Finding JOY in Change

          To be honest with you, I’m not a huge fan of change. The thought of things not going as planned fills me with worry. This past year has taught me that as much as I want to be, I am not in control. As much as I’d like things to always go as planned, they don’t. This past year I learned that things will always change, but that doesn’t mean JOY cannot be found in the change.

          I said earlier I don’t like when things go differently than planned, but I also struggle with things that are planned. In two weeks I will be heading back to college. My first summer after starting college has been pretty great. A normal week for me included spending time with my cute grandma, little cousins, family, high school friends, and changing the world of math one elementary school kid at a time. It’s been three months of relaxing and enjoying my time back in the great state of Texas. Although I am so excited to start my second year of college, I find it so much easier to want to stay at home, so much easier to avoid the change. Ohio is really far, but going to college at such an authentically Catholic school with so many great people makes the distance worth it. Even though heading back to school will bring a change to how my life is at this moment, it will also bring a great amount of JOY.

          This semester I have the wonderful opportunity to be on women’s ministry. I cannot tell you how excited I am for this. Before we even begin the semester, we will go on a retreat together. We will prepare our hearts to serve the women of our campus. Jesus knows my heart so well and knows this retreat will allow me to transition back to college. Besides women’s ministry I am most looking forward to being a part of the nursing home ministry. I am scared of the change I might find at the nursing home. Will my favorite residents still be there? Have some of them been moved or even passed away? I have to trust that God is in control and will allow me to see the residents there that I need to. Heading back to college also means getting to see my friends again. Students come from across the country to study at Franciscan so it is difficult to see people over breaks. There will be many other changes besides these but I will remind myself that with change comes the JOY Jesus has prepared for me.

          I look back and think about how I am so opposed to change but then I think to myself, how many times has God sat through my change? How many times have I decided to go to daily Mass or adoration and later decided not to go? How many times have I told Jesus I’d see Him in the chapel before bed and forgotten to show up? How many times has he waited for me and then watched me change my mind? If Jesus can be ok during all of those changes and if He can still love and find JOY in me, I should be able to at least have hope that Jesus has love and JOY prepared for me through the change. This year has change in store for me, for everyone, but the difference is my approach to it. I will welcome it and the plans Jesus has for me. I’ll leave you with this quote by St. John Paul II:

“Be not afraid, open wide the doors to Christ.”

-Eileen

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2 thoughts on “Finding JOY in Change

  1. Christie says:

    Thank you for this post. You are right, there is joy in change! Change almost always feels scary to me, but once I settle in, I am always thankful for taking the leap — especially when I know I am following God’s will.

    I have decided to join a women’s fellowship and bible study at my parish this fall. I am excited for it but nervous at the same time because I don’t know what to expect. It is not a new group, so many of these women have been together for years and I’m the newbie. I know that my anxiety will pass once I am there but the change of trying something new (even when I probably know several people there) is always a bit daunting.

    Eileen, I will pray for a smooth transition back to college for you and that you will touch many hearts and enrich many lives with your work in nursing homes. I have also felt called to be an encouragement to those in nursing homes or those who are home bound, but I have been hesitant to do so. You have reignited that thought and I think I’ll revisit that calling. I may hit you up for some advice 😉

    May God richly bless you!
    Christie

    Liked by 1 person

    • seedsofjoyblog says:

      Thank you Christie! I will be praying for you as your start your bible study! It is going to be so good for you 🙂 please let me know if you volunteer at a nursing home! It is such a beautiful ministry. God bless you 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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