Navigating Transitions

"There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under heaven..." --Ecclesiastes 3:1

Transitions and change are a staple of life.  Some of the transitions we face are easier to deal with than others.  Right now, at the start of a new school year, we face a number of changes:  new school, new schedule, new weather, etc.

For so many people I know right now, they are facing some of the most significant transitions of life:  first time parents, empty nest, first time with students in college, first time dealing with parents who need their care, etc.

In this post, I want to suggest to you just a few steps in dealing with transition.
  1. Recognize that grief is a temporary state.  I'm mentioning grief here because that is what we're feeling when we experience change to a major category of our lives.  Major changes mean that MUCH else in our lives will change--how we spend our time, how we see ourselves, how others identify us, oursense of purpose, etc.  The sadness that you feel or the sense of displacement and disorientation, however, is temporary and should not be come a life-redefining force.  
  2. Embrace transition as God's hand.  Remember that God is the one who changes the seasons when you enter transition.  Part of the reason why life changes in the ways it does is to move us beyond the perspective we have and to move us to trust God more fully because of the anxiety and instability we sense when things change.  Change is one of God's great pruning tools in life.  Transition has come to you to enable you to bear more fruit!
  3. Get active.  People often withdraw into passivity when they are faced with the internal turmoil that comes from transition.  One way to move ahead and embrace transition as a good thing is to continue to find ways to express yourself and give of yourself.  Transition should become an internal cue to get involved in ministry, not to hide and nurse wounds.
  4. Expect that the season will change again.  More transition is coming.  Once you find a way to find your "new normal", things will change again.  Work on becoming a person who invites the possibility that transitions will bring to you and those around you in a positive sense.
You're not in the wrong because you don't like the transition that's come to you, but you will not experience growth and thriving in your life by simply retreating into hurt.  Ask God today to help you today to move ahead.  

Labels: , , ,