My life suddenly changed around this time last year. Well, I guess not suddenly – I expected the change but I had no idea what it would entail or how I would handle it. I was graduating from college. While everyone congratulated me and offered words of encouragement, I felt a pit in my stomach. I had no idea what my life would actually be like after walking across that stage, receiving my diploma, and entering the real world.
Looking back, I now know that after graduation I would be entering into a season of transition that, while being tough to navigate, would also help me to grow tremendously.
I won’t lie to you, it was challenging. While many of my peers had stable jobs or plans for grad school lined up, I had no idea what I’d be doing. I’m a girl who loves to have a set plan to follow, and here I was walking an unpaved path with no direction as to where I’d be going next.
We typically struggle when we can’t see the way forward.
I craved certainty. I wanted to know that everything would work out and that I would be secure. But I didn’t. I applied for a ton of jobs in my field and got rejected from all of them. Eventually, I took a retail job working with Ann Taylor Loft but I knew that the pay wouldn’t be enough to cover all of my student loan bills. I thought about diving right in and going back to grad school but the thought of more loans made me nauseous.
After I left Ann Taylor Loft, I got a freelance position in my field as a Production Assistant at American Eagle. It wasn’t a great experience and eventually they ended my contract suddenly. Who knew that life after graduation could be so tumultuous? So uncertain?
But, the thing about transitional seasons is that, though they can be painful, they lead to beautiful destinations. They can also teach you so much about yourself and the world around you. If you’re currently navigating through one of these seasons, I want you to know, it’s not as bad as it seems. There is beauty in the transition. Keep reading and I’ll show you.
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 get it, 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.
God walked with her through a tough transition and led her to a beautiful place on the other side.
Things weren’t easy for Ruth and she suffered a lot before receiving her blessing from the Lord. One thing I love about God is that he’ll always work things together for our good. While Ruth’s situation wasn’t good, he used it to bring beauty into her life. He strengthened her and grew her into an unshakable woman as she trusted him to walk her through the hard transition.
Being completely honest with you, I’m still walking through a season of transition and I don’t know exactly when it will end. But I’ve seen God’s goodness in this more than anything else and I’m grateful because he has great plans for me. My season of transition is not my destination, it’s simply an avenue to the beautiful place God wants to take me. I’m learning from Ruth and trusting God to guide me.
If you’re struggling with how to handle this 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