10 steps to transition well
Helpful steps that can help you manage change in your life.
TRANSITIONCHANGE MANAGEMENTPERSONAL GROWTHDISCIPLE
10 steps to transition well
Change can be a scary process. The transitional process of moving from one state, situation, or place to another can often create feelings of dread or fear, or even excitement and expectation. Often there are painful memories of disappointment or discouragement from past transitions that can hinder us from moving forward. Equally, there may be joyous occasions like a wedding or the birth of a new baby that can spark an exciting journey ahead. However we may feel, transition is a necessary process that enables us to develop and grow.
As children of God transition is imperative to our Christian walk. Hebrews 12: 6, 10-11 explains how no discipline is pleasant at the time but is a demonstration of God's love for us as it is necessary for helping us to live right as we allow ourselves to be trained by Him. This by no means indicates that all change or transition is initiated by God, but, as we grow more and more Christ-like, it is a great opportunity to develop and mature in our faith because God has a great plan for us all.
How do I know if I am in transition?
Throughout your life, you will experience change through the areas listed below:
education (Learning something); moving geographically; relationships (with spouse, parents, children, friends, work colleagues); health (sickness, weight gain or loss); development (spiritual, physical, mental); career. Feel free to add to the list areas that have been missed.
Sometimes, these situations remain the same but often they change. Either way, you will be in a state of transition as you journey through them. The key is how to manage the change process well.
Below are 10 steps that can help you to transition well.
Step 1: Identify the area of transition
Has the grace lifted where you are now? Are you unsure of what needs to change but you know something needs to change? Is it easier and safer not to change?
By identifying the area of transition you are in will help you know how to get through it. Often, we are in transition without realising it. All you know is that everything is confusing and unsettling. Take some time to think about the listed areas below using the questions above as a starter to reflect on what you are transitioning from in those areas. Feel free to list any other areas not listed.
Moving geographically; relationships; career (job); family; development (spiritual, physical, mental, character); education; skills and abilities; areas of leadership; church; social connections.
On a piece of paper write down each area you are transitioning in and what you find uncomfortable or joyous about the transition.
Step 2: Present your list to God
'Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.' Philippians 4:6-7
God wants to be involved in our transition. He knows everything we need and desires to give us peace and direction as we talk to Him about our situation and not depend on our own understanding.
'Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.' Proverbs 3:5-6
Take some time to tell God about your concerns or questions that you may have about your transition. Once you have finished talking to God take some time to listen to what He wants to say or share to your heart.
Step 3: Evaluate your transition
Do you have full clarity on what to do or where you are going or is it only a sense? It is important to establish the level of transitioning you are in. Take some time to think about the transition. This will help to manage the process and take away the overwhelming feeling.
Step 4: Plan the next step
You may not know all the plans in your current transition, but you may have an idea of what to do next. If not don't worry simply come back to spending time with the Lord and ask Him. If you struggle in hearing from God, then consider this to be another area of transition. You can also ask a friend or a church leader to pray with you. God will often share an insight into the situation and scriptural truths as promises. Whatever you hear or receive write it down.
Step 5: Be open to grow
What do you need to do in order to transition? For example, do you need to learn something new, or buy equipment or invest in something? Are there any areas within your character that needs to be developed? You may need to be stronger and braver in taking risks.
Often if we have not learned any lessons from character traits that hinder growth, we will not be ready for the transition. If we do the same thing wherever we go we will get the same results. Likewise, if we do something different we will get a different result.
Write down areas that may need to be developed in your life in preparation for the new season you will transition into. Ask family or friends, if you cannot think of any, and allow them to be honest.
Step 6: Get rid of stuff
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. Hebrews 12:1 NLT
We all know that getting rid of stuff can be freeing BUT it is often hard to do. When thinking about the next season in your transition it is important to ensure that you do not take the same things with you as you do not want to be hindered in your next season. Think about and write down:
- what you will take - e.g. furniture, contacts (friends), equipment, joy etc.
- what you will leave behind/get rid of - hurts, unforgiveness, disappointments, furniture, etc.
Step 7: Learn new stuff
No one is ever too old to learn something new. Take the opportunity to equip yourself for the new season ahead. See them as helpful tools that will help you to move forward. (e.g. if you struggle to hear from God then use this time to develop and grow in that).
Step 8: Desire patience and endurance
Sometimes a transition period can be a long time and you will need patience and endurance to continue the journey until the promise is realised. It is important to acknowledge this and not try to rush or shorten the process. It is vital to endure to the end as this is where real growth happens. Make a list of the areas you need patience and endurance in and spend time praying these through until you see a breakthrough.
Step 9: Finish strong
Sometimes when we know we are leaving somewhere the grace increases for the new thing that we are transitioning into. During these times it is very important to leave well. Even if you have lost interest in your current situation, serve as if you are serving the Lord.
'Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. ' Colossians 3:23
Make a list of ways that you can finish strong (e.g. buy a gift, leave a house clean for the next person, offer to help more than usual).
Step 10: Never cease praying and praising
Keep the promises that you have received from God through prayer around so that you can pray into them and agree with what He has said and wants for your transitional situation.
'Pray like this: Our Father in heaven, may your name be kept holy. May your Kingdom come soon. May your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.' Matthew 6:9-10
Praying God's promises is praying and coming into agreement with His will to be done in the situation. Also, always be thankful for what God has done, is doing, and will do in accordance with His promises. Make a list of all that he has done and spend some time giving God thanks and praise.
We pray that God will guide you and bless you through your transitional journey and may your relationship with Him grow deeper as you grow to trust in Him more. May this transition be the best yet as you go through the 10 steps to transition well.