This blog has talked a lot over the past year about finding and maintaining peace, patience, hope, faith, and other elements of everyday spirituality. I spend time every day in practices proven to keep my own spirituality intact. And a key reason for doing so is for times like the present, when there is so much change in my life that I could end up spinning unproductively if I were not grounded, rooted in these practices and the beliefs they support.

Through spiritual direction and in social contacts, I come across people who are also dealing with change but do not have a foundation for spiritual peace, and my heart goes out to them because this is not a test you can cram for the night before. Instead, it requires a lifestyle over time.

However, to say that bluntly to people who are scared and hurting would be unconscionable, so lately I have found myself offering several suggestions to people who feel inadequate in the face of deep change. Here are some of those suggestions, not in any particular order. Some will be more effective for one person; some more effective for others.

Pray first, before anything else you do. Prayer is the first resort, not the last. Second, find Bible verses that speak in a supportive fashion directly to your situation; memorize them; roll them around in your head and heart as continuously as you can manage. Third, keep your eyes up. Fourth, several times a day look into a mirror into your own eyes and say out loud: “God loves me and so do I.” Reach out to supportive, resourceful friends or family members; steer clear as much as you can of people who are likely to press you with useless questions like, “Well, what are you going to do?” Ask God for the specific thing(s) you need, then immediately begin thanking God that those things are on their way. Remember that God is always with you.

God promised in Isaiah 45: “I will go before you and level the mountains to make the crooked places straight, break in pieces the gates of bronze, and cut asunder the bars of iron.”