Change Can Bring Great Joy, Loss and Future

"For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you, plans to give you a future and a hope." 

Jeremiah 29:11

God promises change can be good, to prosper and not harm us. To give us a future and a hope. We just celebrated our sons commencing the 9th Grade - rising High Schoolers - at our church. What joy! Rising 9th graders whom I could have sworn were just beginning Kindergarten on a rainy morning at the Christian School. Change happens so quickly and it is inevitable no matter what we do.  Time marches on and things change.  

"Life moves on and so should we.” 
― Spencer JohnsonWho Moved My Cheese?

My husband and I, entrepreneurs that we are, have decided to read "Who Moved My Cheese?" again. It's timely because we've started realizing we cannot control change and we cannot experience change and be finished with change, like forever. 

Mostly, change is really about loss. Sometimes it is great loss. The loss of my mother, the loss of a season of life, the loss of a schedule I liked, a brand I love, things change and I find my self suffering the loss. Loss of the bottle, loss of a job that was not ideal, and more. 

The busyness can cause us to miss it. Right now, this is so true for us. The more experienced Mom of older children was so right when she told me May is the new December. We are aflutter with activities, graduations, Weddings, parties, projects, reports and vacations. It seems endless. It is. 

Life is to be celebrated. We celebrate all of these rights of passage, we congratulate all with a job well done and we send good wishes for the new chapters. There is so much joy. Yet, it can feel sad.  As someone precious told me, as two of her children were going to college at the same time, "it's devastating." As a mom of twins, I empathized and tried to encourage. Yet, if it is so joyful, why does it feel so sad?

I knew. 

Change brings with it a sense of loss. Change is not always the choice we get to make. Once I recognized this change made more sense to me. Here are my three types of change. 

Change Brings About Great: 

1) Joy.  Initially, change is happy. We get to do this. Something changed and it is a good thing. We love the new "son in law (love)." We rejoice in the new degree.  We are happy with the new job. The new house. A precious new baby. We are joyful for what change brought an addition, a happy change in our lives and those that we love. There's another kind of change. 

2) Loss. Change brings loss. Through the plethora of beautiful things that come from change, there is an underlying truth: Change brings about loss. Great loss. 

Webster's Dictionary defines loss as - 
-the fact or process of losing something or someone.
-the state or feeling of grief when deprived of someone or something of value.

Yes, change is loss. If Webster's did not describe it as grief, I would have. I know. I've lived it.  Change brings about great loss and grief. Because grief is a deep sadness. It's paradoxical. We experience great elation at milestones and accomplishments while we experience great sadness and loss. Sometimes it brings joy. A Loss of weight, a loss of the diapers, a loss of primary school days, etc. 

What was will never be the same again. We know that we will never experience it quite the same. Though it was successful. Friendships were made, goals were met and mountains moved, yet, it will not be the same again. That melancholy is validated. There is also the sudden change, the unexpected. The 'we didn't plan this' change. It brings grief and loss. 

Thank God for Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you, plans to give you a future and a hope." 

3) Future. Though we experience the joy and loss, we know this is a process. This motion will bring our next future step. The next chapter, the family, the job. God's plan. The rest of the story. Through it all, we must remember, as my Mom mentor said, "God has a plan and a purpose." May we find hope in His plan weather it is loss of someone dear, longing for someone far away, an illness unexpected or uncontrollable. Or a goal accomplished, a milestone. Great joy. 

Ultimately, life does move on and we should move on with it. We can't lose ourselves in the change and miss the reality of joy, loss and a future of hope. I want to accept the change and the reality of joy, loss and a future. I don't want to be afraid to accept it. Once I can accept these things, I can enjoy what change brings to my life. I can look forward with anticipation to God's plan and purpose through it. 

We must not fear change in our lives regardless of the emotion attached to it. If we can recognize the loss, the fear of loss and accept it. Then, joy in the change can be embraced and celebrated more fully. 

Admittedly, I'll be referring to this post often as we walk through our own changes in life. Hopefully, it encourages you...'for He knows the plans He has for you.' May we hope in Him through every change. Now, where is my calendar, I have to get our schedule set just right. :) 

Warmly, Carolina Mama

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