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How To Navigate Changes, Life Transitions, And Challenges – A Letter To The Christian Woman Carrying Disappointment

Written by: Autumn DiScala, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 
Executive Contributor Autumn DiScala

Read this letter for tips on how to navigate changes, life transitions, and challenges, no matter what comes your way! I hope this open letter to you, a Christian woman carrying disappointment, is encouraging, no matter how off track life has gotten or goes from your original plan. Continue reading for verses about waiting well, practical tips on navigating change and transition in your life, and guidance on your next steps.


A wide low-angle shot of an adult female standing in front of climbing wall.

To the Christian woman carrying disappointment


Change comes for us all Winter is coming, am I right?


If you are like me at all, there most likely have been many points in your life where you thought all things were going perfectly, completely as planned, and all according to schedule. Even if things were not picture perfect, you had a plan in place, were managing your emotions and reactions, and had coping mechanisms and outlets in place to make it all work together.


Even though those close to you may have drawn concern to the lack of sustainability in this plan for your emotional, mental, spiritual, and even physical state long-term, you were MAKING IT WORK. and making it work good.


But, things changed. There were dreams and plans you had to let go of; outcomes you had to deal with (or have to deal with now).


The job became a point of exhaustion, not something that brought you life, or you were discontent with the cycle of life you felt trapped in. The boyfriend you placed all your hopes in left unexpectedly, or the medical diagnosis brought unknown challenges, even if it did bring a little more clarity. You may have even been expecting to welcome another life into your life, only to lose hope.


So the question is, what do we do when change comes?


What do we do when we are challenged with the unexpected and unanticipated? What do we do when our plans are ruined, our goals have to change, and challenges come that we have no idea what to do with?


It is almost as if our lives are snowglobes.


It is currently a winter wonderland here as I write this letter from a cozy coffee shop in Nashville, Tennessee, so maybe my mind is stuck on winter scenes. But, how true it is that many of us have a picture of the place we are and how it should look on display on the mantle of our lives – perfect, untouched, settled. And yet, there happens to be someone who or something that comes and gives the perfect little scene a good shake, leaving our complex little scene clouded by plastic snow and invisible to the eye – shaking our plans, dreams, and confidence.


When we are hit by disappointment after disappointment after disappointment, the temptation for many of us can be to avoid: whether that be difficult conversations, our emotions and processing, or even our fears of the outcomes.


We bottle up our feelings, pray for the best outcome (that we hope is in the decision we want to happen) and keep pushing on.


We are left feeling exhausted by 2 PM, longing for distractions to keep us from focusing on how we feel about the failure of the plans we held so close.


(Do not worry, I am calling myself out, too.)


The good news is that the snow settles. The picture of our lives does become visible again, even if it looks a little different than before. There still is beauty in the scene and significance in the journey that got us there.


What if I told you there is a way to respond that does not feed into stress, but rather relieves stress? What if I told you you could have a supernatural peace that surpasses all understanding, even if the world around you has been shaken?


What if I told you there is a new day dawning and better days ahead?


How to biblically respond to change, transition, and challenge as a Christian woman: rely on the Lord


Simple, right?


That really is the pinnacle of it However, I share this to say that how we navigate transitions, changes, and challenges is by recognizing we CAN stand firm throughout the storm on the foundation of Christ – knowing that God is the One who holds the pillars of the world firm; He is the one who is Constant in the midst of the storms of our lives. We can rely fully on His faithfulness, goodness, and sovereignty, knowing He knows the outcomes of our circumstances and rules over them.


No matter where you may be on your faith journey, whether new and exploring or a dedicated follower of Christ, we all have experiences of walking through transitions and life changes that have felt like sucker punches.


The good news is God is so present with us, even in our low lows and high highs.


He… Promises to be with us, and go before us – Joshua 1:9; Isaiah 41:10, 13


Has a sovereign plan – Genesis 50:20; Jeremiah 29:11; John 3:16-19


Is our comforter and guide - Psalm 23:4


Fills us with His perfect peace – John 14:27


Works all things together for the good of those who love Him - Romans 8:28


Brings life back to dead places, and is doing a new thing! – John 11:25-26; Isaiah 43:18-19


So, dear fellow Christian woman who is carrying disappointment, know you are not alone. Know that the Lord your God will fight for you, you need only be still (EX. 14:14).


