Positively Maneuvering Life's Transitions

By Debbie Cockreham

My mother shoplifted today - not because she is a kleptomaniac, or lacking in morals, but because she has Alzheimer's disease. She probably doesn't even remember putting the objects into her pocket.

My mother's illness has dramatically and irrevocably changed my life. This disease has transformed my lifestyle, commitments, faith, emotions, and relationships. Just when I thought I was beginning to know some of life's answers, it seems all of the questions were changed.

My comfort zone has definitely been expanded. No matter what the age or circumstance, life is constantly changing. As someone once stated, "God comforts the disturbed and disturbs the comfortable."

I have the privilege of working with high school seniors. Each spring, I witness a phenomenon that I call "senior panic". All of a sudden, these young people realize that what has been predictable, reliable, and safe is being traded for the unknown. While there are still feelings of excitement and celebration at thoughts of graduation, there are also fears and apprehension about the future. Some seniors who at one time couldn't wait to go to the college farthest from home, change their plans to attend a college closer to home.

Change - even positive change - can bring discomfort and uncertainty. Change is constant, though I often struggle with it. I'm much more comfortable with routine, familiarity and certainty. But no matter how I may try to fight it, change is inevitable.

More than likely, your grandfather worked at the same job for years, perhaps even retiring with the same company in which he began his career. Today, the odds are that a person will completely change careers five times during his or her lifetime. Even if a person manages to stay within the same career, she must continually acquire new skills, training and information.

Just think of the global impact of the computer chip and the Internet, or the personal impact of a mid-life crisis, divorce, or job loss. Minor changes we can usually take in stride. But periodically, most of us face major changes that require huge adjustments.

When the winds of change begin to blow around us, annoying us, obscuring our vision, throwing us off balance, and sometimes knocking us to the ground with its great force, we can trust in One who is never surprised by change. The Bible tells us, "Trust in the Lord, forever, for in God, the Lord, we have an Everlasting Rock" (Isaiah 26:4).

When my comfort zone is distributed, I trust in three things I know to be predictable, reliable and true.

God's love does not change.
God's Word does not change.
God's attributes do not change.

Often, when I have been thrust into a dramatic change in my life, feelings of doubt, insecurity, and fear begin to overshadow me. I'm plagued by thoughts like, "See, no one really cares."

One day, during prayer, Christ broke into my fearful thinking and reminded me of the Bible verse, "I have loved you with an everlasting love, with loving kindness I have drawn you to Me" (Jeremiah 31:3). This promise continues to chase away feelings of insecurity and doubt.

I know that God's love will never waver. He proved His love to me by leaving heaven with all of its glory, coming to earth as a baby, growing up to be a sinless man, then taking my sins upon Himself and dying in my place. Still, His love does not stop there. He continues to make intercession for me to the Father and is preparing my home with Him in heaven. He knows me intimately and loves me in spite of all my flaws.

I know God's love does not change, God's Word does not change, and God's attributes do not change. When my world is upside down and people I thought I could count on are deserting me, turning on me, or indifferent to me - knowing God does not change, anchors my soul. He is from Everlasting to Everlasting. He is the Rock we can trust in when the sands of change shift beneath us. Cling to Him and He will restore you to solid ground.

Debbie is a professional life coach. You can reach her at debbie@livingpositivelyonpurpose. Or, visit her website at www.livingpositivelyonpurpose.com

Do you know God personally? Read:
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