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    How to Cope with Life’s Big Changes

    I love the way God uses the stories of our lives as ways to bring encouragement to others!

    About five months ago, my husband and I were offered jobs as youth pastors. At the time, we didn’t feel right about accepting so we didn’t, but we kept praying about it. Five weeks ago, the same job was offered to us again and we felt the time was right, so we accepted the positions.

    The cool thing about this job offer is it’s a fulfillment of some things God had spoken to us about several years ago. The hard thing about it is that the offer was from another church: We were going to have to start over at a new church in a position we’d never done before. Dave and I were youth leaders at our old church, but the job of being a youth pastor or youth director is a much bigger job with a lot more responsibility.

    Everything involving the job happened so quickly. All of a sudden, we went from youth leaders to youth pastors; from teens we know and adore to teens who have no idea who we are; and from a church where we’d spent seven years serving to a brand new church. It was overwhelming and difficult–I’m not great at handling change in the first place and this was a huge change.

    The hardest part was telling our old youth group that we were leaving. Some of them cried and then they all prayed for us. These amazing youth that we’d spent so much time learning from, teaching and loving prayed we would be successful and our new youth group would be blessed by us. I remember asking God silently right there in our old youth sanctuary if we really had to leave, but we did–it was time to go.

    That day, I lost a little of the initial excitement about becoming a youth pastor because leaving was so hard. God is rebuilding the excitement in me, though. Throughout life, change happens. Some changes are big like moving, graduating and changing schools, jobs, or churches, and some are smaller. The size of the change isn’t really what matters because when we go through change (big or small), it almost always feels like a big change.

    What’s important about change is how we respond to it. Our God is unchanging and He is the God over change. God makes the tide change, the seasons change and He makes our lives change, but just because change comes from God doesn’t always make it easy. Sometimes change can leave us feeling far from Him, but that doesn’t mean He is far away. If God brings change to your life, step into it with courage and trust in the God who names every star in the sky and formed the universe out of nothing.

    Starting this new job that God planned for us has made me feel far from God, like He turned my life upside down and then disappeared, but that isn’t true. A song that has helped me lately with all this change is “Light Up The Sky” by The Afters.

    Girls, please be encouraged if you are experiencing change in your life that seems overwhelming: When the sun rises and when the stars come out, God is with you. Whatever your circumstances are, He’s not leaving your side even when it feels like He is. Tell God how you feel about the changes you’re experiencing–the good and the bad–and let Him make it an experience you’ll never forget!

    Have you experienced any changes in your life recently? Are you going through some right now?

    There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven (Ecclesiastes 3:1).

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    Jenn Arman
    Jenn Arman is a youth pastor, freelance writer and blogger. She was born in San Diego, California and raised 2 hours north east in the Inland Empire where she lives with her husband David and their cats. Jenn desires to bring glory to God and a healthy dose of reality to Christians through both writing and preaching. Visit jenniferarman.com for more on her work. You can also connect with her on www.facebook.com/JenniferArman.Writer and https://twitter.com/JennArman

    11 COMMENTS

    1. Right now, I’m preparing for college. It’s scary because I don’t have support from my parents and I don’t know what I’m doing. I just have to remind myself that just because my parents are leaving me on my own doesn’t mean that I’m alone. God is still with me, and I’m learning to look to Him for guidance instead. I know He will lead me where I’m meant to be.

    2. This article really struck something with me because I’m going to college in the fall and I am so terrified because it’s going to be a huge change. I won’t have parents there with me and I’m going to miss my life here and my friends. It does feel overwhelming. I do pray but I have a hard time believing that going to college will be a good thing for me. At least I will have to totally depend on God then!

    3. This couldn’t have been a better time for me to find this. I’m three weeks from graduating high school and things have been getting tough. Finding out what “friends” are really friends,the shift from high school to college, and decisions that come with preparing for college have made my life a little stringent. I found this really comforting and encouraging 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

      • I’m just graduating high school! As of right now I have 3 days left of high school. Graduation is in a week. I’m freaking out and I’m trying to pray without ceasing. It’s such a pivotal time in my life and I’m finding out who my true friends are and that’s about 2 people at my high school. The good thing is is that I have a never changing youth group that no matter how old I get, I can always rely on. The scary part is knowing whether I will be able to be a leader in the group or not. I’m scared if I have to let go of my youth group because I’ve grown up with this group and it’s meant so much to me. I’m trying to put my full trust in God and seek his wisdom. This article really helped 🙂

    4. Change is difficult for sure. My dad just lost 8,000 dollars in income and there’s suddenly serious talk about moving. I really don’t want to ever move. I love my church and the people in it, I love our home and my friends that I have and just about everything else. And the scariest part is that my parents are talking about moving all the way to North Carolina and we live in New Jersey so that would mean not only losing church and friends, but all our family, cousins, grandparents, aunts and uncles. It’s all terrifying to me but through it all I’m trying to trust and know God is going to take care of us no matter what.

    5. I felt like reading this, God spoke to me. This post is so relevant to me, because I am moving halfway across the country this summer and I’m not quite ready… I’ve kept asking God why, and from your website, He has spoken to me and helped me to understand all of this a bit better. Thank you so much for this post!

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