Dealing With Transition

My wife and I have four (4) children. We have three daughters Danae (20), Dominique (18), and Taja (17). We also have a 3 year old son, Larry III. We love to spend time together and create memories. Before our son came along, our family consisted of my wife, myself and “the girls”. That’s what we would call them. Everything we did was for “the girls.” When we would go out to eat we would go where “the girls” wanted to go. When we would go on family trips, we would consult “the girls”. Even when we would bring home ice cream, “the girls” were involved in choosing their favorite flavor. Our lives revolved around ”the girls” for many years. As our youngest daughter is 17 years old and will be graduating from high school next year, we will be transitioning from the era of “the girls” to a new normal. A time when our son will be the prince of the home and “the girls”, now young ladies, will start a new chapter. This isn’t an extremely difficult transition for us to deal with, but what has been normal for us will no longer be. We’re going through transition. 

We can feel that transitions shape us, but they really define us.

I’m sure you have experienced, or are currently experiencing a transition. You’ve just been released from one job and you are trying to determine what to do in the meantime? You’ve lost your spouse of many years. It could be one of many reasons ranging from death to divorce. What do you do now that things are drastically different? How should you deal with this transition or others? Here are a few things to consider. 

We can feel that transitions shape us, but really they help define us. When David was called out as king years before his actual reign began, there was a new transition ahead of him (I Samuel 16). But it didn’t shape him, it brought clarity to what would define him: the new king of Israel. Jesus’ transition from death to life didn’t shape him to become the Messiah, it was the proof that He, in fact, was the Messiah.

Transitions force us to let go of what is familiar and face a new path.

We are defined by our transitions in the same way. There are several reasons we find definition in transition, but here is the primary reason. Transitions force us to let go of what is familiar and face a new path. This new path is usually unfamiliar or unchartered. And at this point of transition, we must decide to trust God’s sovereignty or trust our familiarity. If we choose what is most familiar, we will go backward into a place that causes complacency. Yes, we will enjoy comfort, but our growth will be severely stunted. However, if we choose to trust God, we will move quickly through transition, no matter how difficult it may be, toward triumph. If we handle transition properly we begin to realize we are capable of much more than what we thought. Our definition is found in our transition.

As we go through new transitions we learn something new about God and who He is.

While we love our girls dearly, we have to transition and so do they. We were never raising them to be bigger kids, we were preparing them to become adults. And they are now stepping into what now defines them: adulthood. We are stepping into a different phase of life and parenthood called mentorship. It is important for us to make this transition understanding the new definition to our relationship doesn’t diminish its value but strengthens it. 

As you face whatever transitions are before you, I encourage you to look for how it will define you. As we go through new transitions we learn something new about God and who He is. We come to see him as provider, our peace, our father, and so much more. As God is further defined for us, we are defined in the process as well.

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