Change is scary. For some, change is forced upon us and for others, it is chosen. Regardless of the origin, the uncertainty of the unknown often creates anxiety and fear. It is for this reason that many of us stay the course in unhappy routines or unhealthy habits. We know what to expect and therefore, it makes it easier to stay right where we are. For those brave enough, embracing change drives exponential growth. It does not mean that you are not going to experience highs and lows or significant challenges, but it is in these moments that growth truly takes place.
Five years ago, I faced change that challenged me in ways I have never been challenged before. When this journey started, I had no idea where I would end up, much less the future that was in the making for me. The sweet irony is that it all started while I was in a nine-week bible study, “Life Interrupted: Navigating the Unexpected,” by Priscilla Shirer, learning about Jonah and his journey.
At the time, I had it all. Or at least all that I thought I wanted. On a trajectory to become a Director at the firm with whom I had spent six years, all that I had worked my entire career for was coming to fruition. I had the great career with a wonderful organization and I had learned how to be comfortable in my own skin and be independent. I was in a place that I had never been, much less dreamed I would ever be, and it felt amazing to “just be.”
Life interrupted. I made a trip back to my home state of New Hampshire for a friend’s 40th birthday party. While I was there, I met someone who would positively change my life forever.
For this change to occur, though, I had and make the choice to either accept or ignore this blessing bestowed upon me. Accepting meant that I would have to potentially walk away from the career and potential Director title, as well as consider give up being completely independent. Ignoring the blessing was the easier route where I could stay the course and continue in the routine and habits that were so familiar.
Life interrupted. I made the decision to move back to New Hampshire and start a new life. I had no intention of leaving my job or walking away from my career, however, I had to find the courage to have the conversation about my intent to move to a location in which the firm had no presence. This meant letting go of the life I had created and sharing myself with a new life partner and four teenage children. It meant learning how to think about the consequences of my day-to-day decisions to me and now to others.
Embracing this change was scary, challenging, tough, and painful. Sometimes I questioned if I had made the right decision. I struggled to define myself as a person. However, the decision was clearly the right one. Only a year into moving back, my Dad was diagnosed with stage four terminal cancer. Having been estranged from him for years and living in a different city. But now I was local and had two options: to engage with him or not. Ultimately learning how to accept change allowed me the opportunity to spend the last year of my Dad’s life with him, and for him to be at peace with the wonderful man, children and life I had created.
Change is scary but it is also inevitable. By embracing change placed in front of you, you give yourself an opportunity to grow and to experience even more faith, love, and ultimately great new possibilities. Where are you being called to embrace change?
Until next time,
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