Sunday, January 19, 2014

Life Transitions

Transitions are a mixed bag. Sometimes they are exciting, like a new marriage or an upgrade in our living circumstances. And sometimes they are less than exciting – the loss of a job or having to deal with a permanent illness. Either way, there is likely to be anxiety.

Why anxiety? There is always an unknown element and an adjustment period.

Experts have predicted that it can take up to three years for a person relocating to a new city, away from friends and familiarity, to feel comfortable and at home again in the new location. I have had a good many friends who have made major moves and they can attest to truth of this. Even when the move was desirable and planned, the change was not easy or quick.

I know that there will come a time when we must move from full time employment to part time – and then to who knows what. It is inevitable, but will I welcome it, or will I resist it?

How about the transition from adolescent to adult? From young married adults to parents? Or from parents to empty-nesters? Some look forward to the day, but others delay the changeover to the very last possible moment.

The Bible is full of these life transitions – accounts of long journeys, captivities, men appointed by God to be kings and prophets and disciples. Many left families, countries and comfort to respond to the call of God. I’ll bet there was a lot of fear and anxiety.

There are other kinds of transitions, too. The kinds that are not visible. Moving from bitterness and resentment to forgiveness, greed to giving, violent to peaceful, angry to calm, addicted to sober and fearful to confident. These too, are major life shifts, and may take time to adjust to.

Will people accept those changes, even when they are positive or will they want the old man or woman back, the one that they have assigned to a particular category? Good changes can often stress out a relationship almost as significantly as negative ones in certain cases.

My favorite transition is the one Jesus offers – a new life free of condemnation. This is a transformation from the inside out. Is it visible? Some say that there is light in the eyes of the believer that did not exist before making the decision to follow Him. It may be visible in the different decisions he or she makes in everyday life. Hopefully it will be visible in the way he loves and cares for others.

The Relationship Center exists to assist people in their life transitions, whether internal or external. We would love to hear your story. 
2 Corinthians 5:17 (NLT) This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!

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