With Love,


A Friend and Fellow Christian Woman Who Has Had Disappointment After Disappointment and Learned to Trust in God Through the Challenges

(i.e. Autumn DiScala)


Continue reading for practical tips and guided next steps!


4 Practical tips to navigate and ground you during change, life transitions, and challenges


1. Open journaling, prayer, and scripture reading


Whether you are comfortable talking about your current season and challenges with others or not, journaling and providing yourself a space to process how you are thinking and feeling can be so beneficial. Write everything that comes to you – the good, the bad, and the ugly.


In particular, I have found in my coaching practice that recommending journaling on gratitude to my clients, who are wrestling with changes, life transitions, and challenges, has been extremely fruitful for them. Taking even five minutes daily to write one to five things you are grateful for is one of the best ways to combat feelings of loneliness, disappointment, frustration about life’s circumstances, and longing.


In addition, taking time for daily Scripture reading, whether you follow a guided reading plan or read a chapter a day, and dedicated time for prayer make a vast difference in your ability to navigate the storms of life that come your way. Often, my clients have reported feeling far more at peace, stable, and confident, even if their lives have gotten more chaotic.


2. Find support in community


When we are hurting, one of the most natural tendencies is to self-isolate and hope we do not become a burden to those we care about. But, if I can encourage you to challenge that desire in you to be too alone, seek out someone to walk through this journey with you. Whether you find comfort and support in your loved ones, church community, counselor, or a life coach (I would personally love to support you!) it can make a world of a difference in life transitions, challenges, and changes to have a community surrounding you.


3. Practice breathing exercises


This practice encourages you to take a step back, re-analyze, and refocus on God and what He is speaking to you and doing in your circumstances. My personal favorite breathing exercise is called Breath Prayer.


It has been so beneficial for my clients in so many ways. Many of those ways include calming their emotional and mental state, grounding them, and providing them space to step back and bring clarity to their circumstances.


How to Utilize Breath Prayer:


Take a deep breath in (4 seconds), calling on a biblical name or image of God, and hold at the end of 4 seconds for 2 seconds. Exhale (4 seconds), breathing out a simple, God-given desire. Hold at the end of 4 seconds for 2 seconds. Repeat.


Examples:

“Abba” - “I belong to you”

“Shepherd” - “bring home my lost son”


4. Focus on what you can control, let go of what you cannot


This revolves around releasing control to God ultimately, trusting Him to lead and guide you through every change, life transition, and challenge. There is a good amount of work that can be done in your life, and part of our role as humans is to enjoy the work of our hands. However, we recognize the outcomes of our situations are in God’s hands more than our own. Receiving what comes our way in life with open hands is a posture that enables us to appreciate the good that comes our way while also being able to part with what leaves.


And, maybe you can journal about that, too. Still feel like staying grounded during change, life transitions, and challenges is a far-fetched illusion? I hear you and have been where you are.


You are not alone. I have walked through many transitions and changes in various relationships, workplaces, health crises, spiritual crises, and so much more.


With all my life experience, throughout the transitions and what I've learned about grounding my purpose in who God has created me to be, it has become my mission as a Christian life coach to guide women in recognizing their own purposes, who they were created to be, in God in all they do whether that be in their families, careers, self-images, passions, or so much more.


Often amid uncertainty, transition, and taking big risks.


My goal is to help women overcome roadblocks in their lives that prevent them from doing what God has called them to do!


AND, I would LOVE to offer a COMPLIMENTARY initial session, what I lovingly call the “Roadblock Discovery Session,” to you!


In this call, it would be my JOY to unpack your motivations, as well as your dreams and desires, and to learn with you how you can pursue the life you want (and the life God wants for you, too!)!


My goal is to help you already find direction toward what you want to achieve in your life, whether we work together or not, from this session!


You can find out more about what I do on my website or email me at coachautumndiscala@gmail.com to chat more and set up your initial conversation!


Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and visit my website for more info!


Autumn DiScala Brainz Magazine
 

Autumn DiScala, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Autumn DiScala, mdiv. is a leader in the field of life coaching, ministry, and theology. Her mission as a life coach is to guide Christian women in discovering their life purpose in all they do, helping them reorient their lives on God first and foremost. This passion comes from her own life experience, as she has navigated transitions and taking risks, as well as overcoming roadblocks that have so often left her feeling stuck and confused. Throughout it all, she has found that God has stayed consistent, patient, and kind, as He has guided her through all of her life experiences. She would love to help you see that same consistency in your own life, too.

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