Confessions of a Change Hater

confessionsHi, my name is Amy, and my confession is that I hate change. 

So, I started this post about six times before actually committing to this particular topic. Does that qualify for irony? For someone as indecisive as I can be, change is really not a comfort zone for me. At all.

I grew up in the same house, in the same town, with the same friends until my mid-twenties. It took 20 minutes to drive to my favorite place in the mountains. I had two favorite coffee shops, and a close-knit circle of amazing friends. I loved to travel, but mostly I loved coming home to my room, my things, my friends, my corner of the world.

So when I married a military guy, it was jarring to say the least when I made that first move away from my home. Honestly, life became pretty difficult for me. I felt lost without my support system, without the familiar landmarks I loved.  I didn’t know how to live on my own without them. Even the seasons felt “wrong.” Each time we relocated, there was new territory to learn, new friends to make, new hangouts to discover. I now got to learn how to call unknown places, “home.” And I despised it.

The only things I could take with me were my hobbies (reading, writing, and knitting), my little family, and my faith. And while my hobbies and my family didn’t change too drastically, my attitude was a major challenge to my faith. Externally, I made friends, learned about my new space, but my heart was crying out for a comfortable place, and my inner toddler was stomping her foot and hollering, “I don’t want to do this again!”

Have you ever made a decision, covered all your bases, done all the research, and then committed to it — and afterwards found out on the flip side that, well, this wasn’t exactly what you expected? Maybe it’s a job. Maybe it’s a relationship. Maybe it’s even something small. No matter, when this happens, sometimes well-meaning people will tell you that, “You have no excuse to complain, since you knew what you were getting into on the front end.” I think they mean it as a tough-love kind of way to remind you that, once, you believed that this was the right decision for your life. And you need to see it through. 

Though they may be correct, I haven’t ever found it to be that helpful of a statement. Words like that made me more unsure about making decisions — what if a decision that looks good on the outside actually turns sour? How can I be sure it won’t?

As you might guess (or maybe you’ve also learned), this is an exhausting way to live. So I had to figure out a way to get out of this paralyzing mentality. 

For some reason, the simplest answer is sometimes the most overlooked, like prayer. And that’s probably because I used to pray and tell God I wasn’t happy with where He’d put me, and that I’d (respectfully) like Him to make it possible for me to move to my comfort zone. Yeah. I’ll let you smirk at me on that one. I was always disappointed because He didn’t give me what I asked Him for.

I was recently challenged to approach God with the attitude of Mary (Jesus’ earthly mother) at the wedding in Cana. Present Him with the problem, and then step back and let Him take care of it in the way He will. It’s that stepping back part that gets me every time. Not telling Him how to handle my predicament. But when I started presenting my concerns about change to Him in this way, I noticed that I was granted peace and calm, more than a reversal of my situation. Because of that stillness, I was able to grow in my new place, rather than stay paralyzed in fear and frustration.

Music has always been a refuge for me. Finding lyrics, or even instrumental pieces that speak to me during times of change, has always helped me deal. It becomes kind of exciting to find the new soundtrack for this upcoming challenge, similar to when I’m choosing music to inspire a writing project. One of my hands-down favorite bands is Switchfoot. We got to go to one of their concerts recently and I about died of happiness, but that’s another story.

Anyway, their song, The Shadow Proves the Sunshine, is one that I’ve listened to on repeat when faced with transition. It’s a reminder that our difficult times actually accent the beauty in life, and God knows I need to remember that often.

One of the things moving has given me is an array of new friends each place I’ve lived. And I know that I’d regret never meeting the people who I miss the most. He’s given me cognizance of the difference of skies across the U.S. He’s given me the opportunity to be present in critical times for dear friends. I’ve witnessed both amazing and heartbreaking moments that I never would have, if I had stayed in my comfortable Hobbit Hole. And I’ve been given an appreciation for the depth that distance can give a relationship. 

Change isn’t something I can avoid. I will probably never truly like being pushed from my comfy place, which always seems to happen when I’ve finally become content. But it’s as if God says, “You’ve grown long enough, here. It’s time to grow another part of your soul. Let’s go.”

 

The Shadow Proves the Sunshine:

 

 

blog-author-photoAuthor Bio:

Amy Davis is a writer, mother, lover of hot drinks and nerdy things. She’s also a co-founder and Acquisitions Manager at Crosshair Press (crosshairpress.com) where she blogs monthly. She occasionally tweets on Twitter (@afielddavis) and posts on her personal blog at writingandrhythm.com.

