When there is an unexpected change, we normally react in one or more of the following ways: anxiety, fear, sadness and anger. The change can be either negative or positive. Sadness is the emotion we will focus on this month.
When I was in the third grade, my family moved into a new home. It was so exciting. My sister and I were getting new white beds for our room (so girly!), a larger yard. Oh yes, it was exciting! But at the same time, I felt sad. A part of me didn’t want the change. I was leaving the familiar for the unfamiliar. I was going to miss the neighborhood where memories were made.
We would still do some of the same things, but it was going to be different. Even though I knew it was for the better, I wanted it to stay the same.
Sadness can come with both positive and negative changes in life. For example, getting married is a positive change, but you can be sad because you’re leaving the life that you once knew. The obvious negative change is the death of a loved one. Not being able to see or talk the one who is not longer here is devastating. The following steps will help you cope with the sadness that can accompany change.
1) Grieve. We must grieve our losses. God gave us the ability to grieve so we can properly have closure. Give yourself time to go through the grieving process.
2) Let go of the old. However, we are not to stay in grief. God asked Samuel, when he was grieving he loss of his relationship with Saul as king, “How long will you mourn for Saul…?” (1 Sam. 16:1). Eventually, we must throw off our garments of mourning. Holding on to the past will keep us stuck there. We were created to move forward, not in a holding pattern hoping for something that will never be again. Sometimes guilt can come with change. For example you may feel if you are no longer grieving over a loved one, you may feel guilty. And that can keep you stuck. Let the past stay in the past. Let go of what once was.
3) Accept the new. Once you let go of what once was you can grab on to what will be. Plans that you had before must be replaced with new plans to support your new destination. There is always an excitement regarding the future. It can also be a little unnerving because we really don’t know what will be ahead. However, we do have God’s promise that He knows “…the plans that I have for you…plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Having feelings of sadness during change is normal. Knowing how to navigate through it will help you transition quickly and start to enjoy the days ahead!
WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR EZINE OR WEBSITE? You can, as long as you include this complete blurb with it: Wallette V. McCall is an author, speaker, and life coach for women. Wallette publishes the “Breakthrough to Change” monthly Ezine on how to thrive in the midst of change at: www.AnotherLevelCoaching.com