Change is a natural part of life and can be both a good thing and a hard thing at the same time. Change leads to growth and progress, but on the way there we can face some things that pull us out of our comfort zone. Right now, in my life, I am navigating lots of change, from being a newlywed to a new dog mom and beyond. There are ways to gracefully handle change and manage our expectations, and I am learning as I go, so ill share what I have found.

First, arm yourself with knowledge. Before we got married, Nick and I did premarital counseling and read books on marriage and relationships. This helped us understand each other better and laid a foundation for us to build up from. We can take what we have learned and combine it with what we are finding works in our own relationship. Preparing helped us have a clearer understanding of what was about to happen and ease into this major life change.

Next, manage your expectations and be realistic. Expecting to be great at something right away is unrealistic and can brew discontentment. Expectations can help us set goals, but it is unfair to place your own expectations on a person or thing and expect them to be exactly what you pictured. Even once you make realistic expectations, there will be days where you feel disappointed or unsure how to handle things, but those are learning and growing moments.

Another point to remember is that change is part of life. Resisting or denying change, or regretting change, does nothing but hold us back from enjoying the season of life we are in. Allow the change to happen, accept it, and adapt to it. Embrace the circumstances God has given you and figure out how you can make the best of them.

Change, especially major life changes, are disorienting. They derail all of the routines you had in place and toss life into a tizzy. Planning for change helps us gracefully accept and adapt to it instead of feeling like life has lost all sense of normalcy. There will also be times that you look back on a change that you thought was the worst possible thing, but it became a great learning moment and had some positive outcomes. I am someone who loves a good routine, so getting back into the swing of things after getting married, moving, school, and a new dog has been like a whirlwind. But, I am learning to navigate it, accept it, and make it work. Life is good, and change can be too!