When you are in the middle of a transition, life is jiggly and unsettled and feels weird. You are in a season of in-the-middle. God obviously has much to teach us from the middle of a transition, because He puts us here quite often.
You aren’t where you were (which good or bad, was at least known), and you aren’t where you are going yet.
I’ve discovered life is jam-packed full of these middle-of-a-transition places:
- When you move (that’s me right now).
- When you’re about to have a baby or you’ve just had a baby.
- When you are about to get married or you just got married.
- When your relationship is struggling or crumbling or splitting.
- When you lose someone you love.
- When someone gets really sick or you get sick or you get well.
- When you lose your job or change jobs.
After while you start to wonder if the normal, stable place really ever was, or did I just dream that part?
A Psalm of Protection
God is our refuge and help in time of trouble. Psalm 91 is a great reminder of that at all times, but especially in times of transition and change.
I encourage you to meditate on this Psalm often during your time of transition. Memorize your favorite verses. Look up any passages you don’t understand and study them more in-depth.
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”
3 For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler
and from the deadly pestilence.
4 He will cover you with his pinions,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.
5 You will not fear the terror of the night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
6 nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness,
nor the destruction that wastes at noonday.
7 A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.
8 You will only look with your eyes
and see the recompense of the wicked.
9 Because you have made the Lord your dwelling place—
the Most High, who is my refuge—
10 no evil shall be allowed to befall you,
no plague come near your tent.
11 For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways.
12 On their hands they will bear you up,
lest you strike your foot against a stone.
13 You will tread on the lion and the adder;
the young lion and the serpent you will trample underfoot.
14 “Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him;
I will protect him, because he knows my name.
15 When he calls to me, I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will rescue him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation.”
7 Truths for When You Are in the Middle of a Transition
1.God is in control.
Psalm 91:1 reminds us that we dwell in the shadow of the Almighty God, the same God who created not just this world, but the entire universe. Yes, God is in control of all things.
2. Lots of important things don’t change.
As much as your world might be turned upside down and left to right, I loved this idea from the Sisters of Katie Luther blog to write down the things that DON’T change and put it somewhere that you will see it every day. They suggest it as a tip for helping kids through the stress of a big move. I love it as a help for me, too.
3. You don’t have to take away the pain.
Whether it be yours or someone else’s, remember that you don’t have to take away the pain of transition. Chances are good you are not just feeling your own pain, but you are seeing others around you hurting and that’s worse than your own pain. You want to fix it.
Maybe don’t fix it. Just be there.
I have seen tremendous faith growth in my children and husband during this move we’ve made from Colorado to New York. I’m hearing them say things like, “I know God has a plan for this,” or “Mom, did you see how God worked that out for us?”
Wow. If I had stepped in and made it all better, I would have felt better in the moment, but I would have thwarted the huge growth steps God had in mind for them.
4. Explore what’s new.
Explore something new about where you are now. There is something good about this space you are in, even if it’s a not-great situation.
During my son’s first 2 years of life, he was hospitalized many times to prevent a life-threatening metabolic crisis. Due to the risk of germs, he wasn’t allowed to leave his room. My husband and I joked that we really had to stop the date nights at the Children’s hospital 7th floor.
Since moving to the Buffalo area, we’ve encouraged our kids to be sight-see with us and check out all the area has to offer. It’s been tough being the new kids everywhere we go, but we’ve had fun adventures, too.
5. Tiny spaces.
Do transitions always seem to involve tiny spaces?
That’s okay, because Tiny Houses are hot right now.
Any type of transition seems like it means cramming your stuff into a car, moving van, a hospital room, a rented apartment, or some other such tight quarters that doesn’t feel quite like home.
After living in a 600 square foot apartment for the 5 of us these last months, here’s one word I have to say about that: APPRECIATION.
After lugging clothes to the laundromat, I am ready to kiss my washer and dryer.
After washing dishes by hand, I am singing the praises of my dishwasher.
Now that we share one car, I am thankful we live within walking distance of public transportation.
6. Get rid of clutter.
To go along with those tiny spaces, life in the middle of a transition provides a wonderful time to rid yourself of extra clutter.
We all have too much stuff. Get rid of some of it.
Get rid of some of your physical stuff.
Let go of some of your emotional baggage, too. Lose guilt.
How about the obligations that are weighing down your time? Now is a beautiful time to let go of those too. Focus on the people who are most important.
7. Ride the waves.
Years ago when we were foster parents, I received this wonderfully simple advice about how to get through the tough times.
Ride the waves.
No matter how much it feels like you are at a crisis point (and I don’t mean to imply you crisis is not a crisis — trust me, I get you), this is the peak of a wave.
Two summers ago, we hit what I was sure was an absolute crisis point with my son and his mental health needs. I had to make a phone call that I was sure would change the course of our family’s life forever.
I made the call. My husband came home from work, and we sat in the living room waiting for what would happen next.
Many things have happened since that time, some miraculous and some horrific. This October I’ll be writing about them in a series I’m creating called Still Standing: How to find peace…without the happy ending.
But my point right now is this. I’m still here. Our family is still together, and my son is here, too.
We all made it. That day I thought our world was going to crash and burn, and I thought I might just fall apart right along with it.
God has graciously preserved us, not just that day but in the days that have followed.
A Prayer for a Time of Transition
If you are in the middle of a transition, use Psalm 91:15 as your prayer:
I am calling to You, You have promised to answer me;
I know You will be with me in my time of change.
I trust You will rescue me. I give You honor.
Are you in the middle of a transition?