How to Handle Difficult Transitions
Major transitions can be daunting for several reasons. You experience feelings of uncertainty. You wonder what’s going to happen next and how you are going to get there. What will the circumstances be like? Are there enough resources? How will it feel? What will other people think about me? There are so many unanswered questions. Sometimes, we’ve been in situations so long that it feels like it’s apart of who we are.
Years ago, when working for a temporary agency, I witnessed hundreds of people get laid off. Many of the employees loved their job, and a few were getting ready to retire. When they heard the news, they were devastated. There was a pain about why it happened. And there were concerns about how they were going to provide for themselves and their families. They felt connected to the company and to what they believed was job security. How does one cope with such a loss? How do you move on when everything that you knew is taken away from you? Maybe you are relocating, beginning or ending a relationship, changing careers, or experiencing losses. No matter what the change is, if you are accustomed to certain people or a way of life, it can be hard to adjust. But don't lose hope there are many ways to make your transition less painful. Let’s explore some solutions that are proven to help.
Pray About It
Philippians 4:6 says "do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God." Instead of worrying about the coulda, wouldas, and the shoulda's talk to God about it. During difficult transitions, we can get sidetracked with issues that we have no power over. Some things will never change until you pray about them. The circumstance is bigger than you can handle.
Remember the Truth
Deuteronomy 31:6 says "Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” During the transition, you might feel lonely or abandoned. Know that you are never alone. God is always with you and he is working on your behalf
If you have been a believer for a while, you probably know that God is faithful. Yet you struggle to believe because of the onslaught of negative thoughts and feelings you are experiencing. Remember to hide scriptures in your heart, so you can hold onto the truth, in spite of the situation. Memorize the scriptures. This will help you to stay strong, keep hope alive, and gain direction for your life. Take a Step Back Allow yourself to regroup. Sometimes, we are quick to react and we don’t take time for ourselves. Don’t be a robot and just go through the motions. This is not a time to take on new ventures or responsibilities. Handle your current responsibilities, and try to be as efficient as possible. But also set clear boundaries. Know when to say “not at this time” or even “not at all.” The people who are for you will respect your boundaries.
Take time to heal or think things through. Everyone won’t understand. And that’s okay. But everyone in your circle should respect your time and space. As mentioned earlier, you will have to say “no” sometimes. Let people know that you are taking some time off. If you can’t call, then notify them in writing.
Keep Your Eyes on the Prize God did not create you by happenstance. He is intentional about his plans for your life. Jeremiah 29:11 says, For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. He has specific plans for you. If you are not careful, you can easily lose sight of your ultimate purpose.
Your current situation is temporary. You are a valuable asset to the world. If you give up, other people will miss a blessing. Habakkuk 2:2 reminds us to write the vision down and make it plain. Have you written your divine vision down? When you write a clear vision down, you can see beyond your struggles. Get a Release It’s not good to hold all your thoughts and feelings in. You need an outlet. If you don’t have an outlet, you are going to blow up one day. And you might say or do something you regret.
Journal as much as possible. Confide in a mature person who you can trust. Anytime you feel overwhelmed, it's time for a release. There are many positive ways to let your feelings out. You can do it artistically or even physically with exercise. Don’t allow negativity to fester. In a nutshell, you will go through difficult changes. Don’t forget who you are or where you are going. No matter what is going on, God is there. Stay connected to him in the process. Don’t allow your emotions to have the final say.
Reposition yourself and tap into all available resources. Everything you go through can either bless you or stress you. Choosing to feel blessed doesn’t mean you won’t experience stress sometimes. It means that you will not allow stress to keep you down. You will trust God even when it doesn’t make sense. When it’s time to step out ,do it, afraid or not.
You are not your job. You are not your relationships. You are not your past. You are not your mistakes. You are a child of God. Use the tools and challenge yourself to think differently about God, yourself, and your situation. Your future will be bright!