“Long live the change! ": When change does not happen

Learning to deal with the twists and turns of life is only useful ... if our life is changing. But what to do when we want change and nothing happens? 

On its own, it embodies many types of changes… unrealized. Tetraplegic for more than half a century, Joni Eareckson Tada would have liked to be cured. It did not happen. And the one who, from her wheelchair, encourages millions of people through her broadcasts, her art, her books, her films, her lectures ... has been accompanied for years by a husband, certainly in excellent health, but depressed, as we have seen. discovered in the book Joni and Ken (ed. Ourania). Without being able to change it.

The present moment, but not only

How do you deal with what cannot be changed? For Olivia Hdija, counseling consultant, our main tool consists in remembering above all "that we are not only a body: we also have an intangible part that cannot be seen". Thus, our spiritual side can influence our perception of what we are experiencing in our psyche or our physical.
In other words, recalls the counselor, "interior change consists, not of a particular system but of a person, that of Christ our Savior." Indeed, in Christ we not only have an example of dealing with despicable circumstances; he also infuses us with his power to deal with our own unchangeable trials.

What is my gaze on?

Hence Jesus' recommendation to "seek first the kingdom and the righteousness of God, and all these things will be given to you on top" (Matt. 6, 33) which, for the counselor, is not by chance. in a chapter on worries. Because, trusting in God "will not necessarily open the door to the desired change for us, but will divert our eyes from what disappoints us to direct them towards our God of love".

This choice to fix our gaze on Christ rather than on our unchanged circumstances is also a way of “renewing our intelligence” (Rom. 12, 1), explains Olivia Hdija. And to quote Ed Welch in Depression: Rediscovering the light in the midst of darkness (ed. Excelsis) whose thought she sums up as follows: through the Scriptures, we see that the suffering permitted by God always has a goal. This transforms believers to become more and more like Christ. What a comfort to realize that since Jesus suffered, he can therefore understand their own suffering.

Exit the comparison

On the other hand, choosing not to renew our thoughts by reading and meditating on the Word of God has the consequence that "we look around us and compare our situation to that of others", explains Olivia Hdija.

Do we realize that God has the possibility - and the right - not to grant us a positive development which would nevertheless appear just and good? asks the counselor. Because for her, God does not necessarily improve our daily life, but he gives us hope while we trust him: "This is contentment, a state of mind by which we recognize that a change. of circumstances is not due to us ”.

A great mission!

Joni Eareckson Tada, for his part, believes that unchanged and unchangeable suffering is not a sufficient reason to do what is natural to us in such circumstances: cut ourselves off from others.

Released from hospital last May after a medical emergency closely following her treatment for a second cancer, the quadriplegic posted on her blog:

“I don't hesitate to say that when life is difficult, God is very good. But we don't find out how good it is until we apply this text from Ac. 20:24 It does not matter where God chooses to place us: 'But I do not care for myself with my life, as if it is precious to me, provided that I complete my course [with joy], and the ministry that I have received from the Lord Jesus, to proclaim the good news of the grace of God '. "

Rachel Gamper

Find more articles on the topic of women on Spirituality,  the magazine that brings together Christian women from the Francophonie.

Image Credit: Thelma Amaro Vidales / Shutterstock.com

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