Milk and Honey Magazine wants all Christian women to stay calm!

Struggling With Change?

Gina Martin

Life = seasons of change.

Currently, I find myself in one of these seasons. I have just moved to a new state (Iowa), I am about to embark on a new journey through doctoral school, and essentially everything is new here in Iowa. I have found this unsettling feeling of being foreign is isolating and challenging. I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t feeling the familiar pang of homesickness in my new “home.”

My husband and I moved here prior to my program starting so that he could search for a new job in this new land. We know not one person, and we are both currently unemployed. This leaves us in an interesting stage that requires our dependence on our faith, on one another, and on our ability to persist through the uncertainty.

I am a city girl born and raised. City life was what I knew, and it felt like home to me. I had my family, friends, and I knew the lay of the land. I could navigate my way around, and I knew how to succeed at things in my daily life.

My husband quit his job in Chicago and we moved to Iowa to follow my dream. Upon moving to this new place I knew there would be challenges but I was unprepared for how different it was from my comfort zone.

In order to survive these changing times it is important to depend on guidance from God because it is all we have in times of complete change.

Ways to deal with change:

Faith: Faith has the ability to be constant during times of change. It is important to get out and try to involve yourself in life in your new situation – and have faith that God will bring you to the right places. I have found that forcing myself to get out and walk around and figure out everything on my own or with new people that God has given me, I feel better and more relaxed or more comfortable every time I do this. Getting into new patterns to accommodate your new situation can be the way to find comfort and stability amidst the change. It is uncomfortable to put yourself out there and make new friends and adjust to a new way of living, but it is the best way to acclimate.

Reliance on each other: I have been blessed to have a husband who is willing to face these challenges with me in order for me to accomplish my dreams of becoming a PhD. I recognize that this built in support network is not present for everyone and I feel extremely grateful to have my life partner to lean on when times get tough. He is my biggest cheerleader and always helps encourage me to go for my dreams no matter how out of reach they might seem. Finding people who support your dreams and encourage you to go for them are essential in adjusting to change. It is imperative to find your support network and cherish them. God sends us people to rely on, because we sure can’t make it through this life without others.

Dealing with uncertainty: Whenever you are facing change, there is uncertainty involved. Will I like the new place? Will I fit in? Will I find friends? Will I be able to support myself? What if I’m not good at my job? And the list of mental questions could continue for pages and pages. This is super challenging and uncomfortable for most people to sit with. Uncertainty and dealing with it can often be seen as a challenge. When we turn to God’s guidance on challenges we often run into the verse about refinement (1 Peter 1:7 NLT), which states, “These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.”

This means if you are faced with trials of change, challenges, despair, etc. that we must rejoice in these times because these are opportunities for growth in our faith, in our relationships, and in our character. We cannot grow without challenges or without being pushed out of our comfort zone even when it is uncomfortable or frightening.

Through times of change, it is important to remember that God is still walking with you no matter how alone you may feel. God is constant despite any changes in this life.

Through maintaining faith, relying on each other in the form of support networks, and dealing with the uncertainty as though you are being refined that growth happens and has the potential to be beautiful.