Transitions are inevitable. Some transitions are anticipated because we had made decisions to effect change. At other times, we may find ourselves struggling to navigate through unexpected circumstances.
Transitions can strip us of the scaffoldings in our lives. We feel like we are losing control of things that are familiar and cherished. The stress experienced with a loss of familiarity or sudden feeling of emptiness in our lives during a transition, makes us realise that so much of our identity is based on what we were before. Our long-held expectations and assumptions no longer work as we find ourselves having to unlearn old methods and learn new ones.
In navigating life’s transitions, we desire greater clarity but often have to live with ambiguity. The lack of answers can cause us to become irritable and anxious. On the other hand, too many options may result in frustration when we do not have a clear purpose and direction in life.
Both our physical and emotional energy levels may fluctuate as we cope with a transition. New parents suffer from lack of sleep but the joy of caring for their newborn gives a new surge of emotional strength. Those recovering from the sudden loss of a family member or a traumatic experience will take a much longer time to replenish their energy levels.
It is not uncommon to lose our spiritual bearing in the midst of a transition. The stress of adapting to new environments and challenges, anxiety caused by uncertainties and fluctuations in energy levels can affect our spiritual health. Some respond in anger to God for the pain and disappointment, while others adopt a passive wait-and-see attitude.
How then do we smoothen the journey as we navigate life’s transitions? Firstly, we need to have good closure – with those who are involved, with ourselves and with God. Proper closure allows us to let go of our past and gives us peace to start afresh. Secondly, we need relational support from our God-given community of friends and family members. We need not walk the journey alone. Thirdly, we may need to acquire new knowledge and life skills for the next phase of life. Fourthly, we need to maintain a posture of humility and wait on Him (Psalm 40:1-4).
The Latin word for transition carries the idea of “going across”. As we navigate life’s transitions, let us cross over to Jesus and let Him lead us.
Thank you for your prayers, encouragement and financial support for the ministry of Cru Singapore in 2016. We are thankful to God for your continued partnership in the Great Commission. We wish you God’s blessings and a Spirit-filled 2017!
Lam Kok Hiang
Photograph by Mark Byzewski
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Anchor for the soul
Moorings is a compilation of devotions by Cru Singapore’s Country Leader, Lam Kok Hiang, written with the hope of spurring you to ponder on God’s truths.