A Year of Transition
It has been a year of transitions in many ways. We are in the process of selling, moving, and building a new home. We started this process last January and what seemed to be such a long way away is finally here. Also, I recently celebrated my sixtieth birthday, and there was a time that sixty seemed very old and was a long way away, and now it is here.
I have learned that we are always in transition, and we are always moving towards something and farther away from something else. Whether it’s our age, relationships, jobs, or parenting, time doesn’t stop if you have breath in your lungs.
What I have learned through transitioning is the steps of life are lessons. When I reflect on my teenage years, I think of the reckless and impetuous decisions I made that could have cost me so much more than they did. In my twenties and thirties, I was a new wife, a new mom, and had all of motherhood’s “new” responsibilities. My forties and fifties had challenges all their own, including divorce, remarriage, heart attack, and the loss of my sweet momma. I could write about more transitions I have fumbled through, but you get my point. Life keeps moving, sometimes at a slow pace and other times at a fast pace.
When I was little, I couldn’t wait to grow up and become an adult. Once I became an adult, I wished I could return to those younger years and have some do-overs now that I have learned and lived more. But, I wouldn’t be able to do that without moving forward through a transition.
Through All Our Transitions, God Remains the Same
The one thing that remains constant in all our transitions is God. We change from moment to moment. We are so fickle, but God remains constant. He nurtures and loves us through our changes as we grow in Christ. God carries us through mundane, easy, and hard times. His word and promises remain true. As you age, you get a deeper appreciation of life and what God has done for you and is doing for you in all these transitions.
The good news is we do not have to go through life and all its changes alone. The One who created us is the same God who walks with us from moment to moment. In times of great difficulties, unrest, illness, death, and failures, he is the same God who leads the Jewish people out of slavery and is the One who also will lead us to our victories. Here is your proof!
Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.Isaiah 41:10 (NLT)
Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you.
I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.
Here are some ways I have learned that have helped me get through life transitions, and I hope they help you too.
Whether it is a good transition or not, I have learned that prayer is the key to getting through a change. Seeking God first will give you the peace, strength, and stamina you need to endure. Even when the change is easy, the details can wear you out. The important thing is to pray through the transition. Don’t give up because you don’t get an answer right away. Remember, God sees the whole picture.
Begin and Finish with the Word
Start your day by reading His Word, and end the day by reading the word. Reading will be your fuel in the morning and your reminder at night that you are never alone, and it will sustain you through the good, bad, challenging, and crazy times of life. If you think you don’t have time to read, then you need to make time; otherwise, the enemy will eat you alive. The enemy loves nothing more than to distract and tear you down during times of change and make you feel overwhelmed and all alone.
Seek Wise Counsel
The good news is that chances are high that there is somebody you know who has gone through a similar change. Ask that person how they moved forward and what they did to get through it. When my only child chose to go to college out of state, I talked to a mom whose child had gone to school out of state. It was an emotional time, but I had to prepare my heart to let my daughter begin her transition. My friend prayed for me, checked in on me, and gave me solid, godly advice so I could prepare my daughter for all the new things she would have to face being hundreds of miles away from home and on her own.
I have found that rest is vitally important no matter what type of transition you go through. It isn’t just physical rest, but emotional and spiritual rest too. Emotions can wear you out, and to avoid a crisis, it is crucial to get proper rest. Life is hard on a good day, let alone on a lousy day when the stakes are higher.
Apologize if Necessary
We aren’t always ourselves when going through life changes. Stress does weird things to us, even when it is something good! You know what I’m talking about if you have ever been a bride or organized an event. We can find ourselves short with others or just feeling disconnected. It is okay not to be okay, but taking our feelings out on others is not right. An apology goes a long way to the person caught in your crossfire of stress.
I don’t want to be known for how badly I handled the many changes in life but for how well God got me through the changes in my life.
When you are struggling with transition, remember this promise.
Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.”Deuteronomy 31:8
Above all else, remember change is inevitable, just as the seasons come and seasons go, but your relationship with Jesus will last beyond your lifetime, and He will never leave you, nor will he change.