This week heralds the beginning of fall, but, here in the south, the weather hasn’t gotten the word. Although the nights tease with temperatures in the 60s, days top the charts in the 90s.
Personally, I have enjoyed the sun-filled days and extra time to swim before putting a lid on the pool for the winter. But those who love all things fall are grumbling that summer has overstayed its welcome.
Seasonal changes in climate, and in life, doesn’t always follow the timing we expect and can be difficult to navigate.
Following are some aspects of changing seasons in life:
Change is Beyond Your Control
Most of us have a favorite season or seasons, and, at times, would like to skip the ones we like least, but as in nature, changing life seasons are beyond our control. A period of happiness, contentment, and peace may be followed by a season of illness, heartache, or financial instability.
Realizing change is inevitable and beyond your control helps you prepare for coming change. That doesn’t mean you should live in fear, dreading changes on the horizon, but rather learn to recognize and give thanks for the seasons of peace, joy, and contentment, and trust that, with God’s help, you’ll be able to weather less favorable seasons.
Approach Determines Attitude
Many people look forward to changing seasons; others dread them. I know those who view fall as a season of death and decay, a prelude to the stark barrenness of winter. Others enjoy cooler weather, the bold display of color, and planning for the holidays and family gatherings.
How you approach change determines your attitude. Resistance sets the stage for a negative mindset, while embracing change is more likely to lend a positive outlook. Looking back leads to comparisons and sets you up for paralyzed forward motion. Instead, search for positive aspects of the season you’re in.
Changing seasons in life are more difficult for some, but that doesn’t indicate any sort of deficiency. Your experiences, heritage, and personality all factor in to how you approach change. Knowing change is hard for you helps you realize you need to put more effort into looking for benefits in the new season.
New Season; New Opportunities
Sometimes we are so comfortable in a current season that we resent change. This is especially true as we get older because we are less interested in adjusting to new ideas and perspectives. Change can be difficult and scary, but a new phase of life brings new and different opportunities.
Look for ways to increase your knowledge in areas where you are uncertain. For me, various elements of technology can be frustrating and daunting. But when I put forth effort to learn something new or master a skill that has previously eluded me, I gain a sense of accomplishment. And don’t allow fear of appearing dumb, or pride, to prevent you from asking for help. You’re only stupid when you choose ignorance over knowledge.
Seasons of Change Bring Growth
I still remember the growing pains of childhood, not only physically, but also emotionally. Often, pain is involved in change and growth and none of us relish discomfort. While the molding that occurs with growth is uncomfortable, if we never grow, we become stagnant.
Do you perceive growth in your current season? Are you allowing growth to take place physically, emotionally, mentally, or spiritually? Emotional and spiritual growth are often the most difficult because they require honest self-evaluation, and sometimes that is unpleasant. Yet, often you are able to look back and see that the current season of change, although difficult, increased your awareness of blessings and helped you move beyond what was holding you back.
Each season has its own hardships and rewards. Embrace changing life seasons with an eye to blessings, and accept change as normal and beneficial.
“Everything on earth has its own time and its own season. There is a time for birth and death, planting and reaping, for killing and healing, destroying and building, for crying and laughing, weeping and dancing.” Ecclesiastes 3:1-4 CEV
Candy Arrington is a writer, blogger, speaker, and freelance editor. She often writes on tough topics with a focus on moving beyond difficult life circumstances. Candy has written hundreds of articles, stories, and devotionals published by numerous outlets including: Inspiration.org, Arisedaily.com, CBN.com, Healthgrades.com, Care.com, Focus on the Family, NextAvenue.org, CountryLiving.com, and Writer’s Digest. Candy’s books include When Your Aging Parent Needs Care (Harvest House) and AFTERSHOCK: Help, Hope, and Healing in the Wake of Suicide (B&H Publishing Group).
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Amen. How we handle change either blesses us and those around us or causes stress and turmoil. I pray I handle change with patience and faith.