March 10, 2019

seasons of transition
Table of contents:
What is a Season of Transition? And am I in One?

Biblical Examples of Transition Seasons

Building your Character During your Season of Change & Transition

6 Ways to Successfully Manage Your Season of Transition

Scriptures to Declare during your Season of Transition

My season of transition started in 2017. I graduated from college. I “officially” moved to a new city. I moved into a new apartment. Got a new job in a completely different environment. Parted ways from (literally) all of my friends and family. And left my church and spiritual leader that I loved dearly to join a new church in a whole different city. This all happened in a matter of 3 months.

A ton of amazing things happened during that time, but there were also tons of hurdles, questions, frustrations, and (frankly) flat out falling on my face that was birthed from that “transition season.”

Now, I can officially say that my season of transition (or, at least, that season of transition) is complete. Thankfully. Because it was a difficult one for me. But… Ya girl came out with the victory despite those hurdles, so now I’d like to share what I learned and give you tools to effectively deal with times of transition in your life.

What is a season of transition? And am I in one?

A season of transition is a time where you experience sudden or significant change. It’s a time where new things are happening spiritually, naturally, mentally, or emotionally. These changes can either be by choice, circumstances, the enemy, or God. Some people may refer to it as a “wilderness season.”

During seasons of transition, you are adapting to changes that require you to think differently, act differently, live differently, or are simply not comfortable or familiar like you’re used to. Some potential transition seasons are:

  • Relocating to a new place
  • Taking on new responsibilities in your personal or professional life
  • Getting a new job or transitioning careers
  • The loss of a loved one, such as a spouse
  • Joining a new church and/or leaving an old church
  • Learning something new about yourself or God which requires you to change drastically
  • Adapting to major life changes like motherhood, fatherhood, getting married, etc.
  • …and many, many more

Granted, if you’re really chasing after God, you’re always, in one way or another, in a season of transition because He is constantly molding us, changing us, and taking us through new “seasons.” Nonetheless, you get the gist here.

seasons of transition

Biblical examples of transition seasons

  • Solomon – 2 Chronicles 1 – After Solomon’s father, David, died, it was his responsibility to rule as king over God’s people (v.1). During this time of transition, Solomon did not know how to rule over people, he simply knew that the baton had been tossed to Him. Instead of complaining, or questioning, he walked by faith and asked God for wisdom to rule the people (v.8). God gave it to him, and now Solomon is still known as one of the wisest men to ever walk the earth (v.11).
  • Abraham – Genesis 12 – God instructed Abraham to depart from his country and his family and go into new territory with minimal instruction (v. 1-3). Abraham took his wife and nephew and left the land to go into the land God called him to go into.
  • Samuel – 1 Samuel 16 – The Lord instructed Samuel to go into Bethlehem (v.1). Samuel feared going into Bethlehem in fear of being killed (v.2). But he followed God’s instructions, even when he didn’t have all the answers, and went into Bethlehem (v.4).

Seasons of transition require a rapid and significant lifestyle, habit, or mentality change, along with OBEDIENCE, in order for it to end up successful. Here is one of the major principles that helped me get through my time of transition.

Times of transition will always reveal your character

If you want to learn about who you really are and what you’re really like, go through a season of transition. Your response during that time will tell you what you’re made of.

Sometimes it can feel like these times of change are bringing out the worst in you. You’re asking yourself… “Why am I struggling with THIS? This has never been an issue for me!” or “I thought I overcame this already!” or “I KNOW I’m way better than how I’m feeling or acting right now, I don’t know where this came from!”

In reality, the bitterness, frustration, distrust, or any other character trait that is revealed did not arrive during the season of transition, it was simply EXPOSED during the season of transition. And you NEEDED the season of transition to draw it out so that God could continue to purify and cleanse you.

Yup. This here is truth. Haha. So let me tell you my story…

Before going through my “transition season”, I would have told you that I had decent character and was on great track with God (hahahaha); I would have told you that I knew exactly how to respond to the new church community I was a part of; that I knew exactly how to act when I didn’t make close friends as quickly as expected; that I knew exactly how to trust God throughout the whole season; and that I could cope pretty well to having to constantly be around people who didn’t exactly make me feel ‘comfortable.’

