5 Keys to Have a Healthy Transition
Almost five years ago I began to sense a new season was coming upon my life but was unaware of the undercurrent or a larger desire of dream that God was developing.
Right now I see the same thing unfolding for many friends around me. Covid has accelerated change in all areas of our life. What was going to happen in a decade will now happen in 1-3 years. We have been compressed and challenged to think and rethink every way of life possible and this brings about change. Change whether we are ready for it or not. How do we navigate these transitions? How do we cope with the internal pressure? What if I don’t get to where I am going? The deeper transitions of life; job, city relocation, a new calling, building a business, and could be helpful with getting married or even experiencing the birth of your first child. In general, we do not know how to navigate deep transitions of life because of the pace at which most of us live.
God uses transitional seasons to transform us if we are willing to be put under His guidance. However, in my experience, the unhealthy ego and self-protection got in the way of a healthy transition. If I was to go back and redo my transition season below are a few things I would have done differently.
One last word before reading the five bullet points below. No one will do this for you. You need a plan.
Embrace the liminal season. The season of that you belong everywhere, but belong nowhere all at the same time. The space of one foot that has crossed the threshold, but the other foot is still in the past because that is what is known. The place of waiting cannot be rushed if you desire to make a difference on the other side of the threshold.
“It is when we are betwixt and between, have left on room but no yet entered the next room, any hiatus between stages of life, stages of faith, jobs, loves, or relationships…it is the ultimate teacher.
It’s no surprise then that we generally avoid liminal space. Much of the work of authentic spirituality and human development is to get people into liminal space and to keep them there long enough that they can learn something essential and new.”Richard Rohr
- Build a Circle of Three Friends – You need no less than three friends and no more than five friends who will be with you this season. If you are already in this season or about to enter into this season. Reach out to three friends and ask them into your life for the next 90 days at a minimum. Do not make any decisions without sharing what is happening with these three friends. Your ability to be transparent and open will be the key to your health in the long run. Define the relationship so they know how to help you. For example, ask them to meet once a week for 30 minutes and ask probing questions about your internal health, wins for the week, and what you are working on for this week. You need these friends because you are about to go through some of the highest highs and lowest lows that you have experienced in a while. They need to be your lifeboat and your 2 am friends that help you stay focused on what matters and who you are becoming.
- Grab a Gratitude Journal – Entering a transition season or currently living in one can limit our view on what is happening in the mundane of our life. In the laundry and dishes of life, there are tremendous amounts of things to be thankful for each day. Use a journal and write down five things that you are thankful for each day. A simple way to practice this with your family or circle of friends is centering in meals or conversation with a simple question, “What are you thankful for today?” As you navigate this season you will need the daily simple reminders of how active and present God is in your life.
- Sit in Silence – Become comfortable sitting in active silence. Intentional silence where you can turn your transitional anxiety into letting go of every thought or outcome. This allows us to surrender and realize how little we have control over each day. You can work hard and do all the “right things” to get where you want to go and still end up in the wrong place because you have not learned to sit in the silence and uncomfortable realization of simply being with yourself. I use the Insight Timer app and use different intervals from 5-20 minutes to sit in silence. Some call this mediation, some call it Centering Prayer, others call it contemplation. It does not matter what you call it. Get comfortable being with yourself. I remember entering into my deep transition and even during the duration of our season of how much I allowed my monkey brain to control my decisions. Practice releasing everything and everyone back to God.
- Transition Team – Form a transition team that is beyond the immediate circle of friends. Let’s face it. You announce your leaving your role, moving cities, or even getting married. You think tons of people are going to be in your corner. The reality is that even with everyone’s best intentions we all go back to our normal way of life and our own unique personal struggles. Unless you have and build this team no one else is going to do it for you. How do you use this team? This team is used in 90-day intervals and consists of 8-12 people who care deeply about you, your family, and your identity in Christ. Let’s say for example that this team makes up 3-4 families. Ask them to host you over the next year and spend time listening to what God is doing in and through you. This team needs to have access to your life and during these meals and gatherings set aside time for them to ask questions of you, listen to Spirit’s leading, and speak truth over who you are as a beloved son or daughter of God. This team becomes a council or a team of trusted advisors to help you make wise decisions in light of who God is and what He is doing in your life.
- Get Away for Fun – Life has a way of making us think we are more important than what we think we are and we take ourselves too seriously. Ok, maybe it’s just me. I can take myself too seriously. Plan a retreat, an adventure, and an intentional time away that helps you take perspective and inventory on what is happening. This could be at the beginning of the transition season or six months into the transition. This intentional time away to have fun, relax, and breathe allows our soul to recover from the intense pressure of a deep transition season. Use this time to ask reflective questions and allow yourself to hear what God has been doing through your gratitude journal, friends, sitting in silence, and your team of trusted advisors.
In essence, you need people who are in your corner, with a planned and thoughtful approach, that allows you to stay grounded in prayer, and points you to your purpose.
God has a plan for your season of change and transition and He will do immeasurably more than you could ask or imagine as you make yourself available to him and surround yourself with others in very intentional and thoughtful ways.
What would you add to the list that could be helpful? Who can you call or text right now and ask them to join you in a season of liminal space?
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