Lessons I’ve Learned about Seasons of Transition 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.

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. The ravens brought him bread and meat each morning and evening, and he drank from the brook. But after a while the brook dried up, for there was no rainfall anywhere in the land. Then the Lord said to Elijah, “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.

-God wants you to get where God wants you to go more than you want to get where God wants you to go.-

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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Always Stay Humble and Kind

I love music! I love it even more when a song can teach you lessons and cause you to reflect on your life. Tim McGraw recently came out with song called, “Humble and Kind”. It’s my favorite song right now. There are so many good lessons in this song, I had to share it! I watched a short interview with Tim about the song. He said the song is like a letter he would give one of his kids about life. He said when he was recording it, he could barely get through it without crying. Today,  I thought I’d simply share Tim’s song and some of my thoughts on the lessons you can learn from it.

Go to Church – Hopefully you can find a church that you want to go to as opposed to your parents telling you to, but the world would be a better place if everyone was connected with a local church.

Visit Grandpa Every Chance that You Can – I know this lesson all too well. I lost my mom when I was 17 years old. She didn’t get to see me get married and she won’t get to see my daughter be born. I had 17 years with her. If I had known that was all I would have gotten, I would have treated that relationship differently. The people in your life won’t be in it forever. Make sure you make the most of your relationships.

Open the Doors, Say Please, Say Thank You – This is such simple advice, but it’s lacking in our culture. Make sure you practice these on a consistent basis. Let’s make sure we teach our children and those we influence these simple, yet profound values.

Don’t Steal, Don’t Cheat, and Don’t Lie – Again, simple advice, but lacking in our culture. Character matters. Let’s be examples of character to our community. Let’s instill good values in our children and those we influence.

When the Dreams Your Dreaming Come to You, When the Work You’ve put in is Realized, Let Yourself feel the Pride, but Always Stay Humble and Kind – I love this one. We all have dreams in our hearts and as we pursue them and they come true, I hope that it never changes who we are. The reality is, if we’ve experienced any measure of success, it’s because God gave us the tools we needed and connected us with a lot of people who helped form who we were and helped us get where we were going!

Don’t Expect a free ride from no one – Simple advice, but also lacking in our culture. Let’s take responsibility for our lives and teach others to do the same.

Know the Difference Between Sleeping with Someone and Sleeping with Someone You Love, I love You Ain’t no Pick-Up Line – This is why I love programs like Silver Ring Thing that teach abstinence. We live in a culture where sleeping with people is “what you do”. However, I rarely meet people who slept around before they got married that don’t wish they would have saved themselves for their spouse. If they could go back, they would have done things differently. I’m so glad that I waited for Laura. It’s not always easy, but it’s worth it. If you’re single, don’t give yourself away to someone just because you’re “in love” or they told you they love you. Wait to sleep with someone who has committed their life to being with you by marrying you! It’ll be worth it, I promise!

Don’t Hold a Grudge or a Chip and Here’s Why: Bitterness Keeps you from Flying – So many people are in bondage because they are holding grudges, they are bitter about something, and they cannot get over whatever or whoever offended them. I’ve seen people waste years of their life because they couldn’t forgive someone who offended them or hurt them in some capacity. Don’t let bitterness poison you.

When it’s Hot, eat a Root Beer Popsicle – Sometimes we just need to enjoy life. It’s so easy in our world to take ourselves way to seriously. When’s the last time you just had fun without worrying about everything going on around you? We all need to make more time for things like that.

Don’t take for Granted the Love this Life Gives You – One of the easiest things to do in life is take those closest to you for granted. I’d encourage you to take time everyday to reflect on your closest relationships (spouse, parents, etc.) When we take time to reflect, it helps us to be grateful for them and to not take them for granted. After all, as John Maxwell says, “True success is when those closest to me love and respect me the most!”

When you get where you’re going, Don’t Forget to turn back around and help the next one in Line – This line fires me up! I’m so grateful for all the men and women who turned back around in their success and poured into my life. I endeavor to do the same for those next in line behind me in the next generation.

Always Stay Humble and Kind – My prayer is that no matter where we go in life, what we do, or what we accomplish that we’ll always stay humble and kind.

What a great song! What are some of your favorite songs that motivate and inspire you to live a better life? 

If this post helped you and you believe it could help others, please recommend it on Facebook, Twitter, Stumble Upon, and the other social media sites listed below. Also, I would love to hear your thoughts on this post. Leave a comment below! Thank you!

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