Every Tuesday we engage in one big question, topic or idea. You are invited to write in with a suggestion you want to share. I surely do not have all the answers but know that together we can generate some great conversation and have fun in the process. (Feel free to post your topics, questions, and your great thoughts in the comments below!) Together, we will stay informed and equipped about topics that matter!

Today’s Blog Contributor: 

Kristin Clouse

Kristin ClouseKristin is a licensed counselor who is passionate about seeing women find freedom, healing and restoration in their own lives. She is a writer, counselor, speaker, teacher, mentor and leader to women. She is a storyteller and uses allegorical examples to impart life, freedom, and healing to many. She speaks on a variety of topics including teachings from her writing “Healing for Our Soul Garden”, which is about the restoration and healing process from sexual abuse; as well as leading and teaching women to grow in a deeper relationship with God. She is available to share according to your needs at your focused retreat, conference or workshop. Find out more about Kristin on her blog atwww.healingforoursoulgarden.com.

 

Have you ever had one of those years were a certain word seems to best describe the circumstances over the twelve month period? I have, in fact, this year in particular one word stands out far above any other word. Yes, I realize that this year is not over, but this word is the common theme for my life. I see this word in BIG, BOLD letters, blinking and shining at me over and over, speaking to me, speaking at me, and if I was to admit, mocking me at times.

This word is change.

Not a month has gone by where there hasn’t been change taking place in my life, my family, or my community of friends. Every aspect of my life, or so it feels, has been affected by change this year.


Just BreatheHow do you deal with change?

If I’m being honest, sometimes I just want to curl up on my couch with my blanket up to my chin, eyes closed, and praying that I will awake and all of life changes will just be part of a dream and not reality. Now don’t get me wrong, some of the change is exciting, some is adventurous, but some is so difficult to deal with, especially when so much change takes place in one year.

Some things I’ve noticed as I’ve journeyed through this year so far.

Change is not to be feared.

A few days before one of my best friend’s, mentor, leader, and partner in many aspects of ministry went home to be with Jesus, I awoke in a panic and fear enveloped me like a heavy blanket. As I laid in the dark, I could feel myself struggling to shake off this fear. The fear of doing life without her. The fear of not having her to rely on, just being a phone call away and never hearing her voice again. The fear of having no one to talk to, no one that knows my whole story and still loves and accepts me. The fear of building a relationship with someone else and learning to trust all over again.

There was a struggle taking place in my bedroom, with darkness all around me, my husband sleeping next to me, but it was in that moment the Holy Spirit, Christ within me, rose up and
reminded me “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength” (Phil. 4:13). Fear wanted to eat me up and swallow me alive, but Christ reminded me to push back with God’s Word and to not fear change. Yes, change can be scary, but it is not to be feared.

There is a fluidity to change. 

As I am eight months into this year of great and numerous change (still working through some of it), I am able to look back and to see the pattern of change that God has brought into my life. Fluidity is the word that comes to my mind. The pattern, the flow, the river of change are all fluid. Fluidity is defined in the Merriam-Webster online dictionary as, “the quality or state of being fluid; the physical property of a substance that enables it to flow.”

Change has a pattern, a flow, and it is not meant to punish or to harm, but instead to take us on a journey, to follow a pattern, a pathway, and often it brings uncertainty with it. Some change is sudden, some is expected, but still brings great sorrow. Some change is exciting and brings great joy. The commonality of change is that our lives will and are forever different because change has taken place. Change is best represented by the season of fall. Leaves falling, flowing to the ground, dying, letting go of life they once knew.

That is the fluidity of change.

Embracing this, surrendering to it, and trusting Jesus through the process, is what God is asking
of us.

In Ecclesiastes 3 (KJV) we read,

3 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
3 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5 A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
6 A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
7 A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
8 A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

Remember to breathe!

In the midst of great change we often hold our breath, waiting, anticipating, and at times trembling, but breathing is important and vital to our survival and moving forward. Breathing is a sign of life. The heart beats, our lungs fill with air, and we are choosing to live. Choosing to live? That sounds so drastic Kristin, but yes, sometimes it is just that, choosing to live with all the change. Embracing our new normal, our new lives, and trusting Jesus in the midst of all that He is still on the throne and He has a plan to prosper us and not to harm us, to give us hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11).

That’s what I hold on to today…..oh yeah and breathe…..


We would love to hear your thoughts on “Just Breathe”, please don’t hesitate to share your stories or comments below.

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