CREATING POSITIVE CHANGE IN SPITE OF CRISIS

Change... it is a part of life that we don’t like to face. Oh we may speculate on what it would be like to live some where else, move to another house, take another job in another industry, move away from mom and dad, or marry our 'dream date'. We like to talk about the big changes that we may go through one day; but let's face it. Most people hate to go through a major change. I think we tend to avoid change like the plague; even though we know in our heads that God will ultimately use change to grow us into a stronger person through the process.

Some of the changes in life are predictable. Losing our first tooth, the independence that comes from a driver’s license, graduation, moving out on our own, and other expected stages of life. Some changes are not pleasant, but equally common. A new-born baby not sleeping well and the parents struggling to find the energy to cope with their new child's continual cries for comfort, siblings fighting with each other, feeling nervous about a job interview, wondering if you will be able to pay for a child’s future education. We think about those changes for years, often with worry, sometimes with a plan on how to cope when the kids leave home, but always with the anticipation that the event will happen one day.

These changes we accept as a part of growing up... of moving forward... even if we don’t like it. You may be old enough to remember a popular song from the 1960's based on the verse in Ecclesiastes 3 :1 “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.” God has a plan and purpose for your life, and ultimately we know that these predictable stages are a good thing. But what about the changes that we don’t like. The ones that are unpredictable and painful? Think about the sudden and unpredictable changes in life. Single words tell it all. Death, law-suit, divorce, flood, abuse, hurricane, bankruptcy, flunked, foreclosure, fired. Do we quickly seek to thank God for these events. I don’t and suspect that you don’t either. It is hard to see the blessing when the change was so unexpected, so sudden, so painful and so hard to figure out.

Perhaps that is why the following words have so much meaning to me. They were spoken by a local media personality, who shared these inspirational words at a banquet where he was the keynote speaker for the event. It's important to know that he was speaking that night AFTER he had been fired from his day job , yet BEFORE he was allowed to share his firing with the public. Listen:

“After awhile, you learn the subtle difference between holding a hand and chaining a soul. You begin to learn that kisses aren’t contracts and presents aren’t promises. Learn to accept your defeats with head up and eyes open- with the grace of an adult, not the grief of a child. You build your roads on today, because tomorrow’s roads are too uncertain for plans. So plant your own garden and decorate your own soul instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers. And learn you really can endure, that you really are strong and you really do have worth.”

These words remind me that God is in control even if my life feels like it is in a total crisis. I beileve that God has a plan for you, a way out of the pain and toward the strength that comes on the other side of a crisis. The rest of the third chapter of Ecclesiastes includes the following theme that really gives us the big picture on sudden and unexpected change. ‘He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.”

I believe that God has the major changes of our lives mapped out. He knows why bad things happen to good people. So the next time a major change hurts you, feels scary, or causes you to want to run like crazy- I hope you will try running. Except this time, run toward Him, because in God you will find the peace you need in a difficult place. His presence will make all the difference to guide you from panic to a place of inner strength and lasting peace.

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About the Author: Dwight Bain is a Nationally Certified Counselor & Certified Family Law Mediator in practice since 1984 with a primary focus on solving crisis events and managing major change. Critical Incident Stress Management expert with the Orange County Sheriffs Office, founder of StormStress.com and trainer for over 1,000 business groups on the topic of making strategic change to overcome major stress- both personally & professionally. He is a professional member of the National Speakers Association who partners with major corporations and national organizations to make a positive difference in our culture. Access more counseling and coaching resources about creating positive change from The LifeWorks Group (407.647.7005) by visiting their extensive posting of blogs and special reports designed to save you time by strategically solving problems at www.LifeWorksGroup.org

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