Joan Clayton: Religion Columnist
Life is filled with changes. Children grow up and leave. Job situations can require uprooting, moving far away from friends and family. A loved one’s illness requires many changes. Retirement brings challenges. In all of these circumstances adjusting to changes is hard. Knowing that changes are inevitable, planning ahead can soften the blow.
Before I knew it my children were grown and gone. I didn’t respond to my “empty nest” very well. By changing my attitude from being a “clinging vine,” my children became my best friends. Now I’m a happy grandmother.
Living in the “good old days” is not productive, but embracing the future retains a sense of well-being. To do that, let’s forget our age and enjoy our lives. This journey of life is lived one day at a time. Live it with gusto, excitement and enthusiasm.
Make new friends and look for the blessings they bring. Friends are like diamonds and that puts sparkle into our lives. Friends help us to avoid the self-pity trap. They introduce us to new opportunities. Friendship helps exercise the mind and body. They are great walking companions. Whether it is learning a new skill or volunteering to work for needy causes, friends fill a void in life’s changes. Cherish your friendships and be sensitive to others’ needs.
I’ve discovered other helpful hints to adjust to life’s changes:
1. Encourage at least one person every day.
2. Keep a positive outlook.
3. Make the best of any situation.
4. Forgive others.
5. Smile often.
6. Be glad you’re alive.
7. “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17).
8. Say to yourself each day, “Every day in every way I’m getting better and better!”
9. Always believe the best is yet to be. (Revelation Chapter 22)
10. In all of life’s changes, keep a good attitude and happiness will come to you in spite of changes.
It gives me great comfort to know there is “one” who never changes.
“I the Lord do not change” (Malachi 3:6 NIV). God never changes but through repentance we can be changed to a happy productive life with an assurance of our destiny.
In this life we face many challenges and changes. The “good news” is there is a God in heaven, and in his tender sustaining mercy he provides for every need. In the heat of the battle he is there and, like the eagle, he enables his children to ride above the storm. “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings as eagles, they shall run, and not be weary, and they shall walk, and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31).
Fight the good fight of faith. Encourage yourself in the Lord. Know that “weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning” (Psalm 30:5).
There is not a cross without a crown, no conquest without a conqueror and no victory without a battle. You may be in the “heat” of change right now, but the Lord has led you before and he still will lead you on. He didn’t bring you this far to abandon you. He builds a home in your heart to stay.
The changes of seasons give me happiness and I enjoy each one. Likewise I can enjoy each stage of life with love and thanksgiving. So let’s count the daily blessings with gratitude for another day of life and greet morning’s dawn with joy.
It’s another day to be happy in whatever stage of life you’re in. With that attitude happiness comes with the changes in your life.
Stand strong in the Lord. We are on the winner’s side. How do I know?
I’ve read the last page of the book!