|A dear friend of that was widowed|
Posted: Wednesday, October 3, 2018 12:00 am
Learning from life’s transitions
I recently had a lady come up and introduce herself to me. She stated that she read my articles and sent them to her sister in Oklahoma.
She told me how her sister had lost her husband a few years ago, and was still adjusting to being a widow. As I talked to her, I began to explain to her, that her sister was still in a huge transition and transition takes a lot of work. When you lose a spouse, you are never the same. You basically have to reinvent yourself, which takes a lot of energy.
It is a transition from being one with someone to being an individual. Instantly, you are legally considered single, but the heart of anyone that has lost a mate is in a huge transition. The transition from being in a partnership to being a sole proprietor of your life is an adjustment and major change. I speak from experience.
What is transition? What does the word mean? Who likes transition? How do you navigate through seasons of transition?
Transition is defined as movement or passage from one state or stage to another; the process or a period of changing. The Latin root of trans means across, beyond, on the other side.
Actually, there is a lot the Bible has to say about transition. I have come to discover that God is a real fan of transition. Maybe one day I will share His viewpoint, but I have to confess, I am not there yet. Even the thought of transition makes me tired. I still remember giving birth to three children naturally, and the transition stage of childbirth was hard.
I have encountered a lot of transition in my life. Maybe you might identify with some of them. When my last child left the nest and went to college, a change from children at home for 26 years to an empty nest; a healthy husband who was living a full life to a husband with cancer; having a spouse for 30 years to loosing a mate; caregiving for my elderly parents and the transition of them becoming the child, and me becoming the parent. Other transitions have been beginning a new job, remarrying and learning a new man and his community, losing both of my parents in two months, retirement, starting something new that you’ve never done before, etc.
Transition is the process of exchanging our past for our future. We must look for the good in the uncertainty transition brings. Transition can make you feel upside down, unsettled and disoriented. Transition is letting go of the past, honoring what has been, and living in the “now” and the “not yet.” I have often used the phrase, “I don’t know yet” because I have been in so much transition and that is the best answer I can sometimes give. People with a healthy outlook on transition look at the possibilities ahead versus always looking at what was or could have been.
Philippians 3:12-15 says, “Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet. One thing I do, forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as are perfect, have this attitude …” (NIV)
Perfect in this passage means mature. Paul shows us how to go through transition. We must keep our eyes on what is ahead instead of what is behind. If our mind is only dwelling on what could have been or the past, there can be no momentum to move ahead.
Isaiah 43:18-19 says, “Do not call to mind the former things, or ponder the things of the past. Behold I will do something new, now it will spring forth; will you not be aware of it?” (NIV)
|Transitions open new doors|
Transition is not a place of comfort. It is a place of uncomfortableness, just ask any woman who has been through childbirth. Transition in childbirth is the last stage before the birth process. It was painful for me, and I am glad those days are over.
Think about the transition a caterpillar goes through before it becomes a butterfly. The cocoon stage isn’t that pretty and doesn’t even look hopeful, but the process produces something beautiful — a new life of freedom.
The promise we have for those of us that trust in God is that God will help us and goes ahead of us in our transition.
Deuteronomy 31:8 says, “The Lord is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” (NIV)
As we reach for what is ahead, we must trust in God. That is where the rubber meets the road and our faith is exercised. Do you need to exercise your faith? Is there risk in transition? Absolutely.
The good news is God is with us to catch us and help us. I recently did a ropes course and was challenged to do something I had never done before. Did I catch the bar? No, but I reached for something beyond what I could do myself and had the experience of trusting. I am still alive, and I actually had fun!
Although God is all about us changing, He never changes. He is constant in His love for us and in His nature. We can rest in His love when we are in times of transition. His love is our security blanket. We must connect ourselves to God’s heart for our future and our destiny. That gives me hope.
Are you going through one of life’s transitions? How does it make you feel vulnerable? You are not alone. I challenge you to embrace the transition you are in, learn from it and let the change make you into something beautiful. As you change, you will grow and become the man or woman God intended. Rock and roll with transition!
Kathleen Maxwell is a native of the Hill Country, a writer and speaker. She is passionate about helping others discover the joy of walking with God and their value. She speaks Tuesday evenings at 6:30 p.m. at The Kroc Center in Kerrville, leading a study called, The Gathering- Bringing God into everyday life. For more information or to register, you can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org, 377-8061 or on her blog www.themaxwellminutes.blogspot.com.