shield arrow-simple-alt-top arrow-simple-alt-left arrow-simple-alt-right arrow-simple-alt-bottom facebook instagram linkedin medium pinterest rss search-alt shaper twitter video-play arrow-long-right arrow-long-left arrow-long-top arrow-long-bottom arrow-simple-right arrow-simple-left arrow-simple-bottom readio arrow-simple-top speaker-down plus minus cloud hb pin camera globe cart rotate Group-35 star edit arrow-top arrow-right arrow-left arrow-bottom check search close square speaker-up speaker-mute return play pause love

Change: I’m Warming Up to It.

By: Glenn Waterman, Vice President of Marketing and Development


Most of my life I’ve said I didn’t like change.

I thought that I should be in a job, a relationship, and a lifestyle that was the same, day after day; the less change the better. I viewed change as upsetting, messy, nerve-wracking and something to be avoided.

But in the last few years I finally admitted to myself, and more importantly to others around me, that I was wrong. I like change! It sounds like a small thing but ‘changing’ your self-image is hard. Admitting it is harder.

At the ripe old age of 58, I can look back and see that the times in my life where I was most alive were when I was in the middle of change—a job change, family change, or even a health change. It was upsetting, messy, confusing, nerve-wracking, and at the time I would have said I wasn't enjoying it, but it was also interesting, exciting and I did things in new ways. This realization has ‘changed’ the way I look at life.

Something similar happens when your world view is changed for you-- whether it's through friends or family doing things radically different, or realizing that something you believed is just plain wrong.

That happened to me when I was approached to join IJM. My initial reaction to the work of our organization was, “What do you mean slavery still exists?!”.

When I learned just what was going on, it was like opening a window and seeing clearly. I really didn’t like what I saw, but now I could do something about it. Again—upsetting messy, nerve-wracking and at times, not enjoyable. But when I meet the rescued child, woman or man and realize that our work is making a difference, it is so worth it.

Change and transition are often used in a similar way, but, as William Bridges explains in the book Managing Transitions, there’s an important distinction between the two. Changes, like moving to a new job, are situational whereas the transitions associated with change—ending the old job (ending), figuring out how to move on for a while (neutral zone), and adjusting to a new beginning (beginning), are psychological (Managing Transitions, William Bridges). Transitions take longer and the time needed can vary from person to person. I recommend reading the book to get a better explanation, it is worth it

Our clients in the field experience are a prime example of this. The ‘change’ for a girl rescued from a brothel is immediate, but the ‘transition’ from a life where she is being assaulted numerous times a day to one where there are caring people trying to help her is overwhelming. Transitions take time, sometimes years of time, but they are so important to work through.

So, what’s the point?

After almost 6 decades of experience and life here in safe and secure Canada, here’s what I’ve learned:

  • Changes and transitions are going happen
  • They will often be upsetting, messy, confusing and nerve-wracking
  • You can get through it (although it may not seem like it when you are in the middle of things)
  • You need to have changes and transitions happen or you will not grow and learn

What you believe about yourself may need to be examined and questioned, particularly about change and about your reaction to it. As you get older—and I am older—you see change as a smaller part of your life.

What seems like a huge issue at 20 can be a fairly small and easy to handle change in your 50’s. And by that time, you will have seen so many changes that one more may not make a great deal of difference.

So as hard as it might be, when change and transitions come upon you, take a deep breath and remind yourself that, just as our clients around the world transition from lives of violent oppression to restoration, hope and thriving, you too will be able to handle it. Sometimes that reminder is all it takes to switch from grumpy and resistant to curious and open.


And that switch in attitude can make all the difference.

Become a Freedom Partner Today

You might also be interested in…

see more

Newsletter Sign Up

Stay connected to the work! Sign up to get updates straight to your inbox.
You Can Send Rescue Today.

Give a gift today and be a last minute responder for a child in need of rescue or a social worker holding the hands of a now-free mother.

You can make the most impact as a Freedom Partner today.

Your generous monthly support of $31 or more will send rescue to vulnerable children and families at a moment’s notice, stand with them as they rebuild their lives in freedom and see their abusers in court – no matter how long justice takes.

Login

Donor Portal

Review your giving, tax statements and contact info via the IJM Donor Portal.

please sign in
Email Sign Up
Get updates from IJM on stories from the field, events in your area and opportunities to get involved.
sign up

Media Contact

We're here to answer your questions. Please fill out the form below and someone from our team will follow up with you soon.

Media Contact

More Information

Petra Kooman
Director of Marketing and Public Relations
[email protected]
519.679.5030 x.229

Make an Impact

Your skills, talents, and ideas are a force for change. From birthday parties to polar dips, your fundraising campaign can stop the violence.

Learn More

Thank you for signing up to learn more about starting a fundraiser. We will be in touch soon!

In the meantime, please take a look at our free guide: 25 Tips for the Novice Fundraiser.

Need Help?

Need more information?
We're here to help.
Contact us at [email protected]