Updated: Jun 15
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. (Romans 12:2 NIV)
To put it mildly, the last year plus has been unlike any other time I have lived through. Changes have been abundant in the routines at home and work that shape the way I operate. And like most everyone else, many familiar surroundings have given way to isolation in wake of the COVID pandemic, often challenging my ability to stay focused and maintain a positive outlook.
When Thea was born almost a year ago(!), time to myself became virtually a thing of the past. Outside of work, my life at home has since consisted of constantly watching and taking care of either her or Isaac, doing chores around the house once both are asleep, maybe a brief time in the evening to catch my breath, sleep and repeat. This has been very difficult for me, as I have always relied on personal time for reflection as a way of battling stress and staying calm and collected.
On top of this, the scope of my position at work has been shifting constantly during this time, and I am soon to have a new supervisor again. I believe this will be the sixth different accounting manager in the last five years, and so yet another change of style and structure to which I have to adapt. Finally, my relationship with my brother has gotten more distant since he got married in early 2020. I knew that was inevitable, but it is still a missing element I have had to get used to.
So, a lot of changes. I embrace significant change when the time seems right, but being a creature of repetitive habit, it can still be tough to work through, and I often find myself uncomfortable or even resistant otherwise. The real challenge, I have found, is to not change the essence of who I am in the face of changes around me. If I try to force change upon myself, to be something I am not—I will ultimately fail in whatever I am trying to accomplish, as numerous experiences throughout school and my young adult life have taught me.
That is where God comes in. He can inspire change around us, through us, and within us, as long as we are wholly dependent on Him and looking to Him to do so. Submitting to Him and following His guidance may often require us to make sacrifices or put us in uncomfortable positions, but no matter if or how we resist, He will equip us with what is necessary to deal with new situations and surroundings.
Change was difficult for the Israelites to accept, even as God delivered them time and again from their enemies. After being brought out of Egypt, they found themselves longing for the food they used to enjoy (Exodus 16:3) and worshiping similar idols when Moses had left them (Exodus 32:1-6). Throughout the Old Testament, there are numerous occurrences of God using a judge or king to turn the people back to Him, only for the following generation to reject the change and turn back to evil ways.
Fortunately, there is one thing that does not change. Hebrews 13:8 says, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.” He is the light at the end of the tunnels of our lives, always there to guide and inspire us if we look to Him. No matter how dark or confusing things may seem, no matter how unclear even the immediate future may be, I will strive to focus on that light, and encourage you to do so. It is how we can fill the void, adapt to the constant changes around us, and move toward a new “normal” life.