Navigating Change

-- Nothing is so painful to the human mind as a great and sudden change.” Mary Shelley, Frankenstein


In the wake of the events of the past week; Brexit, a resigning Prime Minister and warring political powers, it seems that never has a truer word been spoken. Change, whether it be personal or political, universal or individual is hard.

And over the past week, we have seen a a fundamental shift in our country and  many shifts in our political parties. When I woke up last Friday morning and saw the news, I sent my husband a text saying one thing: “Has there been some kind of political apocalypse overnight?”

It certainly felt like it. And in the midst of a seemingly fluid political landscape a rise in reported hate crime and an unstable economy, anxiety is wrapping itself around the national consciousness. The Guardian reported last week that there’s been an increase in talk of anxiety and despair in the aftermath of the UK’s decision to leave the EU in therapy sessions, with Susie Orbach writing:

-- “The question of living with what is a new reality is not straightforward. Mourning what one didn’t realise one quite had, or even knowing that one did, involves a process of forgetting and then remembering.”

It seems that whichever way you voted, the uncertainty is affecting everyone; from job worries, VISA worries and I even heard of some young people very concerned about whether or not Nando’s would stay in the UK! Change shifts our foundations, making us uncomfortable, and glib answers about the sovereignty of God don’t seem to be connecting with the fear that has erupted in the wake of change.

So how can we respond to, and cope with seismic change? Firstly, we need to accept what it is that we can and cannot change. For example; we can’t change the result of the EU referendum, but we can commit to engaging with politics and making the best of whatever comes next.

Secondly, we can choose to trust that God moves. Even when situations feel hopeless or far from what we had imagined, God isn’t absent. It won’t always be pleasant and things won’t always go how we hoped, but God does show up and show us who He is. And who He is, is unchanging.

Thirdly, give yourself time to adjust. To grieve for what was and prepare for what’s ahead. You don’t need to make yourself “okay” with what’s happening at super speed; talk about it, have a cry, spend time with friends.

And fourthly and finally, ask for help. Whether it be finding ways to understand the change that’s happening nationally, or navigating a change in your personal life, you don’t have to do it alone.

This article was first published over at www.thinktwiceinfo.org