Over the last five years, I’ve talked to so many leaders about seasons of transition in their lives. Some people feel like a transition is coming, some people are transitioning, of those, some were good transitions and some were bad. I’ve seen people handle seasons of transition poorly to the point where God can’t use them because they are so bitter and paralyzed by fear. I’ve seen others have great transitions that were a natural next step for them. My purpose today is to share some lessons I’ve learned about seasons of transitions in our lives. Whether you feel like you’re about to transition, you are in transition, or you know one day you will, I hope the lessons in the post encourage you.
Here is what I’ve learned about seasons of transition in our lives:
Sometimes God has to dry up the Well, Often, They are Not Pleasant Times -When I was in a season of transition, this message by Carter Conlon at Times Square Church had a huge impact on me. Carter shared these verses in Kings 17:5-9, it says, “So Elijah did as the Lord told him and camped beside Keith Brook, east of the Jordan. 6 The ravens brought him bread and meat each morning and evening, and he drank from the brook. 7 But after a while the brook dried up, for there was no rainfall anywhere in the land. 8 Then the Lord said to Elijah, 9 “Go“. ” Carter said, “Sometimes to get us to move, God has to dry up the well. These often aren’t pleasant times, but they are necessary because we’re all campers by nature.” I’ve found that seasons of transition can be uncomfortable, but when you look back, you’ll recognize that they were necessary.
Do Not Get Bitter about Your Last Season – Whether it was a good transition or bad, it’s easy to get bitter about the last season of your life. Don’t do it. It will be a waste of your time and energy. In fact, I would argue that if you’re bitter, you’re not trusting that God has something better for you in the future. I’ll talk more about that in the lessons below.
Determine Why You are in a Season of Transition and Learn the Lessons You Need to Learn from It – Often times in a bad transition, we can get extremely bitter, thinking that we were treated poorly. Whether or not that is true, you must determine why you’re in transition and really look inside and see if you were part of the problem. Don’t be afraid to ask those in the last season of your life what you can do to grow and develop. Often times, we have blind spots we don’t even know about and if we don’t learn to deal with them, we will carry them into the next season of our lives. Ask God and others to show you what things you need to be working on so you can be more effective in the next season of your life.
In Times of Transition, You Find the Unhealthy Places You Were Finding Your Value – I’ve shared this often, but when I’ve had transitions in my life, I’ve found that I was finding way too much value in where I was and what I was doing. As a result, when I was no longer where I was or doing what I was doing, I had an identity crisis because my worth and value were not found in Christ, but in what I was a part of. This is very dangerous. When you find your identity in anything you can lose, if you lose it, you’re in danger of having a crisis. Often when people have an identity crisis, it’s easy for them to isolate themselves and run to things they shouldn’t run to in order to numb the pain. Learn to find your value in God. The lessons below will help you do that.
Ministry is not a Job, Ministry is Who You Are, Where You Are – This is for those in ministry. I remember thinking that if I wasn’t on staff with a church, that I wasn’t in ministry and couldn’t be used by God. Now that I’m on staff at a non-profit Christian ministry, I find myself thinking the same thing… If I didn’t work here (in a Christian ministry), then God can’t use me in a significant way. The reality is, as Bruce Bickel once taught me is that, “Ministry is not a job. Ministry is who you are, where you are.” So much of Jesus ministry took place outside of the 4 walls of the church. You are the church! You are your ministry and everywhere you go, you have an opportunity to do something great for God. Be secure in who you are and whose you are.
If God’s Called You to do Something, He’s the Only One that Can take that Away – This was another lesson learned from Bruce Bickel. I remember thinking that all of my opportunities in life were a result of where I was in the past. I thought all of my opportunities to be used by God were over. The opposite happened, I actually had more opportunities open up for me after my transition was over. That’s when I learned that God is my source. God can open doors that nobody else can open. I just need to be faithful and trust Him!
God is Bigger than the Last Season of Your Life – Sometimes when we have transitions in our lives, we don’t believe God can do anything greater than what He did in the last season of our lives. It’s easy to think we’ll never be used at the same level we were being used at, that we’ll no longer be significant, etc. That’s a lie. God made the universe! He can do anything! Trust Him that your best days are ahead of you, not behind you.
Be Grateful for the Last Season of Your Life and the Impact you Made – Regardless of whether or not you had a good transition or a bad transition, be grateful for your last season. You were there for a season and you were there for a reason. Be grateful for the lessons you learned, the people God surrounded you with, and the impact you were able to make. I remember one of my last days on staff at a church, a dad put his arm around me, pointed to all the students in the audience, and said, “See all these kids, you’re leaving your thumbprint on all of their lives. Everywhere they go, you’ll have had a part in their journey. Now go and do that everywhere you go.” I love that. I’m grateful for the people God allows me to impact in every season of my life.
God wants you to get where God wants you to go more than You want to get where You want to Go – Light of Life wasn’t even on my radar when I was in a season of transition. I was looking for a job in business. In fact, I had a job lined up that I was going to start in a couple of weeks. Then, out of nowhere, I got a call asking me to come and interview at Light of Life. I interviewed, got the job, and the rest is history. I find great comfort in the fact that God cares more about where I end up than I do. Trust Him that if you’ll put Him first, He’ll get you exactly where you need to go!
Soon, It will Be Better than It’s Ever Been – Unfortunately, I don’t have the recording anymore, but Keith Moore had a 10-minute segment in one of his messages that was incredibly encouraging while I was transitioning. In it he was talking to people who were not in a great season of life and he simply said, “It not many days, people will come to you and ask you how you are doing and you’ll look back and them with a gleam in your eye and say, “Brother, it’s better than it’s ever been! Better than it’s ever been! Even at it’s best, it wasn’t good! Better!” For me, that was word from God. I got a vision that if I’ll be faithful and continue to pursue God, that in time, life would better than it’s ever been. It’s been a few years and I can clearly say, it’s better than it’s ever been!
I hope this post encourages you whether you are in a season of transition or if you feel like you’re about to be in a season of transition.
Have you experiences seasons of transition? What did you learn?
Thoughts? Comment below!
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