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Transition is not easy. No, it’s not, but it is necessary.
Even if it’s something you desired and prayed for, transition means change and change forces us
out of our comfort zone.
Through each transition there are lessons that are learned and growth that takes place IF we seek those lessons with intentionality and realize God has a purpose for it all. It’s easy to look at all these events and experience them as isolated incidents. But you know that saying, “hindsight is 2020?” I think that phrase needs to be in the forefront of our minds. The reality is, we don’t know what God is doing in our lives but whatever it is, it will be good. But sometimes it just takes time to see the whole picture and sometimes we will never know the full scope of what He is doing. We need to be ok with that as well. He has a whole panoramic view of the world and time. He knows the beginning and the end and everything in between. Some things we’re going to understand and there are many, many, many, things that we will never understand until we go home to be with Jesus.
Thank God, He uses all things, events, hurt and pains to prepare us for transformation. All these events and incidents are actually part of our transition because each teaches us lessons that we need to move forward or graduate to the next season. So every hurt, every disappointment, every regret; there is a lesson in all of it. Each will make us more like Christ and THAT is the transformation we all seek.
Some of you might think, Jessica, you don’t understand what’s happened to me these last couple years. Everything that could go wrong has gone wrong. Well maybe you got fired and you blamed God for letting this happen to you BUT in the middle of it, you learned about God‘s provision. Maybe, you're grieving a death or an end of a relationship, but you learned the comforting power of the Holy Spirit.
These last couple of years we have experienced much change. We have had pets die, a parent who went home to be with Jesus, children who have left the nest, moving to a new home in a new state, career changes AND in the midst of all of that life continues and we still need to eat, pay bills, and go to work. We still need to tend to our relationships and raise our families. We still need to be good stewards of the resources and gifts God has given us. And yes, it is a huge task and that’s why we can’t do life alone. That’s why we go through this life with the Lord because there is no way we could do that on our own.
But this last transition has been particularly difficult, exciting, and exhausting all at the same time. I accepted a new job 3 years ago in a different industry and it was HARD. The work was different, the people were different, and the environment and culture were challenging. If there was ever a moment that I felt completely out of place it was during that time. It made me reevaluate my decisions and question whether this was a God opportunity or not. The pay increase was significant and I started questioning my intentions for taking the position. Six months after I took the position, my father passed away suddenly and that significant salary increase was exactly what we needed to pay our bills and pay my mother’s expenses while we sorted out her new financial situation. I couldn’t understand why I was there but God knew. He made provision even before I could see with my human eyes. It was still hard but I thanked God for the provision even though it was clear I probably would not be staying at this job very long.
Some days I would leave to have lunch and I felt like never going back LOL Don't act like I'm the only one who has felt this way! That job made me question my level of faith in seeking out the true desire of my heart to transition to full-time ministry. It gave me time to think and really evaluate what I was willing to change to move forward in my calling. God was preparing my heart and my mind for a transition. I couldn’t be that unhappy anymore and He was making me realize that being in His will is the ONLY thing that would bring TRUE fulfillment.
I never cried so many tears during this time. I often wondered if I would run out of tears. But no, there were always more😭
In the midst of this difficult time while mourning the loss of my dad, feeling financial pressure, and feeling so incompatible with my current career situation, God was preparing my heart to BE READY and be bold. My faith was increasing and courage was stirring up in my soul. He was giving me a vision for my life but my heart and mind had to be prepared to receive it and then live it out!
Many of us don’t change because even though we have the vision, we are not prepared emotionally, mentally, or physically to live out the calling on our lives.
I remember coming back to preach for the first service back from COVID-19 quarantine. I preached my heart out for the first service. I had torn my meniscus a couple of months before that service. To say I was exhausted and in pain after preaching the two services is an understatement. What I remember the most was the Holy Spirit imprinting on my heart the need to make my physical health a priority because I can have the will and enthusiasm to preach the way I feel it BUT if I can’t physically keep up…..then how can I do what God is asking me to do if I'm unwilling to address what God is working in my hear about?
The same applies to any change or transition. So how do you prepare for a transition?
To prepare for a transition to you have to:
Understand there is LESSON in every situation. We often use the phrase “If it’s not one thing, it’s another” meaning something is always going wrong. We tend to believe these are all isolated incidents, but they are not. God uses these incidents to teach us lessons that need to be learned, so we can be prepared for our next season. The purpose of the transition process is to learn. Some of us go through the same type of situations over and over again. Like, being in relationships with people with the same toxic characteristics and behaviors. Or allowing people to take advantage of us. At some point we have to look at our own behaviors and beliefs so that the outcomes can be different.
LISTEN for what the Holy Spirit is saying. We can’t hear what God is saying because we are too busy talking. We complain to everyone around us and/or we obsessively ask and cry to God instead of listening and being still in His presence. He wants us to cry and bring our burdens to Him but there is a time that we need to be still, listen, and trust His prompting and direction.
SEE what the Holy Spirit is doing. Understand that just because we don’t see anything happening and changing, doesn’t mean God is not working. Everyone LOVES the song “Waymaker.” But I wonder how many of really understand the lyrics when they say:
“Even when I don't see it, You're working
Even when I can't feel it, You're working"
God doesn’t have to prove He has everything under control. It is our job to trust Him and have faith in His faithfulness and love for us. We don’t have to understand what He is doing. We just have to trust Him.
If you can look for the lesson in every circumstance and listen for the Holy Spirit’s guidance, AND use our spiritual eyes to see what the Holy Spirit is doing, then your focus will be on all the AMAZING things He IS doing and faith in Him becomes second nature.
Take some time to reflect and journal about the questions below. Look up the verses and let God speak to you!
SHARE what God is doing in your life in the comments. If you LOVE this post, SHARE with your friends on social media!
GROWTH THROUGH SELF-REFLECTION
What are your initial thoughts when things don't go your way?
Have there been situations in your life that you can look at now and think that was part of your transition?
Do you waste time trying to understand why God does what He does? If so, why? Will the answer truly bring you peace?
Do you have a dream that you know you need to be prepared for?
How could God be preparing you for it now?
What events have taught you lessons that will prepare you for that dream?
Joshua 1: 9
Deuteronomy 31: 8
Proverbs 3: 5-6
Psalm 119: 105
Psalm 32: 8
Jeremiah 29: 11
2 Peter 3: 9