Transition. It can be one of the most exciting of times, or it can be one of the most trying of times (sometimes both) in one’s life. As I contemplated on writing this blog, thinking of all the topics I could potentially write about, I figured I would write on what is currently close to my heart: transition.
Some of you may already know that I will be moving to a new state, leaving friends and loved ones behind, to start a new journey of life. While it is an exciting time, it is also a difficult time for me and my family. Between getting the house ready to sell, searching for our new home, and doing the tedious (but necessary) task of decluttering and purging things we no longer need or use, as well as caring for three children 6 and under, and making sure all the regular tasks of the day are complete, life at home has been hectic, to say the least. Add to this the fact that I am working with clients to help them deal with their own struggles, some of which have increased due to the added stress of my own transition, and my husband also works full time and has needed to pick up extra hours due to this being their busy time of the year, life at work has also been a bit stressful.
Now, don’t get me wrong, we chose this; it has been something we have dreamed about together for years, and I’m not complaining. Just sharing that I understand how hard transition can be, and that sometimes the journey has some difficult hurdles along the way. But when you have a particular goal in mind, getting through those hurdles is something you can choose to do (hard as they may be), or choose to let them knock you down and keep you from your goals. And honestly, sometimes the hurdles do knock us down, but we don’t have to stay there.
This is why it’s so important to lean on the Lord in these times. Without Jesus’ strength, it is impossible to jump the hurdles alone. But as His Word tells us, we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us (Phil. 4:13). When Paul shared this letter with his brother and sisters in Christ, he spoke to them about the fears (anxiety) of their time. They were hard at work, spreading the Gospel, and there were many trials during this great transition period. Some suffered beatings, imprisonment, and many even martyrdom. Yet, in all of that, Paul encouraged them to stand strong in their faith and to, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus,” (Phil. 4:6).
Now, I realize that all of this sounds like it’s supposed to be easy, and I must have it all together, right? Ummm… Not so much. Honestly, it’s not easy. I’m human, and I struggle with putting my faith in Christ to take care of all the details just as so many others do. There have been many times during this transition where I have doubted whether me and my husband heard from the Lord correctly, or asked Him where He was in all of this, wondering if my family will thrive with this transition of life. There have been times where my 6 year old has cried about leaving friends and family, recognizing that we will only return for short visits a few times through the years; as a mom, my heart broke watching her in so much pain that could be easily remedied with us making the decision to stay. And there have been times that I have worked with clients to help them through this transition, knowing that their pain could end if we chose to stay as well. I’ve wondered how the Lord is going to “fix this.” I wish I could say I have the answer to that, but I don’t know what He will make of all of this transition; not just for me and my family, but for my friends, clients, and the lives of those we will meet in our future home.
I just know that He said it is time, and when I really think about that, I have a peace in my heart, despite everything else. Perhaps this is what Phil. 4:6 is talking about. Even with all the things that cause anxiety, when I focus on Him, praying, asking Him what to do, what He wants from me and my family, I have that deep peace that passes understanding and I know this is what He wants for us.
So, I will choose to put my faith in Christ, allowing Him to carry me when I’m weak, and strengthen me for the journey. I will trust that His plans are good, and that no matter what hurdle comes, He will help me over them. I will entrust my husband and my children to Him to care for their spiritual and emotional needs, and allow Him to stretch us all, even though it would be easier to just stay.
And I implore you to do the same. Whatever transition you are in, let Jesus walk you through it. Let Him take your burden and lean on Him to get you through this. It may be something you are already excited about, but find some hardships along the way; or it may be something you never thought would happen, and has become one of the most difficult things in your life. Or, as in my case, it’s a little bit of both. But no matter what, allow the Lord to change your perspective to focus on the truth of His Word and let that transform you (as it always does) to build you into the person He is growing you to be. It won’t be easy at times, but nothing worth doing is easy. Think about that. Let that really sink in. Even as I write this, I ponder this point and think about all the things that are difficult, time-consuming, and even painful at times, to get to an end result that is worth it all. I don’t know what that is for you, as I am not on your journey, but the Lord knows and is ready and willing to walk with you through it. Let Him do that.
If you want some practical tips on dealing with the stress of transition, check out my Facebook video post, as I talk about ways I have dealt with this transition in my life.
Wendy Muenchow, MA, LPCC