Thoughts on Change

Change. It can happen in the blink of an eye or slowly over time. It’s inescapable. It’s woven into the inner most parts of our being. From the time we are conceived to the time we die, we will go through innumerable changes. We change physically, emotionally, spiritually, and mentally. Our ideas change, our desires change, our tastes change… the list goes on and on. The reality is, life is filled with change.

So why then, does change scare us so much?

The way I see it, the problem with change is that we can’t predict it. Sure, there are warning signs. But often times, we wake up and hardly recognize our own lives. Change is beyond our control.

Change scares us when we find ourselves living a life we never imagined. Change leaves us in an unfamiliar place and that place can be incredibly daunting.

A year ago, my boyfriend and I broke up after years of dating. My life changed despite my every effort to escape it. Suddenly the future I was working towards was completely shattered and I was left trying to piece my life back together. I found myself struggling in the middle of a vast ocean without any signs that the storm would pass.

Going through such a huge change wasn’t easy. For a long time I tried with all my might to resist the change. I was digging my heels into the ground and stubbornly wallowing in self-pity. There came a point where I couldn’t keep fighting the past. It was exhausting. I had to stop. The truth is, change is painful, but there’s nothing worse than staying stuck in that pain. I needed a major attitude adjustment.

In the wise words of Socrates, “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” This past year, I’ve learned that the less I try to resist change, the easier it is to cope with it. I discovered that the circumstances in my life were beyond my control and had already changed. Moving forward, I could only control the outlook I had on my life in the midst of all the change. When I stopped resisting, it was as if suddenly the sea that I was fighting to stay afloat in became calmer waters. I found that my resistance had intensified the pain I was experiencing. Once I stopped fighting the waves of change, I felt more at peace. My situation wasn’t any different, but I had adjusted my mindset.

I began to recognize that not only was the course of my life changing, but I too was changing. I was no longer the person I was before my relationship or even during my relationship. I had gone through the biggest change of my life. I had to learn how to heal, how to be strong, and how to overcome. I had to discover who I was aside from my relationship. I realized that there was no way for me to become a more authentic version of myself without change. I began to understand that without change, there is no growth. My mindset had shifted from fighting the past, to shaping my future. I had a choice in who I would become.

I think butterflies are one of God’s sweetest reminders of change. Butterflies are proof that you can go through a period of darkness and still be transformed into something beautiful. Despite the painful storms of change that I have experienced, it has been a privilege to be able to grow into who I am today. I’m by no means perfect and my journey is far from over, but I can say without a doubt that the changes I have experienced have helped mold me and shape me into a truer version of myself. I couldn’t have predicted who I would become and I never thought that I would be able to move past all of the hurt. But here I am, learning to live life through all the changes. God has been with me every step of the way. That is a beautiful thing.


“He has made everything beautiful in its time.” Ecclesiastes 3:11

A Letter to a Broken Heart

I know you’re devastated. You are about to go through one of the biggest changes of your life. You are going to try to resist it with everything in you, but it’s going to happen. You can’t escape this.

You are going to be scared. You will be scared of what your life will look like not loving him. You will be scared of losing that feeling he gave you and everything that you built up together. There is so much history behind your love, admiration, and friendship with him. You will be afraid of letting all that slip through your fingers. The thought of being strangers and living life separate from one another is unbearable.

You are going to keep denying it. You’ll look for any reason to hold on to the hope that things might not really be changing. You’ll replay your relationship in your mind over and over and over again, searching for answers. You’ll wonder if there was anything you could have done differently. You’ll begin to think maybe this was all just a big misunderstanding. You will avoid feeling any emotion, attempting to hold on to what once was. You are going to convince yourself that this is just another thing you two have to get through. You will avoid letting go, because letting go means moving forward, and you’re not ready for that. You’ll live in this place for a while.

You are going to become angry. Angry about what happened. Angry about what didn’t happen. Angry about what could have happened. In your anger you will question everything. Why didn’t he fight for you? Why didn’t he want you? Why would he want to live his life without you? You’ll be angry because it feels like your love for him wasn’t enough. You were supposed to be together. He loved you. So why did he give up? It will feel begin to feel like this was his choice, not yours. You will be angry that things didn’t turn out the way you had hoped.

You are going to be sad. Every time you think about not being with him your heart will stop for a moment and waves of emotion will overcome you. You will cry, oh sweet girl you will cry—more than you ever thought you could. You will feel emptiness in the pit of your stomach each time your thoughts stop on a memory, a moment, a conversation, a laugh, a smile. You will become familiar with that shivering feeling that overwhelms a broken heart every time you unexpectedly hear a song that reminds you of him, or stumble across a photo, or read an old card. Your whole being will ache in your sorrow.

You are going to miss him. You are going to want him despite knowing you can’t have him. You’ll feel frustrated in your longing. Even though loved ones surround you, you will be lonely. A huge piece of you is missing. You’ll find little remnants of him scattered throughout your day and healing from all this will seem impossible. You’ll wish you could share your life with him—things that make you laugh, little annoyances, things that remind you of him, things that only he would appreciate. You’ll desperately want it to be back to normal. You’ll want to ask him about how he’s doing, but you can’t. You’ll want to call him about your day, but you won’t. You’ll have to learn to live your life independent from him.

It’s going to hurt. It’s going to hurt much more than you think you can handle. You will feel like you failed him and your relationship. It will hurt knowing that you were willing to do anything and everything to be with him and make things work. But it wasn’t enough. It will be hard to accept that.

