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Tuesday, March 8, 2016

New Beginnings: #2 When Everything Seems Upside Down

When Everything Seems Upside Down

New Beginnings bring lots of changes. Positive. Exciting. Good. Yet, even the best of changes require us to adapt and navigate.

During that same time of crisis that I mentioned in "Who Are You?", I realized that feeling my life had turned upside down was more than just a feeling, it was reality. Nearly everything about my life had changed - job, schedule, meals, living arrangement, pet, dress code, sleep. My world had turned upside down. 

Still, I had chosen this path to be able to care for my Mom. I was convinced that this was God's leading and a gift I wanted to give to my Mom in this winter season of her life. So, how would I cope with all these changes? How would I navigate this uncharted territory?

Stand on Your Head

The first cross-stitch project I completed says, "When Everything Seems Upside Down, Stand on Your Head." Sometimes everything does seem upside down. How would I stand on my head?  

1. Trust God and His Purposes. God is always at work, even when I don't see it, even when I don't feel it. He is at work to draw us into relationship with Himself and to mold us to be like Christ. When I stand on my head, I want a firm foundation underneath me. God and His purposes are a trustworthy foundation.

2. Accept. Although I had underestimated the impact the changes would have, I needed to accept the reality of my new situation. Only by accepting the reality of what is could I begin to find real solutions to cope. I needed to put my head down on the floor and prepare to lift my feet toward the ceiling, trusting that I could see things correctly again, that I could navigate this uncharted course. 

3. Re-create. So what that everything was different? That's just an opportunity to be creative, to find new ways to do the things that were important. Example: Being involved in a community of believers was important to me, but attending church on Sunday mornings was a BIG challenge. With a little research and a little understanding of what would best meet that need, I found a Sunday School class that would fit into my new schedule and allow me to be involved in a community of spiritual sisters. 

4. Establish New Rhythms. In my old life, I had a quiet time each morning and set aside time to unwind daily and time to step back and rest deeply on the weekends. That rhythm was displaced in my new life. Yet, those rhythms were important to my emotional, spiritual, and physical well-being. I am still experimenting with new ways to incorporate these essential rhythms into my new life. Thankfully, it's looking like Wednesday will be my new day of rest and I'm finding a new space and time for my daily quiet time. What rhythms do you find worth keeping? How do you re-establish them?

These are just a few ways to cope when life seems upside down. 
What suggestions would you offer to anyone navigating many changes at once?

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