When it rains, it pours! And lately, it has been raining a lot in Texas and across the country. We’ve been experiencing weeks of rain showers, thunderstorms, hail, flooding, rain-wrapped tornadoes and in the midst of it all, some of the most beautiful rainbows.
Ironically, I feel as though I have experienced each of those weather occurrences in my life, not just for the past few weeks, but the past 12 months. For me, this stormy weather represents overwhelming change in my life. Some predicted, some unexpected! Either way, a season of change has been moving across the radar of my life from career to the very personal. And in each passing storm, I’ve had to make a choice of not only how was I going to react, but what I would do.
You see, when the storms of life rise up, you can attempt to run and hide (but trust they will find you) or you can face them head on. I think Anne Lamont said it best when she said, “Change is as inevitable as rain in the spring. Some of us just put on raincoats and splash forward.”
Splash forward! That is exactly what I have done this past year. And that is what I challenge each of you to do. Arm yourself with a raincoat of courage, some rain boots to walk forward confidently and a colorful umbrella for inspiration so when it rains, you are prepared to splash forward in unstoppable style.
Here are a few simple tips on how to survive the storms of change:
These are just brief periods of change, nothing major or easy to get through. But don’t resist! Even for those who are most resistant to change, remember change is inevitable, so throw caution to the wind and run out to play. Fall back on your childhood and cast your fears away. Dance, splash around and embrace the change in your life with open arms and enthusiasm.
Thunderstorms of change are transient but can sometimes be violent because of the lightning and hail that comes with them. This is the type of change we tend to run from because of the fear of getting hurt. But thunderstorms of change rarely come without warning, so prepare to weather the storm or correct course. Don’t wait for the rain. Go ahead and make changes or safety plans when you hear the thunder or see the lightning that typically proceeds the storm. You may not get to decide when change happens, but you can manage it. Familiarize yourself with the warning signs of change. Then gather up the courage to move forward and get ahead of the storm by finding the positive and creating a list of how you plan to deal with change before it hits.
Floods of change occur when too much happens at once in a short period of time, causing you to become submerged, overwhelmed and sometimes swept away in the currents. This kind of change can be too much, even for those of us who are adaptable and flexible. You can easily get swept away and at times that may not be the worst thing. Sometimes it is necessary to go with the flow rather than against it to get your bearings and to come up with a plan. Then focus on executing and managing one element of change at a time to give you your best shot at success.
I know you all are wondering, what in the world is a rain-wrapped tornado? It’s the winds of change masked in rain that you don’t see coming until it is right up on you. It is near impossible to manage what you can’t see, but you can survive. Stay alert. Don’t let fear paralyze you. Instead, choose to anchor yourself to the word of God, hold on and be encouraged. Remember these words:
“The Lord is for me, so I will have no fear…” Psalm 118:6
Accepting and surviving change is possible when done with courage, confidence and the inspiration of hope.
A colorful arch in the sky, often seen after the rain. The rainbow is a symbol of hope that change will pass if we hold on to our faith and our vision for a better tomorrow.
“Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.” Genesis 9:16.
Rainbows and the promises of a brighter day help us to wade through the spring rains and splash forward to summer fun.
Change may seem like a simple word, but it is an inevitable part of life. For some, it becomes a way of life. That’s why as challenging and uncomfortable as it is, we must learn to accept it, get comfortable with it and, most of all, not fear it. Take control of your life, maintain a positive perspective and become the difference. As we move into summer, be the change you want to see in you and around you.
Let’s splash forward to summer fun together! Thankfully, I have weathered the storms, so I am starting the summer off by writing a new chapter of my life – by pursuing my dreams. It will require a lot of work and change that is unknown, but the journey will be fun. How do I know? Because I have made a promise to myself to have fun along the way.
What will you do to splash forward? Share with us!