When change hits: 5 ways to cope

Change is never easy but here are five ways to deal with it.

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  • Change is inevitable. You're walking around, going along with life and then bam, it hits. For most of us, that change happens when we least expect it (or least want it).

  • Sometimes, the change isn't all that bad. Whether it's a new dog or a new neighbor, it's the kind of change we can usually deal with just fine. In the blink of an eye, the change has come and gone and you almost barely remember it. That's the change we all tend to prefer. The easy change.

  • But then you have that change that's hard.

  • This is the life-altering kind of change. The find-a-new-identity kind of change. This is the change that comes roaring in like a freight train–no slowing down, no putting on the brakes.

  • This change might be the loss of friend, or a loved one.

  • It might be that you walk into work one day only to find that you've been laid off from the same job that your entire family depends on for income.

  • It might even be that you feel God is calling you to a mission field … in Africa.

  • It's in these moments that our faith gets tested. And, it's in these moments we must learn to trust and rely on Him to lead us through.

  • Change like this has hit me.

  • As usual, it came out of nowhere. There were no warnings, no caution signals, not even a yielding sign. I simply crossed the tracks one day, minding my own business, and got hit.

  • The change I was hit with was graduating college and deciding to stay home with the family to start a dairy and an online business. Within a year, we also started a blog. Though I hardly knew anything about running a business, I embraced the change and was able to get all three businesses up and moving.

  • It was in this time that I had a complete identity change. I went from being "just another college kid" to a "self-made entrepreneur."

  • But, getting through the change is hard. How do you make it to the other side without totally losing it? Here's what I did:

  • 1. Trust in God

  • His word is full of promises and truths that are there for us to lean on. We just need to look and listen. The verse that I always went back to was this:

  • "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." –Philippians 4:13

  • 2. Accept that it isn't going to be easy

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  • This was hard–really, really hard. I didn't even want to admit what I was going through in the first place, nonetheless admit it wasn't going to be easy!

  • It took a lot of time, a lot of tears and a lot of getting on my knees for me to finally admit that it wasn't going to be easy. But when I finally did admit it, it felt like the weight of the world had been lifted off of my shoulders!

  • Take the time to spend with God, talking to Him and leaning on him to help you accept your current struggle for what it is.

  • 3. Accept help

  • This was another thing that wasn't easy (but, let's be honest, is any of this really going to be easy?)

  • Before I started accepting help, I was hopeless. I was determined to do everything myself. Fortunately, I got to the point where I just couldn't find the answers and had to ask someone for help.

  • There's no shame in asking for help. You may need to ask for some money to help pay this month's rent. Or maybe you need to ask someone to help cook because you've been sick. Maybe it's just asking your Pastor for some advice on your current situation. Whatever it is you're going through, realize that it's okay to ask for help.

  • **Note: When asking for help, I strongly recommend asking people with similar beliefs as you. When you're going through change, you're in a vulnerable place. While often difficult, make sure you go to people who you feel can be trusted and are equally yoked with you.

  • 4. Give your burdens to God

  • This goes right in line with accepting that it's not going to be easy. But, accepting it is one thing; giving your situation to Him is another. He wants to help us through the tough things. He wants us to lean on Him. He wants to carry our burdens for us. He never said it was going to be easy, but He did say He'd be there for us.

  • "Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken." –Psalm 55:22

  • 5. Reach out

  • Whatever it is you're going through, I guarantee you are not the only one going through it. Even if you don't know anyone personally, there are so many ways via technology to get in touch with other people to help you through.

  • Personally, I joined Facebook groups and forums on topics from web design to farming. I asked questions (see #3 above) and what I learned was invaluable. The amazing people I met through all these venues helped me realize I wasn't the only one who was completely lost.

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  • First, go to God. Then, go to friends. Ask for help. Ask for advice. It's okay - I promise!

  • Through the years after my life-altering change, and still today, so many truths from God's word have become incredibly clear to me. If only I had known enough to have listened and leaned on these truths when I most needed them! I can only hope that you can take from what I've learned to use for yourself when you need it the most.

  • Editor's note: This article was originally published on Equipping Godly Women. It has been republished here with permission.

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Alexandrea graduated in 2014 with a degree in Sociology and a minor in Psychology. She now runs & operates the family farm and dairy, along with their online farm and dairy supply business, One Ash Farm & Dairy Supply. She was saved in 2012 by the grace of God and loves sharing what God has done in her life and how He can work in others too!

Website: http://www.oneashhomestead.com

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