Bookmark the permalink.

16 Comments

  1. As a fellow change-hater, I loved this post! Thank you for sharing your experiences, Amy, I’m glad you’ve been able to find some peace despite all the changes you’ve had to deal with. That would be so hard for me, too – I get thrown off just from my kids’ schedules changing!

    • Kiddos’ schedule changes are the worst — especially when it’s Daylight Savings Time and they wake up at 3am. *sigh* 😉 Thanks so much for reading, Laurie.

  2. “Because of that stillness, I was able to grow in my new place…”

    I’ve been learning this lesson anew myself. Thank you for this reminder, which I have needed.

  3. This made me smile. Change is so hard for most of us. For the last two years I’ve been living in Illinois, so foreign to this desert-dwelling Utahn. It has been an adjustment, but not without its share of blessings. Look how adaptable you’ve become!

    • The midwest would definitely be a change from Utah! And I agree, there are so many blessings, if I just take the time to look away from my unhappiness. I sure hope I’ve become more adaptable! Thanks, Denise.

  4. It’s very challenging to change. Thank you for sharing your ideas here and for encouraging us to be open to the idea that our timeline is not always the timeline we must travel.

    • It’s been so helpful to me to see here that I’m not the only one who stuggles with it. Thank you for reading, Denise. I’m so glad it was encouraging.

  5. It all depends on the change if I hate it or not. When you have a special needs child with uncontrolled seizures, you live with Plan B, C, D, and Z all the time. 🙂 The thing is, that doesn’t bother me so much. What bothers me is when someone is in MY pew in church. One or two rows difference isn’t a big deal, but having to sit on the opposite side? It’s like being in a new church. Ha!

    I think the hardest thing with change is that you often have no control over it and that can be real scary. Even though we’re told to not be afraid in Scripture hundreds of times, when the change is staring you in the face, it’s hard to clamp down on the fear. Really, God sometimes allows for some horrible things, right? Been there. And for me, it’s stretched and grown me in ways I never dreamed, and through all the changes in my life, God has never let me go. I’m still here.

    Thanks for a great post, Amy!

    • You are a rockstar at dealing with change! And isn’t it funny that the seemingly small adjustments sometimes cause loads of irritation? I agree that it’s the lack of control that scares me the most (maybe my confession should’ve been I’m a control freak).

      And I’m so glad you’re still here. 🙂 Thank you for your insight!

  6. My boyfriend hates change and I always roll my eyes at him because I’m one of those people that loves to mix it up! However as I read this I was surprised, because even though you and I seem to be opposite in our feelings toward change, we had to learn the same lesson. I love giving God suggestions on how I’d handle certain situations. But this last year things haven’t changed the way I’d like so I’ve had to surrender to Him and trust that He knows best.
    Thank you Amy for giving me a new perspective! I hope God continues to bless you wherever you may be!

    • Wow, I wish that “mix it up” attitude came naturally to me. 😉
      I so love that we are both learning the same principle, from differing ends of the spectrum. Isn’t that just like God?
      I am glad that you found some encouragement here. Thank you so much for reading.

  7. Thanks for sharing! I’m one of those “loves change” people, because I do get bored with routine and I enjoy the pressure of fresh challenges. Which means God tests me by making things not change as fast as I’d like — or not change at all! My husband and I married thinking we would be moving all over the mission field and instead God has planted us in the most ‘common’ places for the long-term and said “grow here.” It grows me in the same way as your moving grows you, and I’ve developed an appreciation for consistency, routine, and structure — plus it means I can BE the change in the area where I live.

  8. This was good to read, as I am considering a move. One of my girlfriends gave me an affirmation the other night — she said “everything we do can be with grace and ease.” I would not have the blessings I have now in my life if it were not for the willingness to change, to face the things I do to hold myself back. So I appreciated this post very much. God is good.

  9. I started reading and thought, wait, how does she know everything I’ve been thinking? I just got married and moved twelve hours from my growing up place, and I’m trying to move past the toddler stamping her foot stage. Thank you for these encouraging words! I want to grow in this new place and become more than I ever could be in my old comfort zone.

  10. Transitions can be difficult, but also bring blessings, as you mention. I think I’m usually of the opposite mindset, feeling restless if in one place too long. And what a gift to have friends and family that we long to see.

Comments are closed