Oh yeah, I thought I had it down. But what I found out was that I had a lot of head knowledge, but because I never had to put much of that head knowledge to action, my character was not yet built to sustain me during my time of transition.

Yikes.

Consequently, I discovered there was a lot inside of me that was buried beneath comfortability & head knowledge.

It took a season of transition to draw out and uncover my character flaws and weaknesses. But I am grateful for that. God is developing my character in mighty ways even as we speak. I still have a long way to go, but I am grateful for the development I’ve had thus far.

Take the character test: Have you done any of these things during your transition season

Here a few scenarios that, if you’ve been in them, may be a sign you need to build your character during your season of transition…

  • You get into a new church and begin to murmur, complain, think negatively, or compare it to your past leaders or experiences.
  • You start the new job you prayed for and begin to complain because it requires you to work a few extra hours.
  • You aren’t making friends in your new city and now begin to sulk and complain to God that you’re alone and no one likes you and you’re being overlooked.
  • You lose a loved one and begin to question or blame God for their death.
  • You company does a re-organization, causing your peer to get promoted instead of you. You begin to get jealous and envy them.
  • You go through a phase where you lose your job and are tight financially so stop obeying when God tells you to give to people or the church you’re a part of.
  • Your spouse takes a new position that requires them be away from home more than usual, but it will bring in much more money. Instead of celebrating, you get bitter because your husband isn’t around as often.
  • Your friend enters into a new phase in their life (new job, new marriage, kids) and is no longer able to spend time with you. You get angry in your heart, thinking they are devaluing you as a friend.

I think we’ve got a common theme here… One of the biggest indicators of the state of your character and heart during your season of transition are your THOUGHTS and your WORDS. Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks (Luke 6:45)!

6 ways to (graciously) get through your season of transition: Things to always keep in mind

1. Apply what you’ve been taught / Don’t forget to use what you already know

It’s funny: Sometimes we’ve been taught how to handle situations, but don’t actually use what we’ve been taught when things hit the fan because of the pressure and stress we feel in the moment.

Although you know you shouldn’t complain, you do it anyway. Although you know you should continue worshipping God, you worry instead.

During seasons of transition, before you respond to the change, stop, take a deep breath, and think…. How have I been taught to handle this situation? I may not have all the answers I need, but what answers do I have?

One thing’s for sure: God always desires honor, worship, praise and faith. So, at the bare minimum, when you are out of answers and are dealing with difficult life changes, continue to do what you know to do: Worship, praise, and believe God.

2. Stay deeply rooted in Christ

One thing I’ve discovered is that seasons of transition ALWAYS come with DISTRACTIONS that try to stifle you from hearing God’s voice and remaining connected to Him.

wilderness seasons

Jesus went on a 40-day fast in the wilderness because he knew he was entering a season of transition and needed to prepare Himself spiritually for what was to come. Jesus, in all His wisdom, understood the importance of having his ear to the mouth of God during His season of transition.

But what happened when he was in the wilderness fasting? The enemy came to try to DISTRACT him (Matthew 4).

If Jesus needed to be deeply connected to His Father during His time of transition and uncertainty, SO DO YOU.

Distractions can come in the form of both good and bad things:

  • Increased responsibilities at work, church, or with family and friends
  • New relationships and friendships (good and bad; healthy and unhealthy)
  • Time suckers that begin to take up more of your time and attention than what is needed or healthy (entertainment, movies, social media, your friends and their issues, etc.)
  • Old habits beginning to reappear or resurface

The key to managing “distractions” is to discern the difference between what’s BAD, what’s GOOD and what’s GOD (there’s a difference); to set clear boundaries for yourself and others; and to be honest with yourself and others about the season you are in and how much you are able to give during that season.

A season of transition or change is NOT the time to get lax in your relationship with God!

