How do I deal with transitions?
This is such a great question because we all deal with transitions, whether it be a new job, children leaving the home, or a new ministry assignment. The main answer revolves around attitude. Most transitions bring about a loss of comfort or the familiar, while the excitement of something new triggers energy and renewal of heart. However, the opposite is also very possible, moving from something that you do not want to leave into the next step which brings fear and trembling. Whether your transition brings about one or the other or possibly even both, rest assured, God has you. No changes we are required to make ever come as a surprise to the Lord.
Since transitions are a way of life, we might as well get used to them. If we take a look at biblical people and how they dealt with them, we can obtain a few lessons of what to do and what not to do. We can learn from the Israelites not to grumble and complain in the wilderness. An eleven day journey took them forty years. They wanted to leave the bondage of Egypt and go to the Promised Land, yet the unknown and the need to trust God prompted fear of the future. They responded in a negative fashion. Ruth, in her transition from wife to widow, became courageous and faced her future with the determination to succeed. Paul, on a missionary journey was prevented from entering Asia, instead of giving up and heading home, he continued to press on. Eventually, a dream resulted which led to the Macedonian call. Peter and the other disciples returned to fishing after the death of Jesus. They were instructed to return to Jerusalem because they went backward to old ways of life.
The lessons teach us a few things. First, we must learn to trust the Lord wherever He is taking us (Prov 3: 5-6). The situation and change is no surprise to Him and He is already in the new location/time. Second, we must remain faced ahead. If we long to return to something that can never be, we will become very negative. Grief will overtake us if this occurs. Next, we need to continue to seek the Lord for further direction (Ps 46:10). Only the Spirit can reveal what lies ahead and keeping our eyes on Jesus helps eliminate fear and worry. Lastly, we must recognize that the Lord always leads us to better. At first, the situation may feel uncomfortable, even down right hard. However, if we persevere, God will turn it out for our good (Rom 8:28).
With all this being said, continue to pursue the presence of God. It is only through an intimate relationship with Him that joy and peace results.
I have found myself in so many stages of transition in the past 4 1/2 years that I don't even remember what my normal used to be. I need your prayers as Fred and I work through what our next transition will look like. We love our church that we have been so blessed to call family during this time.
We were thinking it might be time to head back to be closer to family sometime in the near future, but we want to do what God would have us to do. Not sure if He is finished with our work here yet. We are ready and willing for His direction. Just afraid we are trying to steer Him to what we want, instead of us following Him.