The colorful changing views in every direction outside mean one thing…fall is here and change is upon us!  Seemingly overnight, the warm sun-soaked days sitting on the deck sipping an ice tea have been replaced with apple picking and sipping warm cider and hot chocolate. All around lush green has been replaced by brilliant yellows, oranges, and reds providing simply breathtaking views.

Beauty is all around providing many reminders why the fall is such a popular time of year.  With all the splendor this season brings, I’m also reminded that it is ushering in other changes as well. Chillier nights are yielding to colder shorter darker days. And despite how much I want to cling on to the sunshine and warmth of summer, this change will occur with or without my permission.

But isn’t that how it is in life? We find ourselves at an intersection and there it is, change. And, if you are like me, you find some change exhilarating, fun, and truly exciting. But with it also can come the uneasiness of the unknown, or the sadness of letting go of the comfortable. Indeed, change seems to be a two sided coin – it can be a welcomed shift that we hoped and prayed for yet still stop us in our tracks and challenge us with the uncertainty.

Inspired by the recent change of seasons, I thought it would be a great time to reflect on three empowering benefits of change because it doesn’t have to be scary. It can be a positive time causing us to grow because of it.

1. Change provides a natural time to reflect and celebrate past blessings

Take time to reflect and be thankful.

I recently had the opportunity to put this into practice first hand. Hugging a co-worker on her last day at my office, I was saddened that we’d be saying good bye. We’d worked together for nearly 7 years. But with her new opportunity and the change it brought in our work place, I could step back and be incredibly thankful for the over 6 years of collaboration. Rather than focus on the negative, I choose to celebrate a life-long friendship that has developed.

When you are faced with change, ask yourself what blessings should be celebrated?  You may at times find the change itself is the blessing to celebrate because its allowing you to move on from a situation or relationship that needs to become part of your past, rather than your future.

Take the time to acknowledge the blessings the change brings as you move on.

2. Change teaches you more about yourself

When we find ourselves standing in the midst of change, we quickly find what we like and what we don’t like. I’ve found that while I like the beauty of fall, I don’t particularly the cold weather that is creeping in. Realizing how much I appreciate being out in the warm sun has me reflecting upon my priorities for next summer. I plan to make adjustments to my schedule so that I can enjoy it more knowing that it is so fleeting.

Have you ever noticed that the situations brought about by change can bring unexpected discomfort that speaks to us? Listen to the discord and allow it to teach you more about yourself. What is it that you don’t like? How does it challenge you? Can you grow from this? Have you found yourself in a similar situation, but realize it feels right, it’s comfortable? Listen to what that change is telling you.

When you take time to ask yourself those questions amidst the change, it can teach you more about yourself. The result is you step forward with greater knowledge of yourself, making your stronger.

3. Change allows you to write a new chapter

Regardless if change enters our lives as something we pursued or it is thrust upon us, change is like turning to a brand new page in a notebook. We may not have initiated the page turning, but, we hold the pen that will write what happens next. We decide what attitude we will have as we begin to fill in the new page.

When my co-worker left for her new opportunity, I knew I was losing a coworker – I couldn’t change that. But I didn’t want to lose a friend. I had a choice moving forward by owning my part in how we’d stay in touch. I didn’t have to let the friendship drift because of her change of employment.

When change turns a page in your life, ask yourself how you would like this next chapter unfold. Consider what you need to do to make this chapter the best it can be.

Whether you are in the midst of change now, or it finds you in the near future, when you are faced with change remember these three empowering benefits of change – it helps you to recognize and celebrate your blessings, it can teach you more about yourself, and it gives you the opportunity to begin writing a new life’s chapter. When you focus on the positive that the change brings, you are freed to enjoy the benefits and new scenery it brings.

How do you embrace change? What do you do to find its benefits?

I welcome your thoughts and comments.

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. James 1:17