Change: When Change Finds You

Early morning ski run

+Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

Sometimes, we know a change is coming. Other times, it makes its presence known through a simple tumble down a mountainside.

Yes, that would be the change I just encountered. We took the boys skiing recently. I was on my first run of the day, hurrying down ahead of hubby and Edmund, because I needed to exchange my boots.

The boots got exchanged all right . . . for a splint and a sprained knee.

Sporting the knee brace

I hadn’t planned to change my week, my speed of going through my days, my pain levels.

Yes, sometimes change finds us unexpectedly.

I’m not going to try and sound pious and say I am embracing it willingly. When I got the MRI results back and discovered I would need surgery to fix the tear in my ACL and partial tear in my meniscus, I cried. And, I ranted a little at boys sporting attitudes because of their own frustrations.

Snowboard fall

I hadn’t any more right than they to rant, but I was the mama, and they, unfortunately, bore a little more ire than warranted.

Yes, sometimes, I don’t embrace change very well.

As I adjust to the fact that I’m going to be hobbling for a little awhile . . . I’m going to have to go under anesthesia and still do life on the other side . . . I’m discovering that small, unexpected things throw me off.

Change takes time to adapt to. It induces anxiety within most of us. The question is, when change finds us, how will we respond?

In my own strength, I don’t do change well. I don’t like it.

God and change quote

God isn’t so concerned with how much I like or don’t like change, as He is the work He wants to do in my heart through it.

You see, I’ve been praying that He would draw me closer to Himself. I’ve been praying that He would help me live life more authentically. And the way that prayer is answered is by drawing closer to Him.

He has chosen this change in my life to help me want—and need—to draw near to Him.

Riding the lift

I know myself well enough to know I won’t weather this change graciously unless I’m leaning hard into Him.

I know this circumstance is smaller, and not as life-altering as what many people face. Even in this, God knows the best way to encourage us to draw closer to Him.

Trees standing sentinel

The day after I learned I’d be going under a surgeon’s knife, I found myself so hungry for His word. So in need of music, words that move me into a place where I can worship Him.

To live authentically, I need to be honest with God about how I’m feeling. It’s okay not to like the changes He brings into our lives. But, how will we handle things after we decide we don’t like it?

Taking the hill

We can choose to let it make us bitter. We can vent our anger at Him for the injustice of it all.

We can choose to live independently and do things on our terms. This will probably lead back to bitterness.

Or, we can choose to lean hard into Him (in my case literally), and ask Jesus to help us to accept what He knows is best for us in this season.

In the past, I’ve found that when I lean hard into the Lord, I begin to see His fingerprints all over my life. I see how He’s working in my heart. And He often uses others to do this.

Snow and distant storm

Do I like what’s happening?

No.

But I’m praying . . . a lot right now.

I’m asking Him to align my heart with His during this season. And I will come to embrace this change . . . one limping step at a time.

What about you? When have you chafed against a change? How do you come to a place of embracing the changes that have come into your life?

Today I’m linking up with Holly Barrett and A Purposeful Faith blog.

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16 thoughts on “Change: When Change Finds You

  1. That had to hurt…and yes, Jeanne, you had more right than the boys to rant. WAY more.

    I think that a big part of being able to cope with change comes from a sense of balance…if you expect the possibility of ‘good change’, it makes the harder stuff easier to bear.

    I’m in the other corner. I see no good changes coming; tomorrow will bring more pain, and fatigue, and humiliation. I don’t watch email for signs of my personal resurgence. It won’t happen. There is no good news coming.

    In a way, that makes change easier to accept. I’m not sure if it’s a good adaptation or not, but I figure…”I’m going to get hammered anyway, so why resent it? Just keep doing what I have to until this is over”.

    Does this make sense?

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    • It did hurt, Andrew. When I lay there on the snow, I assessed where the pain was throbbing and it was from my knees. I knew then I was in trouble. One knee wasn’t bad, but the other . . .

      I think you’re right, being able to flex with change comes from having a sense of balance. I hadn’t thought about it quite the way you shared, but I like how you worded it. 🙂

      You have a realistic view of your situation, Andrew. It seems like we each need this so we can adapt to change in the ways that work best for us. I’m continuing to pray for you, my friend.

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  2. Oh boy, Jeanne, do I hear you. I’m so sorry about your knee and will certainly be praying for you throughout the process -and for your family! Thank you for humbly sharing about your struggle int he change and pointing to the truth: we have a choice to follow Him even when we’re hobbling or really don’t like what’s going on. Praise the Lord His pace is never too fast for us to keep up with.

    Personally, I’m a “little-change” freak. Big ones I tend to prepare for, but itty-bitty unexpected things throw me off. I need to embrace those little changes fast or else the opportunity passes by and the grumpy lingers as an after-effect.

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    • Bethany, I truly appreciate the prayers. I am truly thankful that God’s pace is never too fast for us to keep up with. I love that you’re a “little change” freak. It seems like I do best with the ones that are in my control. It’s the changes that are beyond my control that I struggle with. I suppose that might mean I need more practice in trusting God, eh? 🙂 May we both grow in adapting to the little changes.

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  3. These words right here need to be the center of our focus, especially the question…”To live authentically, I need to be honest with God about how I’m feeling. It’s okay not to like the changes He brings into our lives. But, how will we handle things after we decide we don’t like it?” Our authenticity along with drawing close to God will pull us through the change. God really did interrupt you big, my friend. He certainly seems to do that as a reminder that He is in every detail as well as all we need to make it through. I’ll be praying for you as you go through surgery and learn a new normal as you recover. Hugs!

