02 Nov Transitions by Ryan Miller
If you’ve ever experienced a change in your life you know it’s hardly ever easy. Life is full of change and part of the change is the transition from what used to be to what is new. Throughout your life you will no doubt experience a lot of transitions. Some will be difficult and some will be easy. How you deal with them will no doubt impact the new season in your life.
With the recent start to the school year, my mind began to consider all of those facing a time of transition. The moms and dads sending their kids to school for the first time. For some it was to kindergarten, for others it was to college. To the kids who are entering a new grade or a new school. To the teachers who are adjusting to an entire room of new kids. There are some serious transitions taking place so I want to offer 5 ways to help make the transitions, easy or hard, go a little smoother for you.
Something I started doing when I was going through a lot of change in my life was to have an ongoing conversation with God. From my childhood and into my young adult life I viewed prayer much differently. It had a beginning and an end. When life started to change for me I found myself starting my day talking with God and continuing throughout the day. I wasn’t walking around talking to myself, but I never let the conversation end. If something would happen or pop in my mind I would just speak it to God. The only time I would end with the traditional “Amen” was when I closed my eyes at night. Whatever transition you are facing right now, it is vital that you remain connected to your conversation with God. Tell him the good, the bad and everything in between. Let him reveal to you what you need in this time.
Focus on the Good, Not the Bad
I think we all have a tendency to find the negative in things. I don’t know about you, but I sometimes have to work hard to find the good in situations. When I do however, the bad usually seems to pale in comparison. Since for most of us our natural tendency is to find the bad, it’s work to focus on what is good but, it is life changing when you do. An attitude change is life-changing. Seriously, if you focus on the good you will find yourself smiling more, happier and more people will want to be around you. Very quickly you will be able to see God working in your life turning a bad situation into something very useful.
Realize This Won’t Last Forever
One of the hardest parts of transitions is there is no set time as to how long it will last. It could last for days, months or even years. Sometimes there is a defined beginning and end, sometimes you don’t realize you’re in it, until it’s been happening for awhile. Either way it will end, you can and will make it through. But, do you really want to look back and only be able to say “I just wished it would end?” Maybe I’m a little too optimistic, but my preference is to look back and say “I made the best of my situation.”
Embrace the New and Appreciate the Old
Have you ever sat down with someone who wouldn’t stop talking about “the good old days?” I mean, they may have been great, but I’m more concerned with what’s happening now and where are you headed. People who live in the past often have a false sense of reality because they are avoiding the change and transition in their lives. When I got married I was a picky eater (ok, I still am) but my wife has convinced me to try and change that. I am not allowed to say I don’t like something, unless I actually try it. Usually that means I have to try it in front of her! Shockingly, about 90% of the time, I like the food. Too many people are stuck in the old days and haven’t experienced all that is good about new because they’re too scared to try. Yes some great stuff has happened in the past, but I guarantee you some great stuff could happen right now too!
Live in the Moment
To me this doesn’t come easy, but it’s extremely important. I am about 10 years removed from graduating college and I would find myself dreaming back to those times and how good they were. That’s fine, they were great. But, what I was missing out on was what was happening right in front of me. College was a great time in my life. I met some incredible people and got to experience some amazing things. However, it was not and will not be the only great time of my life. Each and every single stage of life is going to have it’s great moments. The term YOLO was popular for awhile although it was ridiculed by many. Truthfully, however, you only live each day one time. You cannot redo, relive, add to or delete a single second of any day so do your best to make the most of it. Don’t waste too much time dwelling on once was or what could be. Embrace the now of your life!