Closing a chapter, turning the page and making a fresh start. The concept of change sounds attractive, but the reality of transition isn’t always easy. Not knowing what stories will fill the pages ahead brings a level of uncertainty that most of us would rather avoid.
Are you graduating, moving to a new city or starting a new job? Your environment is shedding its skin, and you’re trying to find yourself back in the midst of it.
Or perhaps your transition is even closer to home, and it’s your relationships that are shifting. Maybe you just became a parent for the first time, or maybe your child is about to go off to college. Or maybe your new chapter is starting because one of the main characters in your life story was removed, either through a break-up, a move or a loss.
Whatever the situation you’re experiencing, your heart is longing for some comfort and encouragement.
Today, your heart needs to experience His steady, strong arms to be wrapped around it. Today, you are invited to a quiet whisper from Heaven that assures you: “it’s all going to be okay.”
Life without guarantees
Transition can be very scary. You don’t know what the next chapter will be, and you’re becoming increasingly aware of how little control you actually have. Even though the blank pages carry a promise of beauty, their emptiness is also a stark reminder that life comes without guarantees.
Stepping into the unknown brings up questions. What if the last chapter was the best one of my story? What if it goes downhill from here? Will I regret the step I took or the change I made? What do I do with this gaping hole in my heart that is missing the person, job, city or class I just said goodbye to?
God's safe embrace
These are real questions, tied to a real risk. God doesn’t reject your questions. He’s not afraid of your fear. He’s not disappointed in you because you are scared.
If a child would come to you in the middle of the night because she’s scared of the dark, would your first response be to lecture her about why she shouldn’t be afraid? Or would you hold her and tell her that she’s safe because you’ll take care of her? Wouldn’t you comfort her until her heart stops racing and her tears are dried?
God as the Perfect Father does the same for you. Yes, He will show you that you don’t have to partner with fear of the unknown. But first and foremost, He will be the safe embrace you need to catch your breath.
The risks are real. Change is risky. It’s okay to admit to yourself, and to express to Him, that you feel out of control and that you are not sure about what’s ahead. He much rather would have an honest conversation with you about your fears, and help you through it.
Now, more than ever, you need the Father telling you of how incredibly brave He has made you to be.
Reinventing your normal
Transition also means that your normal routines are falling away for a while. Everything is being shaken and stirred. No longer can you fall back on an autopilot that is helping you cruise through your days. Your routine and habits need to be reinvented.
This makes a season of transition the perfect time to reflect and adjust. Ask the Holy Spirit what habits and routines He wants you to develop in your next season. What worked before doesn't always work for what's ahead.
Now transition has taken everything out of its place, you have space to move things around and put them back into a place of renewed purpose.
Confronting your fears
Transition can also bring up fears and insecurities that were lingering underneath the surface, but were avoided in a daily life that could tiptoe around it. When this normal path is no longer available because life has changed, any of these fears can come rushing to the surface.
It’s easy to trust God when there’s a steady paycheck coming in. When your job is changing or falling away, any doubt about God’s ability to provide will reveal itself quickly.
It’s easy to have a sense of direction when your day-to-day is filled with a class schedule. When you graduate, questions about your purpose and calling are quick to knock on your door. It’s easy to feel insignificant or worried about your destiny when these questions aren’t answered yet.
It's easy to have a sense of belonging when you've been at the same place for years. When you move and have to start over, insecurities about who you are and what you mean to others rise up without any warning. The fear of feeling lonely can be paralyzing, and fears about how others will receive you can make you overthink every word and action. It's really scary to put yourself out there in the attempt to make a new connection.
The vulnerability of learning
It’s possible to avoid facing your fears when your lifestyle doesn’t require risks in these areas. However, when your normal life gets stirred, it usually presents a lot of situations that require courage.
A new chapter comes with a learning curve, and learning is vulnerable. Even if you do already have the skills or experience, just being a new environment can make you feel out of place already. You have to rediscover yourself in a new context of people you don’t know, places you’re unfamiliar with and habits you haven’t adapted to yet. Things that used to be autopilot, now require a conscious choice to show up, keep going and be brave.
When risks confronts your fears, you are presented with an opportunity to be brave unlike ever before. In the midst of transition, you have a chance to choose Him and believe that He'll come through for you in a way you don't have to in other seasons. He provides you with a courage that you didn’t know you had. This makes a transitional season a privilege to steward and a breeding ground for testimonies you can feast on for many seasons to come.
Any breakthrough is eternal. Once you’ve taken this risk once, the story of how you conquered this fear will forever remain a source of strength for the future. It’s the testimonies that happen in the midst of transition that usually propel you forward in the next season.
When issues or triggers inside you come to the surface because of the changes around you, they become accessible to the Healer. Even though it feels more comfortable to have them hidden beneath your autopilot, healing only happens in His hands. You can use this time of transition to let Him take you to the next level of freedom and wholeness.
This breakthrough will last - and that alone makes it worth it. How free will you be when you no longer have to dance around these fears or triggers? Can you imagine how much more alive you'll be in your next season because of what broke off of you during the transition?
Taking care of yourself
All of these processes that transition causes take time and energy, probably more than you realize. If you’re currently in a season of transition, it’s important to give yourself grace and take good care of your heart and body. Don’t get frustrated when things take longer than they used to, or when you get tired a little quicker. Allow yourself to be human. God doesn’t despise your humanity, and neither should you. You can recharge in His presence, He will provide the strength, courage and energy that you need for each day.
Hope for your season
Transition can be scary, and it sometimes feels exhausting. But transition can also be a very exciting time that revives your heart like never before. You are believing God to write your next chapter and fill the pages with surprises of His goodness. Could you extend that same hope to your transitional season as well?
What if a season of transition isn’t something that you have to power-through in order to get to the next stage? What if it’s a unique season where God reveals Himself in a way that’s only accessible in times of transition?
What if there’s a grace and a revelation already prepared for you to allow you to make these changes as easy as possible? You are believing God for the beauty in the next chapter, but do you dare to believe that He can be found in the in-between as well?
The Steadfast One
In the midst of uncertainty, there’s an invitation to fall back into the strong arms of the Father. When everything else is being shaken and stirred, He proves Himself to be the Steadfast One. When nothing looks the same, He brings His face a little closer, and allows you to stare a little deeper into His eyes.
He is preparing you for what’s next. Even if you don’t know what’s coming, He does. If you can’t see the full path ahead of you, just grab the hands of the One who’s guiding you step by step. He is your Guide through each season - and He’s quite good at His job.
Dreams and excitement
When you are aware of how capable He is, transition becomes exciting. Not knowing what’s coming becomes an opportunity to be surprised by His goodness. Not knowing what to do becomes a chance to become worry-free like a child. Fears or internal issues that come to the surface become an invitation to receive the Healer, to let Him take you to the next level of freedom and wholeness.
Unfamiliar situations will cause you to discover new sides of yourself.
Unknowns will reveal new sides of Him.
Uncertainty will inspire you to dream.
What is possible when nothing is set in stone yet? What part of yourself will you give more space in the next season? What aspect of God’s character will you explore more? It’s the boundlessness of the in-between that helps you think outside the box, and births ideas that you were never able to access if you were still on autopilot.
So whether you are about to graduate, you just lost your job, you’re about to move or you just broke off a relationship - find Him in the midst of your transition. He is preparing you and He is guiding you. Let Him lead you into the next, beautiful chapter of your life. You’ll be surprised by how good He truly is.
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Written by Eline Millenaar