How to Deal With Unwanted Change

It’s the day before New Year’s Eve (meaning it’s December 30, in case you were wondering). Magazines and television shows are doing their year-in-review segments. It’s always fun to see the year’s major events. 2013 taught us all what the fox says. That’s pretty huge!

Looking back we also see changes we’ve made, both personally and socially. Change can be fun and exciting. However, change can be hard and stressful. I’m not speaking of the change involved in changing out of your pajamas into a pair of sweats so you can pick up your kids from school (I love the days I can work from home!)

blog photo - change

I’m talking about unwanted change.

Change that you didn’t choose but life forced it upon you.

A change you can do nothing about.

It can be big. It can be small.

It can be perceived as negative. It can be positive. Either way, it interrupts your life.

I share a story in my book about when our son, Noah, was diagnosed with Celiac Disease, meaning he was allergic to anything containing gluten – wheat, barley and rye. His blood work showed he was malnourished. He was nine years old at the time but he looked more like he was seven.

Overnight I had to relearn how to shop and cook for our family. Noah had to learn what treats he could accept or had to refuse at school or while over at a friend’s house.  We had to avoid some of our favorite restaurants and look for new ways to celebrate birthdays and holidays.

Ask us about it today and I’d say it’s no big deal. However, at the time, it was enormous. It consumed my life.

Looking back at that time period, I see three actions I had to take in order to successfully embrace my new life.

Accept that life is different. Rejecting my new life would promote a negative environment that would put us in a stalemate. If I lived in denial, my son wouldn’t thrive. By moving forward with my unwanted change I had to believe that good change would come out of it.

Research your new life. Taking small steps can make a big change seem less overwhelming. By educating myself on gluten-free living, little by little I began to see it was doable as I learned from those who had gone before me.

Laugh at life’s challenges. There will be mistakes…lots of them – like the first time I made a gluten-free quiche for my son.  But by laughing at them I was better able to endure them. With unwanted change it’s best to strive for progress, not perfection (and it’ll give you some good stories along the way).

Pray like crazy. I had to get on my knees in order to stand tall for my son. Change can break us or change can mold us into something stronger and even more useful. Prayer connects us to God’s unending source of strength, peace, love and all the other good stuff we’ll need.

Change may not be easy but it’s a part of life that takes us out of our comfort zone. It is here we see what we are made of and who we are…and that is a good thing. Happy New Year!

I’d love to hear your stories from your own personal year-in-review and any actions you take that may help us face change!


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