Seven years ago today, my Father passed away. I was sixteen years old. My Dad and I were extremely close, he was my best friend. I had no idea how I was going to move on with life from that point. How was I supposed to go on living my everyday life without my Dad? There would be no more random conversations about life, no more basketball advice, no more coaching me to put my best effort into everything that I did, and no more laughs. I think that is that part I would miss the most, the laughter.
All in all, losing my dad was one big change. A change that I was not prepared for nor one that I ever wanted to prepare for, but one that I would eventually have to learn to accept. It’s been a long road, but I can confidently say that I am completely accepting of this loss. I of course do not fully understand it, but that isn’t what God is asking me to do. He never asked me to understand, but to trust Him. I mean it would be easy for me to talk about this situation now and give you a list of advice on how to deal with the crippling effects of loss, change, and death, but I can’t do that. I mean I could, but it wouldn’t be real. It wouldn’t be real because I would ultimately be skating over the fact that CHANGE IS SCARY and can even HURT.
I have experienced a lot of change in my life. I have lost more people to death in my mere 23 years of living than I can count on both my hands and feet. Each one of those loses hurt me and each one took time for me to cope and grieve. Some took longer than others, but it was all a process. Keep it in mind that not all change is bad. When I was pregnant, that was a huge change for both me, Kwasi, and our families, but it was a great change! I just officially completed my undergraduate degree today and that is an AMAZING change, but no matter good or bad, change is STILL scary. I have looked back at all the change in my life and realized that experiencing so much of it should make be a pro by now.
Change still frightens me. I like to have schedules, routines, and order in my life. It is easier for me to operate when I know what is coming next and situations stay consistent. However, situations in life and life in general are NOT consistent. The only thing consistent about life is that it consistently changes, but God, now He remains the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. That is where we need to look for our consistency. Even in times of change, no matter good or bad, we can go to God and know that His Word, His love, His grace and mercy are the SAME. I can say that I have found a few things that help me get through the constant changes of life.
- Accepting it. Yo, change happens. That is just the facts. There is nothing we can do to stop it or even slow it down. Change is going to come, both good and bad, and all we can do is hold on tight to God and embrace it. I know that isn’t always easy and a lot of times it’s going to take a moment or two (maybe even year or two) before you fully accept a change in your life. And that is OKAY. Don’t rush yourself, but don’t be stagnant either.
- Be Real. Be real with yourself and God. We live in a world today that is constantly telling us to suppress our feelings and just say “I don’t care”. The less we feel, the less we hurt, but that just isn’t true. In order to truly be able to embrace and move through change, we have to be real about what we are feeling and not be ashamed to own it. For me, in the next couple of months there will be a lot of change taking place in my life and I honestly don’t know how I feel about it. I’m happy, nervous, scared, excited, and hopeful all at the same time. I acknowledge those emotions, pour them out to God, and know that he is going to give me His peace and rest in return.
- Be Patient and Trust. Be patient with yourself. Change effects everyone differently and that is truly okay. Be patient with you and know that you will get through this in YOUR timing. God is with you in this and even more concerned about the situation than you so be patient and trust Him also. Know that even though the situation seems impossible to get through and you just don’t know what you are going to do next, HE DOES. Trust in His will and His plan for you life and everything else will fall into place.
- Live God’s Will Everyday. It is completely possible for you to live God’s will for your life EVERY SINGLE DAY. God’s plan for you is to have a prosperous life, not a prosperous season or moment. So in every season of your life, even the seasons of change, know that you can still have that prosperous and good life. Things might seem a little off, you may not know what is next, and you may not be in a comfortable place, but know that you are EXACTLY where God needs and wants you to be in this very moment. Pray to God and give him all your worries, fears, uncertainties, etc. and LIVE. There are things that need to be done, lessons that need to be learned, money that needs to be saved, blogs that need to be started, books that need to be written in this season. Don’t get so caught up in the situation that you don’t see what God is trying to do through you.
I’m not just spewing this information out at you as a know it all and I have it all together. I am going through a season of change right with you and I don’t know what’s next, how to get there, or when it will happen. What I do know is that I have experienced change before and each time I was in that low and dark place where I was lost in my hurt, pain, confusion, and anger, God brought me out. I mean ya’ll, my best friend and line sister was murdered in July of 2014. I had no idea what I was going to do. I didn’t know how I was going to move forward and live my life everyday without my best friend. I was so hurt. I was at such a low point in my life. I didn’t care about anything or anyone. All I felt like I had was me, but God had another plan for me. Everyday gets easier, but getting to this point was hard and painful. The process is never easy, but I know that quitting is just not the answer. So I encourage you, whatever season of change you are experiencing right now, EMBRACE IT. Push through the process and don’t quit! God is fighting for you. Feel free to comment below and let me know how you guys are liking, or disliking, The Soul Series! As always remember to flourish!