Transition. Change. We all experience it. Whether we planned it or were surprised by it, wanted it or didn’t want it. It happens to us or with us whether we agree or not! So how do you navigate it well? Here’s five keys to doing healthy transition by guest blogger Tim Weber.
I experienced a transition recently where I unexpectedly had to move country. I was living in the USA and a great job had opened up for me, which I felt was God’s provision towards obtaining a permanent resident visa. One year, two different visa attempts by my sponsor, and a whole bunch of ‘it’s all going to work out’ prophetic words later, and I was on a plane heading back to my home town in Australia. This was not the outcome I desired, and I did not have plan B!
Fast-forward six months and here are 5 keys God gave me for walking out healthy transition:
1. Do the practical things
It may sound simple, but keep doing the things you always do.
Stay active, eat well, do the fun things. Remember to stay connected with your people and enjoy the new people that you might be with now.
Have people you can share your feelings with and don’t be scared to let people know if you need help. Do things that scare and challenge you and spend lots of time in worship and thanksgiving.
By doing the practical things consistently, the challenges you’re facing will often begin to disintegrate.
2. What did God say or do the last time you were in a transition point?
While talking to God about my situation, He revealed a simple pattern in my life, beginning when I was a kid. Each time there was an unwanted change coming up, I did it kicking and screaming, but afterwards, I was always much happier in the new place and couldn’t imagine ever going back to where I was before. It was at this point that I was filled with assurance that even though I didn’t have ‘the next thing’ figured out, this too would end up being no different to all the other times.
Remembering and dwelling on God’s faithfulness is enormous.
Each time the Israelites found their nation in trouble, the root cause was often that they had forgotten what God had done for them in the past, and had stopped listening to what He had said. Psalm 106:13 “They soon forgot His works… “, and v 21, “They forgot their Savior, who had done great things in Egypt”. You can read the rest of the chapter to see how that worked out for them. God’s faithfulness is unchanging.
3. Let go of the old, embrace the new
After a year in Texas, I was more and more enjoying the life that I was establishing.
I had a CrossFit family (any CrossFit person knows what I’m talkin’ about!), was a drummer on the worship team of a large, 9000 person mega-church (growing up in a church of 50 people, this was a big thing), loved my job and the company I was part of. All these things took time to develop, and now I wasn’t going to be able to be part of them anymore.
While I would still be fighting for ways to stay where I was, God was saying, “Come on, let’s go, we’re done here, there’s more I want to show you,” and was patiently waiting for me to listen.
Paul says in Philippians 3:13, in the context of pursuing what God has for him, “…but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind me, and reaching forward to those things which are ahead.”
God always has more He wants to lavish on your life. It can be hard to let go of things, especially when they have taken time and sacrifice to build, but the quicker you turn your head around to the front, the sooner you open the door for things like hope, expectation and joy to come in, and begin to lay hold of that which is awaiting you up ahead. Looking back, there’s never been a season after transition that hasn’t added to me, or turned out to be a step forward.
4. Know that God is for you
Romans 8:31 (AMP), “If God is for us, who (or what) can be [successful] against us?”, and v 28, “…we know that all things work together for good to those who love God…”
Do these scriptures ever change? Are they only applicable sometimes?
It can be easy to forget when you don’t get what you want, but the truth is this: v 32, “He who did not even spare His own son, but gave Him up for (insert your name here) – how will He not graciously give (you) all things?”
God’s viewpoint of ‘giving us all things’ is higher than our viewpoint. This can sometimes be seen a little further down the track in life, when we look back and see that not getting what we wanted was actually a good thing. When you embrace that position, it becomes difficult for disappointment to take root.
5. There are no unwanted transitions
Each time life circumstances changed, I would often spend more time with God. This was great, but I wouldn’t always come out with what I personally wanted to see happen.
Most of the time I would pray for the things I wanted, and then tell myself how much glory God was going to get once I got what I wanted, and what a great testimony it was going to be. Instead though, what I did receive was new depths of intimacy with Jesus. This is the real gold.
Paul says in Philippians 3:8 (AMP), “Furthermore, I count everything as loss compared to the priceless privilege, the overwhelming preciousness, the surpassing worth, and the supreme advantage of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord and progressively becoming more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him.”
When the outcome of any transition in life is knowing God more, you’ve won and there is no longer an unwanted transition.
Tim Weber interned for Andy Mason with Heaven in Business in 2014. After working for Keller Williams in Texas, Tim relocated back to his home town in Australia where he is working as a Business Development Manager for New Life Restorations. He is a lover of Jesus & people, worshipper, son, brother, friend, surfer, drummer, and green vegetable juicer.