God is your compass who orders your steps. Since transition seasons come with uncertainties, it is important that you constantly look to God and His word to be a lamp to your feet… He must guide you every step of the way.

The mistake I made (and you may have, too) was after I received INSTRUCTION from God, I didn’t stay as close to the mouth of God when I began to obey that instruction. The reality is that the initial instruction is only the START of the journey. Just because you know God spoke to you or is leading you in one direction, doesn’t mean you can get lax. It actually means you need to TIGHTEN UP, because now He will help you navigate the in’s and out’s of the instruction He gave you, AND keep you covered as you maneuver your time of transition.

Let me be real…

Knowing what God wants you to do is EASY. It’s obeying and walking it out HIS WAY that’s hard.

This.Is.A.Word. I will reiterate this one more time for the hard-headed folks in the back…

AFTER YOU GET INSTRUCTION FROM GOD, YOU NEED TO THEN ALLOW HIM TO ORDER YOUR STEPS ON HOW TO WALK OUT THAT INSTRUCTION!!!!!!!!!!!!!! DO NOT REMOVE YOUR EAR FROM HIS LIPS.

3. Seasons of transition often require greater faith – Don’t get scared, get BOLD in your faith

Maybe it’s just me, but it seems like times of transition require something more of me spiritually.
For me,

I couldn’t pray the same.

I couldn’t act the same.

My same old spiritual routine didn’t get me the breakthrough it once did.

My season of transition required something different out of me, and definitely required greater faith.

DO NOT be alarmed when your faith is tested during your season of transition.

Because you don’t have all the answers during your season of change, you can become susceptible to things like unbelief (not trusting God to order your steps or second-guessing his instruction), pride (thinking your plan is better than what God is instructing you to do, or moving before His timing), relational problems (as you grow, transition, and advance, some people won’t like your growth and friction could arise), financial (having to step out on faith financially and believe for provision in new areas), and mental and emotional health (if we are not deeply connected to God, the time of transition can easily bring about stress or anxiety).

When these things pop up, go into superhuman spiritual warfare mode and CAST THEM DOWN. Do not let the thoughts linger. Do not let the doubt and unbelief remain in your heart. Pray harder, even when you don’t feel like it. Worship deeper, even when you don’t “feel” the urge.

And, please, don’t fight this battle on your own. If you begin to struggle, don’t be ashamed to tell someone. SOONER, is always better than later.
(Not trying to scare you, just being real here).

4. Always maintain a soft heart – to God and people (honor is key!)

Oh boy. This is what stumps some of us.

New seasons often come with new people – new bosses, new pastors, new friendships, and new relationships. Sometimes when things are new and unfamiliar, we get frustrated. Consequently, we begin to dishonor those around us.

“I don’t like the way my new boss does this.”
“I don’t like the way my company does this.”
“I don’t like the way my new pastor does this.”
“He/She isn’t there for me like my old friends were.”

If this has been you – complaining, murmuring, or talking negatively about those in your life, specifically those in authority in your life – please repent. Even if it’s “just” things you’ve thought in your head. GOD HONORS THOSE WHO HONOR OTHERS.

When these thoughts rise up, we must remember what the book of Titus says:
Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, 2 to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone.

5. Don’t turn away from what God originally told or led you to do

During seasons of transition, there can be a lot of uncertainties. These uncertainties can cause you to second guess whether you’re in the will of God. You begin to ask questions like:

  • God, did you really tell me to do this?
  • Did I really hear you correctly? Maybe it wasn’t really you, Lord…
  • Maybe I took bad counsel?

These questions are valid, but we can’t let them overtake us (especially if, deep down, we KNOW we are doing what God has led us to do). You must remember: Just because you’re not comfortable, doesn’t mean it’s not God.

Just because you’re not comfortable, doesn’t mean it’s not God. Click To Tweet

The one thing that will keep you most grounded during your season of transition is knowing what God has instructed you to do and not questioning His voice, even when your circumstances don’t align with His promise. And even when you don’t feel as “comfortable” in your new season.

