My life suddenly changed this time last year. Well, I guess not suddenly, I expected the change but I had no idea what it would entail. I was graduating from college. While I heard many “congratulations” and “wow, this must be so exciting,” I felt a pit in my stomach because truthfully, I didn’t know what would be happening next. I now know that I was entering a season of transition that would be tough to navigate but would also help me to grow tremendously.
It was challenging because while many of my peers had jobs lined up or new where they were going for grad school, I literally had no idea what I’d be doing. It was hard for me. I always wanted to know the next step, and here I was, walking an unpaved path, with no direction for where to go next. I’ll be honest with you, it felt like a dark wilderness.
We typically struggle when we can’t see the way forward.
As humans, we crave certainty. We want a simple path. That’s understandable. But, usually the paths that look darkest and scariest are the most rewarding. When we walk through those kinds of seasons, we have to trust God for the outcome, and trusting him always leads us to beautiful places.
Let me ask you, have you ever walked through a season of transition? Are you walking through one now? Perhaps you stood on something so permanent, so safe, so secure and then the next thing you know, it felt like someone plucked you right out of it and dropped you in a wilderness. You’re searching for hope in the distance but you can’t seem to find it. If that’s you, then keep reading.
I want to bring a woman named Ruth to your attention. Suddenly, her perfect life in Moab gave way to a tough season of transition when all the men in her immediate family passed away. Ruth, her mother in law, Naomi, and her sister in law, Orpah, were left alone with little money and food. Naomi told the girls to return to their families as it would provide them some security, and then she packed her things and headed home. Instead of going home, Ruth decided to follow Naomi into the unknown.
Ruth essentially left a season of security and safety, and entered into one filled with uncertainty and danger. But, the transition was simply a pathway leading her somewhere more beautiful than before. God wants this for you too.
But, I know. It doesn’t make it any less hard to walk through. Transitional seasons tend to…
- Be extremely uncomfortable as they push you out of the security you once had and leave you in unknown territory.
- Challenge your faith because it can be tough to believe God when you can’t see a way out of the wilderness.
- Cause fear and anxiety. It’s natural to feel afraid when you can’t see what’s ahead of you.
- Make you question your identity. Since so much is changing, sometimes you can look in the mirror and not even recognize yourself.
Despite the struggle, we need to go through transition in our lives. Why? Well, they…
- Lead you to beautiful destinations.
- Strengthen your faith as you learn to trust God in the uncertainty.
- Teach you to be still and listen carefully to God’s voice.
- Propel you into your purpose.
Remember when I said Ruth’s transitional season led her to a beautiful destination? It’s true. She regained everything she lost and more when she married a man named Boaz. She even ended up being a direct ancestor of King David, Solomon, and even Jesus. Her legacy went down in history and that’s why we know about her today.
Because God took her through transition and led her to a beautiful place on the other side.
I’ll be honest, I’m still walking through a season of transition. I don’t have security about my next step. But, things are a lot different now than it was last year. Now, I don’t mind the transition as much. I’m trusting God to guide me and like Ruth, I know he’ll lead me somewhere beautiful.
But if you’re still struggling with what to do in a transitional season, I’ll leave you with this.
- Allow God to guide your every step and be sure to pray before you make any big moves.
- Learn from the discomfort. There’s something beautiful about leaning into struggle and allowing it to teach you.
- Be open to mentors and mature friends speaking into your life.
- Do what you can with the resources in front of you. Sometimes, transition can lead to a lack of resources. But, if you use what you have, you never know how things will turn out for you.
- Be open-minded, try new things, and give yourself permission to take God-inspired risks.
A few don’ts..
- Don’t set up camp in the transition. Remember you’re going through it, you’re not meant to stay there
- Don’t turn back into your comfort zone. God wants you to go forward.
- Don’t neglect the community of friends and family God placed in your life.
- Don’t be afraid to talk to someone when things get hard.
- Don’t run into something new prematurely.
God is with you. Hold on to that truth. Even though things are tough right now, he promised you this:
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. Deuteronomy 31:6