I think of myself as a change expert. Resilient.
“Resilient” is a term defined as able to withstand or recover quickly from difficult situations.
Multiple times over the years, I have found myself starting over with no idea of where I would live or how I would support myself. It’s always worked out. Besides hard times, I seem to just like change. Since moving to Austin, TX in 1973, I have lived in 28 locations. I counted 25 different jobs during that time, though I’m not going to swear I’ve remembered them all.
So, I’m feeling stymied by the blues I feel in this current swirl of change. True, the changes I am experiencing right now are on a global, rather than strictly personal level. That may have something to do with it. Unlike other times of change, nothing in my personal situation has changed all that much. I still live in the same place. Still have the same job, even though the hours have been reduced. I have worked from home for a couple of years, so no changes there. Because I don’t go out much, I have still been able to see my daughter and my grandchildren who have also been cloistered and who live just down the street. I’m still connected to the other people I love. Though my finances are sure to take a hit, for now everything is fine.
So where is my old resiliency? Are you wondering that yourself?
Thinking about it, I realized that those challenges I faced were not always easy when I was going through them. Looking back, there was a lot of sadness, mourning, and adjustment before a new normal emerged. Most of the time I can honestly say that the new normal was far superior to the old one. I could, after the worst, point to all the reasons why it was worth it to go through those trials.
It’s not fair to compare my feelings during the journey to those of the conqueror who emerged. Just because we’ve faced down other giants in our lives, doesn’t make this one less formidable. You and I need to realize that the battle is still on and is playing out on multiple fields. Just when we think we’ve gotten an upper hand on one enemy, something else sneaks up from behind and bops us on the head. We can feel hopeful. We can trust that something better will come out of the personal, national, and worldwide crises we are facing, but let’s give ourselves space to be anxious, angry, uncertain, or to feel and express whatever emotions we are feeling in this moment.
There’s advice on being more resilient everywhere you turn these days, so I will just offer just one more suggestion as we seek to balance ourselves in these times. There is a maneuver in Yoga called Tree Pose. You are supposed to stand on one foot while lifting the other, with the goal of placing your free foot on your upper thigh and extending your arms over your head. The instructor always gives the same tip for finding stability: focus your eyes on a spot in front of you that is stable and unmoving.
What is the one fixed and immovable place we can focus our gaze as we attempt to regain our balance in the middle of this mess?
The Bible is full of verses that remind us that He is always with us and He never changes. Here are just a few from the New King James Version:
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Hebrews 13:8
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is not variation or shadow of turning. James 1:17
The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever. Isaiah 40:8
Of old You laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of Your hands. They will perish, but You will endure; Yes, they will grow old like a garment; Like a cloak You will change them, And they will be changed. But You are the same, and Your years have no end. Psalm 102: 25-27
The counsel of the Lord stands forever, the plans of his heart to all generations. Psalm 33:11
Yes. He loves you and me with an unfathomable love (Ephesians 3:18) and He has promised to protect and defend those who run to Him for shelter (Psalm 91). That will never change. When the storm has died down just a little, I’ll be ready to come out and fight. Rebuild and reimagine. For now, I am clinging to the Rock; hiding in the Shadow of the Almighty, gathering resolve and strength to go forward!
If you are looking for an encouraging resource, you might check out an The Prayer of Protection by Joseph Prince. It is an in-depth journey through Psalm 91. I listened to it recently and found it to be just what I needed to take my focus off the bad news and to place it back on the Good News where it belongs!