6. Watch your mouth – Don’t murmur or complain!

It is easy to give way to murmuring, complaining, and frustration during seasons of transitions. We get frustrated because doors aren’t opening the way we saw it; we get on edge because new people in our lives don’t line up with what were used to. Because we are comfortable with what’s familiar, we can (unknowingly or unintentionally) reject the NEW blessings and opportunities in front of us.

Don’t contaminate the blessings of God by complaining, murmuring, and dishonoring.

This is a big one. Here are some scriptures to chew on around this topic:

  • For, “Whoever would love life and see good days must keep their tongue from evil and their lips from deceitful speech. – 1 Peter 3:10
  • Those who guard their mouths and their tongues keep themselves from calamity. – Proverbs 21:23
  • Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. – Colossians 4:6
  • Sin is not ended by multiplying words, but the prudent hold their tongues. – Proverbs 10:19
  • The heart of the righteous weighs its answers, but the mouth of the wicked gushes evil. – Proverbs 15:28
  • What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them. – Matthew 15:11
  • My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. 21 Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you. – James 1:19-21

Scriptures to help you during your time of transition

  • Titus 3:1-2 – Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, 2 to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone.
  • Psalm 37:23 – The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, And He delights in his way.
  • Joshua 1:9 – Remember that I have commanded you to be determined and confident! Do not be afraid or discouraged, for I, the Lord your God, am with you wherever you go.
  • Deuteronomy 31:8 – “The Lord himself will lead you and be with you. He will not fail you or abandon you, so do not lose courage or be afraid.”
  • Proverbs 3:5-7 – Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
  • Psalm 32:7-8 – 7 You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance. I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.
  • Luke 10:27 – And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.”
  • Psalm 119:1-3 – Blessed are those whose ways are blameless, who walk according to the law of the Lord. Blessed are those who keep his statutes and seek him with all their heart— they do no wrong but follow his ways.
  • Psalm 119:10 – I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands.
  • James 1:12 – Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.
  • James 1:13 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone
  • Jeremiah 29:11 – For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
  • Proverbs 16:3 – Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.
  • Deuteronomy 29:9 – Therefore keep the words of this covenant and do them, that you may prosper in all that you do.
  • James 1:2-6 – Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. 6 But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.
  • Psalm 1:1-3 – 1 Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, 2 but whose delight is in the law of the LORD, and who meditates on his law day and night. 3 That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither— whatever they do prospers.
  • Deuteronomy 28:1-11 – “And if you faithfully obey the voice of the Lord your God, being careful to do all his commandments that I command you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. 2 And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the voice of the Lord your God. 3 Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the field. 4 Blessed shall be the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your ground and the fruit of your cattle, the increase of your herds and the young of your flock. 5 Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl. 6 Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out. 7 “The Lord will cause your enemies who rise against you to be defeated before you. They shall come out against you one way and flee before you seven ways. 8 The Lord will command the blessing on you in your barns and in all that you undertake. And he will bless you in the land that the Lord your God is giving you. 9 The Lord will establish you as a people holy to himself, as he has sworn to you, if you keep the commandments of the Lord your God and walk in his ways. 10 And all the peoples of the earth shall see that you are called by the name of the Lord, and they shall be afraid of you. 11 And the Lord will make you abound in prosperity, in the fruit of your womb and in the fruit of your livestock and in the fruit of your ground, within the land that the Lord swore to your fathers to give you.

Let’s Conquer this transition season! You got this!

You’ve learned my successes and weaknesses when it comes to dealing with seasons of transitions (also referred to as wilderness seasons in some cases). The biggest takeaway is this:

It’s important during times of uncertainty to remain connected to the One who is secure. You may not have a 10-step plan from God of what your whole transition will look like, but you do have a spiritual guide on how to respond in times of transition… and that guide is the Bible. Do what you know is right. Seek God with all your heart. Do NOT lean on your own understanding. Continue to speak positively over your life and the people in it. And do not murmur and complain.

Anything else you’ve learned in your season of transition?? Comment below!

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