You are going to feel alone. You’ll feel like no one else has experienced the pain that you’re feeling. You’ll feel like no one truly understands and you’ll feel bad for talking about your continuous struggles. Don’t let those doubts stop you from sharing your thoughts and feelings. Each time you work through your emotions with those closest to you, you’re allowing yourself to process and heal.

You are going to learn. You are going to learn to let go and to let yourself be free to feel every emotion, to truly allow yourself the grace to just be. Some days you won’t feel anything. Other days you’ll feel more than you can bear. You’re going to have good days and bad days. You’re going to learn about yourself—about who you used to be, who you are, and who you want to become.

You are going to grow. You’re going to grow immensely in your faith because that is the only constant that you can truly cling to. Your faith in God’s promises will multiply as you start to embrace the truth of His hope more and more.

You will continue to feel. The pain and the sadness will begin to lessen with the passing of time, but there will still be moments. There will be moments when it hits you all at once and you’re brought immediately back into your memories. Don’t be scared of those moments because they are a reminder that he was important and he will hold a piece of your heart forever. Allow yourself to face the emotions that come in those moments.

Keep taking care of yourself, brave one. This is a process and it takes time. It seems never-ending now, but someday you will be on the other side of it. When that day comes, you will be grateful for the journey. Through all this, you are becoming stronger and more resilient. You are being refined and you are growing. Embrace this season. I know it’s hard, but don’t lose hope.

Don’t stop doing the things you love. Go outside, explore, go on an adventure, travel, eat good food, sip good wine, read a book, dance, laugh with friends—these are all things that will make you feel like you again. Feel your emotions as they come, but don’t get stuck in them. You are still living and breathing. Keep making the most of this crazy, beautiful life of yours.

Always, always remember you are going to be okay. It’s going to be scary. It’s going to hurt a lot. It’s going to be sad. But you will be okay. You will always be okay.

Even In This Season, Choose Thankfulness

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The holiday season is here in full swing. With the holidays comes an influx of traditions, smells, tastes, music, and quality time spent with those you love. This season is often a time to pause and reflect on the past year and how far you’ve come. It’s a time to cherish all things big and small. Extra effort is put into being thankful and celebrating throughout the season.

Even though the holidays are supposed to be the happiest time of the year, it can also lend itself to a lot of pain and heartache. The holidays can trigger memories from the past and how things have changed. It can be painful to feel the void of a passed family member or the loss of a significant other. This season can make us feel disappointed that we don’t have that picture perfect family or someone special to spend the holidays with. It can be an unpleasant reminder that things aren’t quite where we want them to be.

As I reflect on my own experiences this year, I’m bombarded with feelings of sorrow that things have changed. Memories of Christmas’ past flood my mind. The familiar parts of the holidays are different this year. A time that should be filled with anticipation and excitement for holiday gatherings, gift-giving, and spending time with loved ones is overshadowed by the stinging pain that someone will be absent from all that. It’s difficult to be thankful when there is so much pain.

I have to admit, I’ve had numerous breakdowns in the quiet moments between festivities. There have been days when I’ve tried to stay busy to distract from the pain of my emotions. There have also been days when I’ve milked every tear, brooding in the sadness of my circumstances and ruminating in the uncertainty of my life.

The reality is it is sad. It is hard. It feels backwards and unnatural to be seeking joy and thanksgiving in the midst of heartache. Yet, the sorrow and grief I’m experiencing has reminded me of my constant need for God. In my brokenness I’ve begun to experience reliance on God in the purest form. I have to continually choose to trust in the greatness of God and the sureness of His sovereignty. I’m learning to pray, seek Him, and give thanks in everything. The last part seems so paradoxical. Give thanks in everything. Everything. What if everything feels like sadness, grief, confusion, and anger?

I love this quote from She Reads Truth, “God doesn’t ask us to silence our sorrow in favor of thanksgiving. Rather, He uses our sorrow to proclaim a type of thanksgiving we wouldn’t be able to express otherwise.” What a beautiful reminder that even in the hurting and want, we can experience thankfulness. The type of thankfulness God wants us to experience isn’t only for the best parts of our lives, but also the messy parts. God calls us to be comforted in our times of sorrow by the sureness of the hope we can find only in Him. The truth is God is good always. Even in the heartache, sorrow, questioning, and uncertainty…He is good.

I’m slowly learning that I don’t have to dwell in my pain. That doesn’t mean I don’t feel the pain. It means I let it come, experience it, and let it pass. It means remaining steadfast in my faith and holding onto hope.

So here I am in the midst of my pain and emotions, choosing thankfulness. I’m thankful for a God who meets me where I am, wraps me gently in His arms, and let’s me know He has it under control, even if I don’t. I am thankful for the struggle because it has molded me into a stronger, more resilient person. I am thankful for the discomfort because I know it means I’m growing and transforming. I am thankful for the loneliness because it allows me to examine who I am and who I want to become. I am thankful for my friends and family who have supported me through the ups and downs of this year with love, grace, and care. I am thankful for those who speak truth in my life and remind me that beauty can come up from the ashes.

Through it all, I am thankful for the process. I am thankful that I am not defined only by my sorrow and yearning. I am thankful for the ability to express gratitude for this season, even though my heart aches. Most importantly, I am thankful for the true beauty of Christmas and the eternal gift of hope that has been given through the birth of Jesus Christ.


“And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.” 1 Peter 5:10