Falling into Change
“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under Heaven.”
I was alone in my office. It was quiet and the only noise I heard was the cars zooming by on the main road. Then, I heard the front door open and knew that the Deacon I work for was back from lunch break. When I walked towards his office, I noticed that he was not there. No one was in the church office. It was just me, alone and by myself. Did I imagine that sound of the door opening? I was getting a little spooked, as it is almost Halloween. This time of year is marked with scary stories and apple pie. I was beginning to think that my work place was haunted since the church office is in a building that is a hundred and fifty years old. It is a beautiful Victorian mansion built in the 1800’s. What I heard that day was probably my imagination, or it could have been the stress I have been going though from change in my life. I just started working at a new parish and getting used to the new environment, new people and new way of doing things. Change can be difficult, but it can also be a Blessing.
Autumn is my favorite time of year. It is a time of cooler air, leaves changing, pumpkin picking and hay- rides. It is also a time of change. It marks the end of the summer season and gives us time to get ready for cold, snowy weather. This season reminds me that life changes and nothing stays the same. Working as a mental health therapist, I have come to realize that people do not like change. I know for myself this past year has been filled with a lot of change. I recently lost both of my in-laws within a year due to illnesses. I also changed jobs and had to leave people I knew behind. I am also going into to a new stage of life where my kids are now entering teenage life. There has been so much change within such a short amount of time. But I have not lost hope. I am grounded in Christ and know that He leads me and guides me through this stage of life.
Why is it that many people struggle with change? The number one reason is because of loss of control. We usually want to be in control of our lives, and when we are not in control, it can leave us feeling lost and empty. People fear change because they lose control over their role. No one likes to feel powerless. It interferes with autonomy and can make people feel they have lost control over their territory. Change also means that something is different. Whether it is a new schedule to get used to or new people, new workplace etc. Whatever the case may be, we are creatures of habit and routines become automatic. With routines bring harmony and a sense of safety. When these things get disrupted, it creates anxiety and worry. This was evident when the Covid-19 pandemic started and everything was closed. We all needed to quarrentine which was a major change for the whole world. Change also asks us to give up something. We may need to give up seeing the same people every day (if it's a job change). We may need to give up a favorite place to eat or a park if we are moving to another state in the country.
But with change, can bring something new. We can meet new people at our new jobs, or new neighbors at our new home, or taking on another role in a new career. Good news about change is that it can bring growth. It can help with being more open to new opportunities, it can help with seeing a situation from a new perspective. It can even help foster new relationships and growth in giving of oneself to others. At first, I was a little anxious about all the change I was going through, but I brought my anxiety and worries before Jesus and asked Him to see me through it. When I was at mass at the Basillica which was near my new place of employment, I felt that peace that only Jesus can give. It was reassurance that the change I had made was for the best.
In Conclusion: Change is not something to fear. It can be scary at first because with change comes a new situation and something we are not used to. Embracing change can help ease the anxiety and helps with feeling happier about the situation. We all need someone to guide us through life changes whether it is a friend, a sibling, a spouse and even God. He is always there for us. He never changes, and never leaves our side. So, why not ask Him to help if you are going through a change? You will not be disappointed.
About the Author: Donna L. Marotto is a Faith Formation Coordinator/Youth Minister, a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and a Lay Franciscan. Her blogs come out the 3rd Monday of every month and she can be found on Betterhelp.com. Her book “Love Changes Everything” was just published and can be found on Amazon or her website at Youarelovedminitry.com