Transitioning into New Adventures and Assignments
We are in exciting days in the church globally as so many are in transitions and in the midst of big changes in both their personal and ministry lives. Rob and I are in the midst of stepping into new adventures and new assignments too.
In the middle of that I'm rediscovering the fact that times of transition are times of vulnerability, both in the natural and in the spiritual realm. While our eyes may be fixed on the new thing we are entering into, sometimes our heart can be in a place of vulnerability and even fragility. At times like this it is crucial that we guard our hearts, and it is very important that we allow ourselves times of contemplation and refreshing.
As I thought about transitions I realised that there are things we need to recognise about them, and there are some things we can do to help us move through a transition phase more smoothly.
- Recognise that you will be vulnerable at this time, in both the natural and the spiritual realm. Recognising this is very important - otherwise you’ll possibly be harder on yourself (and maybe on others) than you should be.
- Transitions can be times of conflicting emotions – over leaving those you love, and over what you are going into. For example, being excited about your transition is natural and it is not a betrayal of those you are leaving. If your transition involves a geographical shift – be aware that you may feel grief, especially if you’re moving away from family and friends, and that does affect you. Be kind to yourself and allow yourself time to work through the process of leaving.
- Give yourself space. Times of change are often incredibly busy times so make sure you still give yourself permission to rest and be refreshed. It may be wisdom to go out for a coffee or walk along the beach if that reenergises you, so you can move forward with a clearer head and more energy. The Lord promised Moses that He would go with him and give him rest in a huge time of transition that he and the children of Israel faced. (Ex 33:14)
- Make sure you get a good night’s sleep; tiredness will magnify everything. Keep to a normal bedtime routine that has wind down time, so that you go to bed ready to sleep and you don’t lie awake and stress over details. Tomorrow is another day and you will get done all you need to do. Psalm 4:8 is a good reminder that we can sleep in peace, for the Lord is with us.
- Praise and pray. Don't neglect your times with the Lord during transition times; I don't mean just praying about the details of the transition, either. Make sure you make time to relax in His presence, enjoy Him and allow Him to enjoy you, too. Times of refreshing are found in His presence, and those who wait on Him will renew their strength. (Is 40:31)
- Build some decrees from the promises the Lord has given you (both personally, and from Scripture) about the new phase you’re entering, and declare the Lord’s purposes over your life and your circumstances daily.
- Build a framework in the Spirit for the new thing you’re entering into. Decide what your non-negotiable values will be; these are the things that rate even higher than vision. Vision can change but values stay non-negotiable, and are things like love, honour, integrity, fun, family etc. Find scriptures that talk about them and decree (build) a framework and foundation for the building and establishing of the new thing you’re entering into to take place on.
- Recognise that there may well be increased spiritual warfare around your life in a transition time, especially as the time comes to its climax. Learn to discern between what are your emotions and what is attack from the enemy. Make sure that there are friends praying for you in this time - that prayer will make a difference.
- Use this time wisely and ask the Lord these three questions - "What do you want to reveal to me about Yourself, to be to me during this time?" "What do you want to do in me during this time?” "What do you want to teach me during this time?" and If you ask these questions this transition time will become a place of wonderful discovery for you.
I'm sure there is a lot more that could be added to this but it would then become a book, so we'll leave it here for now. I hope these few points will help you as you go through transitions of your own. Bless you!