Everything is about to change! Yah, I cannot wait – said no one, ever. While change is difficult for all of us, there are definitely some great things we can learn through times of transition. More importantly, the thing about change is, it can’t be avoided…for long. Change happens to every person.
Additionally, when we embrace change, great things can happen. When we fight change, we limit our growth potential, we stifle God’s plan for our life, and we wallow in unhappiness and fear. Therefore, as difficult as change and transition is, it is for our benefit and our growth.
1) Change brings growth
Reason number one that transition is healthy is that it brings about the potential to grow. Change brings us the amazing opportunity to grow. When we stay the same, when nothing in life changes, growth stagnates. Imagine what would happen if a baby was born, and went through his/her entire life at the same size. When a baby grows, he changes. When she changes, she grows. What would life without growth look like? Scary thought.
Think about it, when you learned a new task as a child, life changed, but you grew. When you were three, four, or even five, you probably did not know how to tie your shoes. I taught Kindergarten for six years and invariably there were children who didn’t know how to tie their shoes. Before a child can tie his/her own shoes, he/she is totally dependent upon Mom or Dad to step in and help, but afterwards, that same child can gain independence. Trust me, tying one’s own shoes is a task that is difficult for most children. They don’t like having to learn this hard task, but it is definitely a useful life skill
Sound familiar? Have you, too, been called upon to complete a difficult task or go through a difficult time to look back and see some amazing growth you wouldn’t have had without that experience?
However, the key to dealing with transition and the potential change and ultimate growth it brings is to embrace the change. Sometimes, we have to desire growth and opportunities more than we fear change.
2) It makes us flexible/adaptable
Secondly, transition brings us the opportunity to become more adaptable and flexible. Honestly, this is extremely difficult for me. I tend to be a little black-and-white in my thinking. I love learning new things, but actually changing, however, is much more difficult for me. I like things to continue in a pattern I am comfortable with. Sound familiar?
Perhaps, you too, struggle with being flexible or adaptable. Flexible is defined as “capable of bending easily without breaking.” Wow! What a great trait. However, this doesn’t mean I change my beliefs, but it does mean that I can handle new situations, new people, new challenges, new tasks. That doesn’t sound so bad after all. When I think of being flexible, I think of a palm tree that sways in the hurricane winds. Conversely, a tree that is not flexible would break off and snap in the wind.
Further, being adaptable means “being able to adjust to change.” As stated before, change will happen to every life. Nothing stays the same — the only real constant (outside of God Himself) is change. Change happens. Adaptability is our ability to adjust to that change. It means, we can handle the curves that life throws at us without being destroyed by the change.
Additionally, what a great combination that being both flexible and adaptable would be! It would be the ability to adjust to change without breaking apart. Ultimately, change is a part of life. However, how you navigate that change can make or break you.
3) Change strengthens our faith
Another reason that transition is good is because it can strengthen your faith. Change helps our faith to mature. If your faith is never tested, it remains immature.
James 1:2-4 “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature…” (NIV)
Another word for transition, for change, could easily be trial. Not all change feels like a “trial,” but if we are honest, it usually does — especially at first. Additionally, when the change is not something we anticipated or desired, it feels even more like a trial.
However, the Bible makes it clear that part of the maturing process is transition! When we trust Jesus with the outcome, and by that I mean fully relying upon Him for the result, we will be strengthened. When we stop demanding our own way, we will see amazing growth and maturity. Again, babies, as much as we love them, aren’t really concerned about others. That concern comes with maturity.
4) It increases our compassion
Finally, another reason to embrace transition is that it increases our compassion for others. To have compassion means to extend kindness and mercy. This act, therefore, is more than just an emotion. It is one thing to say you feel compassion. Conversely to be compassionate is different. To be compassionate means you not only identify with one’s plight, but that you actively engage that person in their difficulty and pitch in and help.
I can look at your situation in life and feel an emotion, but when I have truly gone through a similar situation, I can empathize. I can go beyond the emotions into action. A widow can more readily empathize with a new widow than a newlywed can. A woman who has struggled with fertility, can more easily support another woman who is struggling with that same condition. A man who has lost a job, can more readily pitch in when he hears of another man who is looking for a job.
In any transition, we have ample opportunity to reach out in love and compassion to support one another. In Ephesians 4:32 — “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” (NIV)
Therefore, it is the mature Christian, who has gone through his/her own trials and transitions that have a greater concern for others. It is when we feel compassion, we are moved with compassion to help, support, encourage, and uplift!
Finally, transition is hard. There is no way to say this lightly. Change is difficult. However, when we go through times of change and transition, we can learn some amazing things about ourselves and others. We grow, we become more flexible/adaptable. Additionally, we mature and have a greater compassion towards others.
Are you ready to embrace the change?