Black background with the word change written in white

How I Learned to Embrace Change

Do You Embrace Change?

How do you handle change? 

Do you embrace change? Do you hate it? Do you welcome it?

CHANGE. It can be good, it can be hard, it can be lonely, it can bring new and exciting experiences, it can be frightening, and it can be full of fear. 

Life is an adventure, full of change.

To get through change I have had to have some consistency –  consistency to ease the pain, doubt, and fear of all that is different.  That consistency for me has been my faith, friends, family, and work. God has remained constant; I have a job I enjoy and co-workers and bosses who believe in me; and I have been surrounded by so much love and support from my friends and family.

I have gone through quite a bit of change in my life. The two biggest changes occurred about nine years apart – one that brought much heartache, pain, grief, and suffering and one that has brought much joy, happiness, and an exciting adventure.  

I lost my first husband nine years ago. My life changed instantly. I went from wife to widow; from mother to single mother; from enjoying my life to hating it; from loving God to being extremely angry with Him; from understanding this world to being completely lost; from working to barely being able to get out of bed. It changed my life forever.

It was hard – very hard – and forced me to learn many new things. 

Learning From Loss

I had to learn how to be a single mom and how to walk through life as a widow while the world continued to revolve around couples and families. I learned that people wouldn’t invite me places because everyone there was a part of a couple and I no longer was. I learned who my true friends were. 

I learned that our society doesn’t know how to handle grief or someone who is hurting.  I learned that my friends and family wanted to take my pain away, but I was the one who had to walk through it. I learned that my co-workers and bosses would journey with me through the ups and downs of my changing world. 

I learned that I was stronger than I thought I was.  

I learned that my circumstances didn’t dictate who I was.  

I learned that God never left me and was truly walking with me each day. I learned little by little to have hope in each day and to find joy in the little things.

I learned that there is no book or manual on how to move forward as a widow.

I learned that I still had a lot of love to give.

I learned that my son longed for siblings and an earthly father and that he deserved to have those things.

Embrace Change

After years of learning how to walk this new path, things have changed yet again, but this time for the better. I have known what it’s like to be married and I know what it is to be a mom of one, but I have never experienced a family of my own – until recently.  I met a sweet, sweet man three years ago and we married in November. We bought a house and I moved out of state, I became a stepmother to two teenage girls, and my son started a new school all in the past three months. So to say there has been a lot of CHANGE in a short amount of time is an understatement.

What I feared the most with all this change was my son’s transition – how would he handle it all? Well, he is flourishing. He loves having a father and siblings to spend time with. He loves finally experiencing a true family after nine years of it being just the two of us. He is making new friends and thriving on new basketball and baseball teams. Of course, he misses his friends and family in Alabama, but he also sees what he has gained, and he has embraced the change.

Our lives are full of change whether we like it or not. When my life turned upside down nine years ago, I could have shut down and not embraced it; I could have chosen not to put one foot in front of the other each day; I could have chosen not to get out of bed each day. If that had been my path, my life would look very different than it does today. Relying on the stable things in my life, I was able to embrace change, and although it hasn’t been easy and has come with many challenges, it has made me the woman I am today.  

All this new change in my life, although good, has come with its own challenges as well. 

However, I am thankful for it. It has been so refreshing in so many ways and I am learning new things every day.  

What will you do when change comes your way?  Will you embrace change, or will you fold?  

For me, there is a God who restores. There is a God who redeems. There is a God who loves. And although my life looks very different than I thought it would, I am thankful God gave me and continues to give me the strength I need to get through all the many CHANGES in my life.  

“Call me and I will tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know. Then this city will bring me renown, joy, praise, and honor before all nations on earth that hear of all the GOOD things I do for it; and they will be in AWE and will tremble at the abundant prosperity and peace I provide for it. There will be heard once more the sounds of JOY and gladness, the voices of BRIDE and BRIDEGROOM…Give thanks to the Lord Almighty, for the Lord is GOOD; his love endures forever. For I will RESTORE the fortunes of the land as they were before, says the Lord.” Jeremiah 33: 3, 9, 11

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Wendi Stanley Coley has been with FireSeeds for over five years.  She is a lead recruiter that works with clients and candidates all across the country.  She places leaders with a number of companies including Iron Tribe Fitness, Chick-fil-A, Alabama Eye Bank, and New Balance.