Why is transition or change so hard for me? Life transitions are challenging because they force us to let go of the familiar and face the future with a feeling of vulnerability. Most life transitions begin with a loss: the loss of a friend, the loss of a role., or the loss of a person. Even when we decide the change is for our overall good, there is a sense of grieving over what was while going through the change. Change is scary and stressful.
Studies have shown that changes in location, relationships, and jobs can be the most stressful to us. So, how does a Christian maintain peace during transition or change?
The Bible tells us the story of Abraham. He followed God by faith not knowing where he was going or why.
“By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.” (Hebrews 11:8 NIV)
How do you find peace during change?
Consider these tips anytime, anywhere, to get started:
- Accept what you can’t change or control and surrender it to God. We can’t begin to understand or comprehend the good God is trying to bring to our live and how He is going to do it. Isaiah informs us, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts (Isaiah 55:8-9 NIV) So take comfort in the fact that God is faithful and we can trust Him.
- Control your thought life. At times it can be very difficult to control your mind and thoughts. Paul tells us to, “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:5 NIV)
- Make time for prayer and Bible study. Jesus tells us to abide in the vine. We absolutely need the presence of God to maintain peace on a good day let alone when we are going through transition.
Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. (John 15:4 NIV)
- Keep a journal. It is helpful to journal what you feel God is speaking to you and how He answers prayer. It is a faith-building exercise to recall the times and ways God has worked in your life in the past. It brings faith and hope to your heart knowing that He did it before and can do it again.
- Give your cares and concerns to God. Peter tells us to, “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” (I Peter 5:7 KJV) Surrender to His word. Surrender to the one who changes not. Let not your cares weigh upon the ground of your heart. Choose to magnify Christ. Choose to exalt His word. His Word outranks your circumstances.
After finishing my Masters in Ministry to Women, I felt God gave me Psalm 16:6-8 as a verse to comfort me and tell me that even though I didn’t know what God had planned for me, I knew it would be good. It would be delightful for me and wherever He sent me.
“The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance. I will praise the LORD, who counsels me; even at night, my heart instructs me. I keep my eyes always on the LORD. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.” (Psalm 16:6-8 NIV)
That sounds simple and easy but there is more self-doubting involved than one would expect. However, it has been my experience that when you step out in faith God will meet you with assurance every step of the way. So go ahead – take a leap of faith for God – He will meet you.