There is no escaping transitions.
In fact, I would guess you are in a transition right now because your life is a continuing story of change. You are always leaving a chapter behind and moving on to the next.
A transition is defined as the process or a period of changing from one state or condition to another.
You are here ———————transition———————-you end up here.
That’s what transition is – that uncomfortable place in the land that lies between where I was before and where I’m going to.Craig Cooney
Some transitions you get to choose, but other times it is forced on you.
It’s Normal to Feel Lost
2015 was one of those years that transition was forced on me and I was lost.
January – This was the year I was turning 60 and as I was praying about my One Word and One Verse for the year. I felt like God was framing my year around the story of Caleb in the Old Testament. One Word – Strong. One Verse – Today I am eighty-five years old. I am as strong now as I was when Moses sent me on that journey, and I can still travel and fight as well as I could then. So, give me the hill country that the Lord promised me. I will drive the enemies out of the land. Joshua 14:10-15
March – I turned 60! Moving into a new decade of life always brings a jumble of emotions.
- 20’s Yahoo! I’m not a teen anymore.
- 30’s Finally people will recognize I’m an adult.
- 40’s This is good, people will realize I have wisdom.
- 50’s Oh dear, I hate that phrase over the hill.
- 60’s I used to think my mom was OLD at this age. So not true!
April – I fell in a parking lot and did something to my knee, which remained undiagnosed for 6 months as I only wore shoes with great support. (Clodhoppers to a wedding – are you kidding me!)
June – Mom passed away.
October – Dad passed away.
December – Unexpected and unwanted ministry job change.
I forgot all about that word strong. There was no taking the hill country.
I was lost and struggling my way through grief.
Transitions Create Sudden and Significant Changes.
You are traversing through a great canyon of the unknown and it is uncomfortable and exhausting.
Think back over your life and pinpoint the most difficult transitions you have maneuvered through. Here are a few examples:
- Moving place of residence
- Career change
- Empty Nest
Did you find this quote by Mark Batterson to be true? God wants you to get where God wants you to go more than you want to get where God wants you to go.
We have the Lord on our side and his design for life includes seasons.
We find from the very beginning of time that God works in seasons.
Then God said, let lights appear in the sky to separate the day from the night. Let them be signs to mark the seasons, days, and years.Genesis 1:14 NLT
I love the different seasons that God created. They each have a different feel and give life a natural sense of rhythm.
Besides the physical seasons God also created us to experience life in different seasons.
For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.Ecclesiastes 3:1 NLT
We have the obvious seasons that move us from birth to old age, but there are also seasons within those seasons.
What season are you in right now?
If you can identify it, put words to it, you will be able to process it more easily and align your actions and thoughts with what God is doing.
Hope in Each Season
Here are 4 ways to embrace a transition by using the seasons in a calendar year:
- Spring Brings New Life.
I am looking forward to spending time on the farm again tending to the organic garlic my sisters and I planted last October. The shoots will soon be popping up through the straw we laid down to protect it.
In Minnesota we will soon see new life everywhere: buds on the trees, green grass, birds chirping, first sign of a robin, and the ducks return to the pond.
Isaiah 43 teaches us to embrace the new season and look for the new life.
Stop dwelling on the past. Don’t even remember these former things. I am doing something brand new, something unheard of. Even now it sprouts and grows and matures. Don’t you perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and open up flowing streams in the desert.Isaiah 43:18-21 TPT
There is new life coming. LOOK FOR IT!
You will see flowing streams in the desert, rivers in the wilderness, and a way where there seems to be no way!
- Summer Brings the Kiss of Heaven
God took me by surprise one Sunday afternoon 3 years ago. I was at church leading the ministries I was in charge of. I had 250+ volunteers under my leadership at that time and even though I loved every minute of working with teams, it was exhausting.
This particular Sunday I sensed something happening in my spirit and my body. As the morning advanced, I felt lighter and lighter and filled with joy. On my drive home I realized how energized I was, so I asked the Lord – what just happened to me today?
I heard him whisper – I leaned over and kissed your head. Do the things you love in your 60’s!
Leaving that ministry job was a transition of my choice and easy to make. I had sensed a total release from God and I was moving in obedience. Maybe you are in one of those types of transitions also.
- You are moving from full-time work in the career world and looking forward to “retirement”. I don’t like to use the retirement and I believe my generation will redefine that term. Being retread is a better description I think: a person retrained for new work or recalled for service. But who are you without them and what do you do now? It’s a happy time – but an complex transition.
Paul tells us in Philippians 3:13 “I forget all of the past as I fasten my heart to the future instead.”
This is the season to let go of past accomplishments (and failures) and fasten your heart for the future. Receive the kiss of heaven.
God is calling you to do what you love. You are being retreaded for new ministry and adventure.
- Fall Brings a Bigger Perspective
You planted tiny seeds and seedlings in the spring and now you are harvesting an abundance.
Fall gives you a bigger perspective.
No matter how or why you are in this transition –
- Whether the enemy of your soul caused it
- Or a death occurred
- Or school ended
- The kids grew up
- Or you are moving out in obedience to God
God will bring good and increase.
Joseph declares to his brothers who sold him into slavery – You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people.Genesis 50:20 NLT
Remember that God’s intent for you is good.
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 NLT
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. Romans 8:28 NLT
Look for the bigger perspective. Look for greater influence.
It’s the fall season – There is an abundant harvest coming. There is a bigger perspective on the horizon.
- Winter is a Time for Resolve
Resolve means to clarify, redefine, settle, sort out.
Good questions to ask during this season of resolve:
- Who is God is my transition? What is he doing?
- Who am I? Another necessary question is Who am I without. . . . Who am I without this ministry? Who am I without this person? Who am I without this job? Who am I without my children at home?
- God, what do I do next? What is my next step?
Seasons are just that – Seasons!
Don’t hug your past seasons – release and move on.
What are you holding on to that is preventing you from moving into the next season?
In Ecclesiastes 3:11, after he goes through 28 different seasons, the writer says this about God: “He has made everything beautiful in its time.”
That’s you friend! God will make this new season in our life beautiful.
- In every season God is present and God is faithful.
- Seasons change, but God doesn’t change.
- In every single season of your life – God is at work, creating something beautiful.