Navigating Transitions in Life
Over the years, I've watched as friends transitioned between jobs and opportunities. I myself have experienced my fair share of transition and with it can come a sense of loss.
It can be deeply unsettling when you move on from a job or opportunity that you have invested your heart and soul into. Transition is inevitable. Nowadays, the younger generation is experiencing vocational transition at a much quicker rate than past generations, and with it, they know this sense of loss well.
In seasons of transition, remind yourself of these four truths. They can bring stability and hope:
1. DON'T CRY BECAUSE IT'S OVER, SMILE BECAUSE IT HAPPENED
This is a great mantra. We cannot control everything in our lives. We cannot guarantee which opportunities will stay or go.
But we can celebrate the opportunities and successes that have come our way. We can thank God for His gracious provision, even after we've moved on from a job or opportunity.
Life is so much about perspective, and having a healthy perspective will help us in countless ways. God wants to give us a perspective of gratitude, no matter what transitions come our way.
2. YOUR IDENTITY IS NEVER WHAT YOU DO, YOUR IDENTITY IS A CHILD OF GOD
As a Christian, your life is now defined by what Christ has done for you. He has adopted you into the family of God (Ephesians 1:5). You are loved, valued and given a great purpose in the kingdom of God. (1 John 3:1)
No matter the jobs, roles, opportunities or titles you have in life, those are simply a side-note to a much greater title God has given you: a child of God.
No opportunity in this life can come close to what God has already given you when you received the gospel.
So you can walk every day in an unshakeable identity and purpose as His child. Transition may discourage you for a moment, but it cannot keep you down for long, because God has a greater purpose on your life.
3. GOD IS WORKING OUT HIS GOOD PURPOSES FOR YOU
It's important to remember that God is just as invested in helping us fulfill his purposes for our lives, as we are.
The Bible tells us that God cares about the details of our lives (Psalm 37:23) and He is preparing us for the good works He has prepared in advance for us to do (Ephesians 2:10).
You can rest at night, and sleep in peace even in the middle of a transition (Psalm 127:2) because God is looking out for you, and will help and strengthen you when your heart is His.
4. THE BEST IS YET TO COME
As a Christian, we can always say, "The best is yet to come."
Adoniram Judson, a missionary to Burma for 40 years, once said, "The future is as bright as the promises of God."
This isn't to say life will always be easy. In fact, the Christian message is that this life will sometimes be difficult and painful. But Christ offers us comfort in this life, and an eternal hope that goes way beyond the pain of this life.
So the future is as bright as the promises of God, and the promises we have in the gospel are the brightest of all.
I do believe that God works to provide for our needs in this life, and he works to use us for great kingdom purposes if we are willing.
This doesn't necessarily mean we will have greater and greater income or opportunity, but it does mean he cares for us deeply as our heavenly Father and works to meet our needs, though not necessarily all our "wants."
But more importantly, God wants to give us something far greater than money or opportunity—an internal well being and heart-peace no matter our circumstances in this life.
When I look at the life of Paul, he faced incredible amounts of persecution for his faith, as he lived out his calling from God and spread the gospel. God did provide for him in many ways in his ministry, but ultimately, his hope, joy and peace in God's promises was steadfast beyond the circumstances of his life. A pastor once said, "The good news of the gospel is that, no matter your circumstances in life, you get Jesus." Paul exhibited this understanding—many of his most hopeful letters were written from a prison cell or while under house arrest. Paul saw a hope, joy and peace that was tangible in Jesus, despite the hardships and adversity he continually faced. God wants to give us this same hope, joy and peace no matter our circumstances.
God gives us a bright hope in the gospel, no matter our transitions in life. He will take care of us. If he was willing to give His Son for us, how much more will he take care of our needs in times of transition (Romans 8:32).