Coping with Change

Stephen Tapulao

November 25, 2020

I remember writing my future plans on a piece of paper when I was much younger. I was a planner and so futuristic back then. I really believed that everything would happen exactly the way I wrote them. 

But then reality hit.

I wanted to be in a specific university, but I ended up in another. I planned to be a lawyer, but I was called to be a campus missionary. I wanted to do certain things in my life, but now I’m doing something different.

But it isn’t just me who’s experiencing this, right?​ 

This year drilled it into our minds: change is inevitable. Change, whether big or small, has been part of our everyday life, like a shadow following us everywhere we go. Though we know deep in our hearts that change is something we can’t avoid, we still end up disappointed and anxious—disappointed that our plans didn’t come through and anxious that we are not fully in control.

Change is a reality for all of us, but we should not be victims of it. Yes, it disrupts our plans, but we can’t let it paralyze us from doing what God has called us to do. In the midst of change, we can be strong and courageous knowing that God is with us and for us. 

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

 Joshua 1:9 (NIV)

With that, here are some practical reminders when faced with changes in life: 

1. Find the right people to surround yourself with.

We tend to deny the reality that we are not fully in control and that change is really bound to happen. Because of that, we get confused and sidetracked from our calling in life.

To stay on top of disruptions in life, we need to accept the reality and learn to adjust.

Facing reality—along with its challenges and bitter truths—is challenging, especially when you try to face it alone. That is why being part of a community is really important. A life-giving community can help us learn, unlearn, and relearn things during these difficult times. 

They will also remind us of our core values as they help us process things through the lens of what’s really important in life. They help you understand your situation and figure out the actions and decisions you need to make. 

In the same way, adjusting to major life events is difficult, but when you’re surrounded with the right people, life becomes much easier. There truly is godly wisdom and strength in a godly community.

In the midst of changes, it’s okay to ask for help. It’s okay to admit that you can’t do it on your own. Connect with the right people who will be there to help you. 

2. Find some breathing space.

When sudden changes happen, we often respond with panic and anxiety. There are times when we let our emotions affect the way we do things and complicate the situation even more.

At times like these, it is important to pause and pray. Step back, take a deep breath, and ask God for wisdom.

God has given us the gift of peace, so we won’t fret when faced with sudden disruptions in life. As we pray, we can let God know what’s worrying our hearts (Philippians 4:6). During these moments, it is important to meditate on and live by His word. 

God’s word serves as our compass in times of uncertainties in life. It is a lamp to guide our feet and a light to illuminate our path (Psalm 119:105).

Do you make room for yourself to pause and process things with God?

***

Amid all the rapid changes in this world, we are holding on to a greater reality: 

Our God is unchanging. 

In all the trials and the change, He remains the same.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

Hebrews 13:8

 We are assured that no matter what disruptions we face, the God who was faithful before is the same God who will sustain us through all these things. He remains consistent and steadfast. 

We may see our plans crumble right before our eyes, but God’s plan is firmly established. His plans will always be good, pleasing, and perfect.

 

Photo by: Dan Tan

 

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The Author

Stephen Tapulao

Stephen is one of the new campus missionaries in Every Nation Campus Caloocan. Originally,  he wanted to become a lawyer, but then God called him to full-time campus ministry. He loves listening to life stories, asking questions, and spending time with people. At first, you will recognize him as the quiet one in the corner. But then, as he gets comfortable, you'll be unable stop him from talking and sharing his insights. 

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