Learning to adapt to change is
crucial to avoid stress

If you're single, it's crucial that you learn how to adapt to change.

Why is that ability so necessary for singles? Because we may be in the greatest danger of getting into a rut. Think about it for a moment.

As singles, we don't have to adapt to change to meet a spouse's needs or preferences. If you're divorced, a widow or widower, you may have to deal with your children's changes. But if you've never been married, like me, you get to call more of the shots in your life.

Singles who stubbornly resist change can become grouchy, narrow-minded, and set in their ways. In short, they're not a joy to be around.

Refusing to adapt to change can not only make you eccentric, it can make you downright weird. Weird is usually not a good thing for singles--unless you're trying to attract another weird person!

Why everyone resists change

Change is frightening. Change can mean we don't know what's coming next. We lose control of things, and that gets real scary real fast. We're all control freaks at heart, whether we want to admit it or not.

Even veteran Christians, saints who've walked with God all their lives, can find themselves paralyzed with fear and anxiety when change comes. We're forced to acknowledge that God is in control, and that's always a hard thing to do.

Married people may get encouragement or support from their spouse when change happens. It helps to have someone trustworthy to talk with.

Who do we have? A family member? A pastor? A friend? The value of these conversations is that the other person can allay our fears, calm us, and remind us that God has our best interests at heart.

You can always count on change

Change can be bad--and that's the kind of change we fear the most. But sometimes it's reassuring to remember that except for God, nothing stays the same forever.

That's good to know when you're grieving, when you're sick, or when you're in some other miserable situation. It won't last forever. Some day it will change.

When you're in a happy situation and life is going along smoothly, it's important to appreciate that time of joy. While we shouldn't live in anxiety, fearing that our happiness will be pulled out from under us, knowing that everything changes keeps you from being caught off-guard. A completely unexpected change may throw you for a short time, but you soon recover because you know you can eventually adapt.

Recognizing that everything eventually changes also provides some evenness to your life. You're not riding an emotional roller coaster of highs and lows. You're grateful for and appreciate the good times, but you don't let the bad times drag you too far down.

Adapt to change: What never changes

Some changes are small and you can cope with them easily. But others are huge, sweeping, and life-encompassing. How do you process that much newness? How do you adapt to change when people you love, perhaps a job, a pet, or possessions that you loved are taken away?

I think the only way to keep from panicking in a situation like that is to keep reminding yourself that Christ never changes. He's the same as he was 2,000 years ago on earth, and the same as he was trillions of years before that.

No matter how much your world changes, Christ is always the solid rock that you can go to. His love for you will never change.

That familiarity is something you can cling to when everything else is uncertain. If most of your life seems unreliable, Christ is still reliable. Once you test that rock and find it steady, you can draw upon his steadiness to help you deal with all the other changes in your life.

Some changes are bad, some are good. But through them all, Christ is always constant. Hang on to him tightly, and he'll help you adapt to change.

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