Pains and Joys of Transition

After the past two newsletters, people contacted me about transitions in their lives.  Some of these voices have been blasts from the past and others have been folks with whom I am often in touch.  The contacts have been about transitions in life and they fall into one of two scenarios.  One type is from those who are intentionally seeking change and transition in life. The other type is from those who have had transition and change imposed from an external source.  Although both of these are transitions, they have vastly different impact upon the one going through the transition.

One person contacted me, wanting to explore various options for change in life.  She has hit that period of restlessness and discovered that what she thought was the plan she wanted, has begun to morph into a whole different direction.  She has been led to open her horizons to a whole new field of dreams and possibilities.  She has spent the last few years of her life looking in one direction and now has the strong sense that God is leading her in another direction.  She wants to explore the different options before her and seeks spiritual direction in finding the way.  God is in the midst of this change, that is a given; but sometimes it is hard to see God in the midst, without someone helping to ask the questions.

Another person contacted me and shared that a major transition had been imposed upon him. His employer informed him that his position was being eliminated.  He didn’t even see this one coming, and, now, must begin to explore what to do with his life.  He is in shock and trying to figure out what happened and understand where to go.  This is a transition filled with a great deal of emotion and pain. 

Here are some thoughts that apply to both types of transition and the impact transition has on the one going through it:

1      Transitions drain energy.  Whether the transition is from internal prodding or is externally imposed, the result on the human system is the same.  Transition takes energy and usually has a strong impact on the immune system.  When going through transition, it is vital to get good rest, good nutrition, and good exercise.  Self-care is of the utmost importance.

2      Exploring options necessitates finding a trusted companion, who is there to make sure that all of the questions are being asked.  This is not a person to give answers; rather, this is a person to ask the questions, so that the one in transition can better clarify the answers.

3      Transition involves discernment and discernment is sourced in praying and resting in the Word of God.  It is important to take times of quiet throughout the day.  These are times to pray the Word and then to listen to God.

4      Transitions cause loose ends of a variety of types.  It is important to stay grounded in a community that can offer prayer and support.  This is not a time to go it alone.

Transitions are a part of life.  In fact, for life to be abundant requires that transitions take place at various times along the way.  Embrace the transition, but, don’t embrace it alone.

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