How to Thrive Through Transition

Life is full of transitions and changes.  The only thing in life that you can count on is that things will change.  Where I live we have four seasons, a time when nature transitions from one period to another.  I believe that God created the earth to move forward in cycles.  We have twenty-four hours in a day, then a new day begins.  We have seven days in a week, and then we begin a new week.  We have twelve months in a year and then a new year begins.  God designed life to be cyclic.

Transitions exist all around us.  In our personal lives, we go through transitions all the time.  We start a new job.  We begin a new relationship, or we go through the ending of a relationship.  We move, we take in new things, we start a new hobby.  The list of transitions is endless.

Some transitions are easy, and we don’t even give them much thought.  Other transitions are hard and can stop our forward progression.  Transitions that we choose to go through are easier to handle than transitions that are thrust upon us because of the choices of someone else.

How do we survive transitions that are hard and/or unwanted?  How do we thrive through transitions that we feel we cannot possibly do?  How do we trust God through transitions that He has caused?

I’ve been in, and am still going through, some major life transitions that have been going on now for several years.  Some of my own choosing.  Some because of the actions and choices of others.  I would like to say that I have handled these transitions well, full of faith and that I have come through on the other side with great joy and victory.  But, I have not.  Some days I am still struggling to get through the transitional tunnel to the other side.  Some days I wish I could go back and make different choices.  Some days I just want God to speak a word and instantly change everything.

But, we all know that life does not work like that.

Life is a journey full of ups and downs, ebbs and flows, laughter and crying, good times and bad.  Many times, we are the victims of other people’s bad choices and broken promises.  Many times, it is our own choices and decisions that have led us through hard times and chaotic moments.

I know many Christians that believe that if you are following Jesus and full of faith that nothing bad will ever happen to you.  But that is a lie that cannot be substantiated by the Bible, nor the teachings of Jesus himself.   He told his first disciples that “in this world, you will have trouble.”  (John 16:33)  It just is what it is.

However, no matter what trouble we find ourselves in, or what transition we may be going through, Jesus wants us to not just survive the changes but thrive through them.  We may hit rock bottom at times in our journeys, but we can always come out on top.  We do not have to allow the transitions in life to become the proverbial death of us nor allow it to stop us from receiving the inheritance that God has for us.

Many times, in life, as we transition from one place to another, we make a change (either physically, emotionally or mentally) but we don’t really transition.  A true transition requires that you accept the change and become responsible for what happens in you because of the transition.

Many times, our mind accepts the changes going on around us, but our hearts do not.  Mentally we continue with our lives, but our hearts remain in the old place, the place that we didn’t want to leave or with the people we didn’t want to lose.  We change locations, but we don’t really transition.  To really move forward with our lives and not become stuck, we must get our minds and our hearts to accept the same reality.

I look back on my own life through some of the transitions I have gone through and even now am going through. My mind has accepted the reality of the situation, but my heart is still in yesterday longing for what was lost.  My mind is in my current reality, but my heart is another reality, one that only exists in memory.  This state of being will always cause us to miss out on life as it’s happening today because we are continually stuck in yesterday.

We were never meant to live in yesterday.  That’s why there are cycles.  Each day is a new beginning.  Each week is a new beginning.  Each year is a new beginning.  God doesn’t want us to stuck in yesterday.  He wants us to live in the now because now is all we have.

What do we do about the pain and the hurt of the past?  That’s one I still wrestle with, but I am learning to release it to my Heavenly Father who is a redeemer and a restorer of broken things.  He has ways of restoring things.  He has ways of redeeming things.  He has ways of making beautiful things out of our messes.  But, it is a journey of trust where we must choose to trust Him when things don’t make sense and things seem out of control and beyond repair.

{Part 2 coming soon}

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: