Jeanne Takenaka

When have difficult circumstances forced you to navigate life changes?

Sometimes, we have the option to change. Other times, change is thrust upon us, usually through trials and unexpected circumstances.

When Hubs and I married forever ago, I had my plans all mapped out. We’d wait a couple of years, get pregnant, have two or three children, and be one happy family. What I didn’t account for was that God’s plan might be different from mine. 

Yellow flowers near a rock on a path . . . a reminder that, when we navigate life changes, we grow, even in hard places

After few months of trying to get pregnant, we conceived, but I lost that child. We later endured months of fertility testing and monthly disappointment. We learned, for us, infertility treatments cost more than we could afford. 

God used that change in plans to stretch and refine me. He revealed aspects of me that were ugly. The Lord brought my childhood wounds to the surface of my life. I either had to confront some of my issues and change or become bitter. 

When big life changes barge into our days—altering schedules, plans, mindsets, the things we thought we knew—God has a purpose in allowing them. Change is an opportunity. If I’m being honest, though, I don’t enter into change with that optimistic mindset. 

How to Navigate Life Changes—6 Thoughts—When big life changes barge into our days—altering schedules, plans, mindsets, the things we thought we knew—God has a purpose in allowing them #tellhisstory #change Click To Tweet
Bridge on a sunny path . . . navigating life changes brings us over bridges

How Do We Navigate Life Changes

We will handle transitions better by being honest with both God and ourselves. 

Acknowledge our response to the change, even when it’s ugly.

As our infertility season dragged into years, I dealt with extreme disappointment which transitioned into depression. For a time, having a baby became my idol and hardened my view toward God. In time, my Father showed me where my heart was and where it could be. First, I had to admit my anger toward Him for not fulfilling this desire. I also had to acknowledge I had established an idol in my life.

Ask God to show us His perspective

As I realized I had made a baby my idol, I had to ask for His forgiveness and ask Him to change my heart. I also asked God to show me how He viewed this season in my life.

Choose to trust God when we navigate life changes

My struggle was a big-to-me situation, but it wasn’t world-changing. When we face life changes that will literally change life as we know it, (such as loss, joblessness, health crises, and other big events), being still and trusting God to act is the way to know peace in an otherwise uncertain, painful season. Sometimes, we can do things to help us adapt to the change. Other times, we need to be still and choose to trust God.

a creek flowing through wooded, grassy space, life keeps going, even when changes occur

Take time to work through the emotions that accompany big changes

I found journaling helpful. On occasion, I gave myself permission to read for a day, rather than to try to be productive. Confiding in a trusted friend about my thoughts and fears helped refresh my mind and spirit because often that friend knew how to point me back to Jesus.

Give ourselves permission to take care of ourselves

Change can be stressful. Learning how to navigate life changes drains us, especially when others rely on our strength. We pour into others’ lives. We expend energy as we work through the struggle . . . which is why we must pour back into ourselves with self-care.

Make spending time with God a priority

We all need His help in keeping our hearts and thoughts aligned with His truths. Meditate on God’s word, especially when transitions feel overwhelming.

Meme with the words, "God's plans are perfect, even when He doesn't give us what we want most." on a backdrop of an imperfect black-eyed Susan at sun up.

God did a lot of work in me. I had to choose to lay my desires in His hands. He challenged me with the question, “Jeanne, if I never give you a baby, will you still love Me?” I knew the right answer. But it took time for me to live into the truth that God’s plans are perfect, even when He doesn’t give us what we want most.

How to Navigate Life Changes—6 Thoughts— it took time for me to live into the truth that God’s plans are perfect, even when He doesn’t give us what we want most #tellhisstory #trustgod Click To Tweet

When I placed my hopes of being a mom into God’s care, He was free to work in my heart in ways He couldn’t when I fisted my desire for a baby. In the process of letting go—of navigating the life change—God refreshed my heart and my mind. He brushed the peace I’d craved throughout this season all over my spirit. And He revealed his love in ways I’d never seen before. This change began with being honest about the ways God’s initial “No/Not yet” answer impacted me. 

Water flowing downhill under a metal bridge

Navigating life changes can be painful. But when God allows a trial into our lives, let’s invite God into the process, ask for His perspective, and trust Him to guide our hearts, minds, and lives. 

What about you? When has God changed you in a difficult season? What’s one important lesson you’ve learned when navigating a life change?

Most weeks, I link up with Grace and Truth, Anita Ojeda, Instaencouragements, and sometimes Let’s Have Coffee. Come join and read more encouraging posts!

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