed, Elizabeth

  2. Oh…Elizabeth. What a powerful message. Change…no matter how small or insignificant is a part of the WHOLE. Otherwise, why would Jesus care to mention about the mustard seed…one of the tiniest in the world? Faith…cannot be called faith until…it has made the first step. I am believing with you…and waiting to hear that you made that first step. I also need to step out more often and leave the mountain to Him!

    This message is blessed!

    Gladwell

    • Gladwell – Thank you for the reminder that “Change, no matter how small or insignificant is a part of the WHOLE.” I so appreciate your thoughts. Blessings!–Godspeed, Elizabeth

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