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    • You’re so right, Mary. Our authenticity, along with drawing close to God will pull us through the changes He brings into our lives. I’m truly thankful He is in every detail, and that nothing takes Him by surprise.

      Thank you so much for the prayers. I never look forward to surgery, but now I’m at the point where I just want it done. 🙂 I always appreciate your contributions over here.

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  4. Oh, Jeanne, I’m so sorry to hear that you’ve sustained a knee injury which has impacted your life in a way you hadn’t anticipated. I don’t do well with lots of little changes, but I’m usually better with the major ones that have come my way. Maybe the energy and resilience necessary to deal with big things means I have less patience for several minor ones which only seem to erode my peace and steal joy from my soul? I’m not sure.
    But I can relate to this: “I’ve found that when I lean hard into the Lord, I begin to see His fingerprints all over my life. I see how He’s working in my heart.” Amen! In the surrender comes peace and a degree of inner awakening to the gift of grace hidden within the broken situation. Sometimes I still struggle to see it. Yet when we do make an effort, God rewards us in good ways we’d never expected.
    I hope and pray the pain is manageable, the op goes well and you’re able to see a silver lining in the midst of these challenging circumstances. It’s okay to feel low, to vent and to feel caught on the hop. It’s also okay to let go and let God take care of you. May you sense His loving arms ready to hold you close. Blessings and hugs. Xx

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    • I’ve realized I don’t do well with small changes either, Joy. I like all my ducks to be in a row. God has been giving me practice in learning to be flexible with little changes.

      Yes! In the surrender comes the peace and eyes to see the grace God has in the broken situations. I like how you put that, Joy. I want to look with those sorts of eyes. It’s not my initial response very often. The pain has been fairly manageable. God has been gracious in that (among other things!). I’m discovering I am very good at doing independent. Choosing to depend on others is stretching me. But, there’s beauty in letting others help us. thanks for your words, my friend.

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  5. I can hear the threads of gratitude running through your story, Jeanne. Not for the injury itself, but for what God is going to do through it. Your words are so expectant and that’s such a bold witness in the face of big change. It’s only a gracious and wise God that literally takes us off our feet in order to give us the opportunity to lean hard into Him. Go figure, right?! So great that you’ve been able to be honest before Him, and honest before us. I’m praying for your healing and looking forward to hearing more about what God shows you through this time of recovery. Love you, friend.

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    • Thanks, Tiffany. Honestly, it could have been SO much worse. I think we all come to the point where we either accept God’s changes, or we fight against them. I just want to get there. And I think I’m making progress. After nine days in a brace I’m ready to be free again. 😉 Funny how discomfort can spur us to want change. 🙂

      You’re so right. It is only a gracious and wise God who gives us what is needed for us to lean hard on Him. Learning to be more honest with Him is part of what I’m learning as I grow in being authentic. Thanks for the prayers for healing. I’ll take them! So very thankful for you, my friend!

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  6. Oh, Jeanne! Is this what had you rattled on Thursday night? I’m so sorry. I rail against change, too. I’m trying to take things in stride, and I did ok this summer when I had unexpected kidney failure and had to postpone my road trip with my daughter. The thing that helped me the most is that I knew God wouldn’t lead me somewhere he couldn’t keep me at perfect peace. I had a great summer despite the changes in MY plans (most likely because I was operating under HIS plans instead…no pun intended).

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    • Yes, Anita, this was the news I was struggling with Thursday night. I had SO hoped it wasn’t anything more than a sprain. To discover a complete and a partial tear in the ligaments was a bit more than this frazzled mama was ready for. But God . . . He knows how to help each of us through those unexpected struggles.

      I didn’t realize that you had kidney failure last summer. I love what you clung to—that God doesn’t lead us anywhere He can’t keep us. I’m going to hold onto that. I’m slowly (ever so slowly) learning to relinquish MY plans and accept, even embrace, His plans. They’re always best anyway. Even when they don’t feel like it in the moment. 🙂

      Thanks so much for sharing this today.

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  7. Oh, wow, I’m so sorry for the injury. I think you’re right though, that it’s okay to say an unwanted change stinks. But I love that for the child of God, change does this: “The day after I learned I’d be going under a surgeon’s knife, I found myself so hungry for His word. So in need of music, words that move me into a place where I can worship Him.” That’s a good place to be. Happy to find you today from the #rara linkup!

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    • Lisa, I’m so blessed you stopped by here. I’m learning that God values authenticity. And He’s big enough to handle my emotion. Thank goodness! 🙂 I think you’re right. When we are in a place where we hunger and thirst for Him, that’s a good place. Thanks again for stopping by!

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  8. Jeanne, thank you for this post! I am so sorry about your need for surgery! hope you recover quickly! We are going through a lot of changes with a recent move, and I share many of your thoughts and feelings. I agree that God is concerned mostly with the change in our hearts and what we choose to do when change comes. Blessings, friend!

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    • Kim, I’m always encouraged when you stop by. Thanks for the well wishes regarding surgery. It’s scheduled, and I’m finally ready to just have it done. 🙂 Moves are MAJOR. We made a few with the military. It’s even harder when children are involved. I hope you settle into your new home and community quickly.

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