Chris and I have been in a bit of a whirlwind the past month or so. Firstly there was Trans Pride, then Pride itself, then the Network Gathering, the wedding in Scotland, my new part time job with all the training that was needed. I remember thinking how much I was looking forward to a bit of space after all the events, just ‘the usual’ stuff to handle, with only Christmas on the far horizon. But then last week we heard that Chris had been made redundant and we were thrown into the emotional maelstrom of change.
Of course Chris and I are not the only ones to be affected by change at The Village. Others of us have been made redundant too, or had change imposed upon us in some area of our life. Heraclitus said that the only thing that is constant is change and I would agree with him. However, it always takes me by surprise and I have learned a few things over the years about handling it.
Firstly, it’s Ok to panic. Panic is an emotional reaction and if it happens will do so with or without your consent. However, despite the feeling of urgency, this is not the time to make life changing decisions. If you wait a little the emotion will diminish in strength and then you can start to work out how to respond. Feeling panic is Ok, it’s natural, just don’t let it drive you.
Secondly, rely on the opinions of those you trust. If you’re in a place where you have lost confidence in yourself then allow the confidence that others have in you to be your strength. Hopefully you have relationships where truth is always honoured, and it is those relationships that will help you through.
Thirdly, work like it depends on you and pray like it depends on God. Jim Manney (The home of Ignatian spirituality) wrote “I prefer to reverse it: “pray as if everything depends on you, work as if everything depends on God.” This means that prayer has to be urgent: God has to do something dramatic if everything depends on me.” That’s me – relying on God. ‘If I’m on my own God I really am in a mess!’
Lastly, be prepared for change to change you. Some of the most amazing and life changing episodes in my life have come as the result of changes that I didn’t want. Forced to make the leap into the unknown I found wonderful people and experiences that I wouldn’t have otherwise encountered.
Perhaps change is God’s way of opening a door for us. To begin with we are blinded by the light that floods through the open doorway, panicked by the unknown. Then slowly our eyes become accustomed to the light and we see the new land waiting to be explored.
If you’re going through change right now then you’re not alone, there’s always others that are in the same boat. I pray that whatever change might present that you have the courage to look for the opportunities, the Grace to deal with the challenges, and the Peace of God to smooth the way before you.
Have a blessed week.