If there is one inevitable characteristic of life, it is that transitions and changes continually happen. Whether they are gradual or sudden, planned or unplanned, our response to change is the only thing that we can control through transition. Our response is in direct correlation to our perspective. John F. Kennedy said “Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.”
While Nyree and I are humbled and honored to serve in the role of Church Ministries Director, we have had to face the challenge of transition in our life and ministry affecting our family, church family, and community relationships. While we are working through each transition, we have had to keep our perspective of the future in view. I have had to remind myself of several important elements of transitions that I need to keep in mind.
Recognize that transitions are difficult because they can shake your sense of identity. When I made the announcement that we were accepting a new position, my identity as Pastor of a local church transitioned to something completely different than any other position I have held. When I recognize that my identity as a minister is not founded in my title, but rather, my God-given calling, I can rest assured that no matter what position I find myself in, God has already established my identity.
Realize that transitions are opportunities for personal growth and development. Transitions in life can be God’s gift to us in order for us to have a new start personally. While there are priorities that I will carry with me into this new role, I also recognize that there are areas that I will need to grow in order to fulfill the new responsibilities and expectations placed on me. Transitions are opportunities to practice new habits and new ways of interacting with others.
Remember why the transition is necessary. Transitions are often necessary because God in His sovereignty has orchestrated the change to fulfill His plans for our lives. While we may not always understand the why, we have to trust that He knows what he is doing and place our hope in Him. Only then can we have peace in the midst of transitions.
Rely on your support system, which will provide security during the transition. Throughout this transition many have supported us, by providing encouragement, expressing their love, and offering their assistance. It has been reassuring to know that we have great friends who are our support system in this time of transition.
While transitions are hard in the present, keeping our eyes on the future provides the hope and strength necessary to press on in this journey called life. God has a great plan!!