It’s a period of change, or the process of changing from one circumstance or condition to another. We’ve all gone through it and most of us are going through some form of it right now. It is transition.
Transition comes in many forms and for many reasons. It is one of the most common aspects of living the human experience. A wedding, childbirth, returning to school, a job change, retirement, death of a loved one, relocation, divorce, empty nesting, down-sizing, health crisis, losing a friendship, geographical separation from a spouse and countless other changes.
Traveling through transition can be forbidding. The emotional pain of letting go and the fear of the unknown, can grip us and sometimes we get stuck or even begin to take steps backwards. Heraclitus, a Greek philosopher, is quoted as saying “change is the only constant in life”. Since we know this to be true, why not stop fighting it and instead, embrace it? Yes, the key to success during transition is to accept the realities of it – but how?
It starts with our perspective and I’m not going to sugar coat this – it won’t always be easy. If we find ourselves mentally curled up in the fetal position or perpetually with a heavy-heart, we must change the way that we are perceiving the process of change. View the transition as an experience that you are marching forward into. Look straight ahead and focus on the good things to come. If you are unable to imagine the good things in your future, go to someone who knows you well and ask for help with seeing the possibilities. Reach outward to others who are trustworthy and have the ability to help you analyze your circumstances and separate each problem. Once each problem stands alone, you can more easily deal with it and it will be merely one stepping stone on your journey. Share your struggles and allow others to shoulder some of your burdens. Accept practical helps along the way. Check your outlook and attitude regularly – is your heart heavy or light? All of this minimizes the internalization of your struggles and will help you to prevent overwhelm within your mind.
Experiencing difficulties is usually not something that we seek out or enjoy but I do encourage you to remember. As you experience your next transition, you’ll remember and know that you’ll survive. Think back. Did you grow stronger and wiser? Are you more kind, compassionate and giving? Don’t forget to share this with others as they are experiencing overwhelming stress during periods of transition.
If you have been attempting to march forward through life by the power of your own strength, separated from the One that created you, knows everything about you and yet still loves you with an everlasting love, I would like to tell you just a little of my story. When I was seventeen, I faced a huge transition – my father’s first suicide attempt. At that time, I placed my trust in Christ’s payment for my sins and He became Lord of my life. I cannot imagine experiencing life’s difficulties without my Lord at the helm. He doesn’t remove the challenges but He supports me while I walk through them and He uses them to mature me. He is the Living Water that sustains me during the droughts of my life. If you don’t know Him, I encourage you meet Him. He never expects you to get cleaned up enough to meet Him. He says come as you are. Meet the One that made you, gives you breath, died for you, resurrected Himself and intercedes for you – Jesus Christ. Meet Him, trust Him and watch Him bring a beautiful metamorphosis out of the challenge of change.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11