The Joy of Transitions
By Paul Dyck
on Tuesday, April 26, 2022
I love being in transition. I love the thrill of change. I look forward to a new paradigm…
More like … “I’m SO done with this!” (A statement we’re hearing provincial premiers make, and one that echoes across our country.)
God calls us to follow Him in obedience. Almost always it means change. Leaving our comfort zone, we move into unknown territory, feeling anxious, fearful, and sometimes terrified. Yet we can journey through transitions with confidence, fearlessly, and with anticipation.
As Christ Followers, Rest Assured God Knows What He’s Doing.
We view transitions from various perspectives.
Life. Work. Home. Childhood. Marriage. Education. Friendships. Aging. Children. Grandchildren. Loss of a loved one. Moving to a foreign country. Language acquisition. Culture acquisition. Repatriating to our passport country.
We view transitions through our circumstances.
Sometimes the transition is our choice or to our liking. We may experience joy, happiness and satisfaction with a promotion, a raise, the birth of a child, or a new home.
Sometimes transition is not our choice. We may experience fear, frustration, anger, depression through the death of a loved one, a demotion, being fired or kicked out of the country we’re serving in.
As Christ followers, transitions always have a good side! Guaranteed!
Allow me to share my story for context.
From the perspective of a child:
By age 21, I had moved nineteen times, attended eight different schools on two continents.
From the perspective of an adult:
After Carol and I married, we moved nine times in 22 years changing jobs even more times, experienced seven pregnancies, with one living son. Our second son passed away when he was 4 months old. Carol miscarried five times.
Then, there’s the perspective of the workplace:
I’ve filled 20+ various positions, most of them with different organizations.
Yet, from the rear-view mirror perspective:
I’ve seen God carry us through each and every transition. We’ve experienced God continually setting us up for good.
God is not impressed with our accomplishments. He wants to shape us, mould us, and conform us into the image of His dear Son! And He uses highly creative ways to accomplish that.
As Christ followers we are to be content, grounded in Christ, trusting His every move.
God uses Transitions for Good.
Every transition we face means God is leading us through the unknown and unclear.
We’re out of our depth. We don’t know what’s coming next. Don’t you wish there was a biblical version of “Transitions for Dummies”? (There actually is!)
Voluntary transitions we love, as they bring opportunities to improve ourselves and our standing. We pray towards hoped for outcomes, manoeuvring, and positioning ourselves. Sometimes we even take the credit.
Involuntary transitions are difficult. We’re told something will happen, something we are not in favor of … we’re reassigned, or fired, or someone we love dearly dies, or our home is destroyed catastrophically, or a war starts! It’s not something we desire, nor hope for. We wonder WHY?
We can either fight, become bitter, hold grudges, and blame God OR we can anticipate God to use our circumstances for good. As Christ followers we see the decision as allowed by God or (not a popular statement here) even caused by God.
We expect God to use it all for good.
What Does Transitioning God’s Way Look Like?
Choose to see things in the light of Christ. With God there are no accidents, no oops.
“Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.” -James 1:16-18
Our attitude towards all of our circumstances makes all the difference.
“I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so, it is with us! We are in charge of our attitudes.” -Charles Swindoll
How to Exit Well - EXIT ON A RAFT
- Reconcile relationships. Exit well. Leaving is not the time to tell your boss off after winning the $5 million lottery.
- Affirm relationships. Let them know how much they mean to you. (Mark 12:29-31)
- Farewell to people. Take the time to call, visit, and/or write people. Let them know how much you’ll miss them. It’s good to grieve. Weep together.
- Think Ahead with hope and expectation. What will God do? Anticipate.
How to Enter Well – ENTER WITH CARE
- Check in - communicate with team/family often.
- Accept and look for help. Approach people with a humble posture. (Phil. 2:5-8)
- Refresh your soul spiritually through praise, prayer & worship; physically by staying active; and emotionally with an attitude of gratitude (1 Thess. 5:16-18).
- Evaluate expectations. Is your posture open and accepting?
Remember, it’s always about God’s reputation. How well you transition says a lot about your faith and your trust in the Almighty.
Learning through Transitions
Carol and I have learned much through life’s transitions …
- Don’t be so hard on ourselves. Most of us are WAY TOO hard on ourselves.
- Hardships and mistakes are usually our best teachers. Especially when we own them.
- Rely on each other, and on God. Grow deeper in love.
- Listen and wait on God. (Isaiah 64:4)
- Immerse ourselves in our new reality leaving behind the old.
- The best time to make changes is when we are in transition. Initiate new healthy habits. Drop those not so healthy habits.
A Gift for You
We’d like to share a gift with you.
The book “Dark Night Experience” is available as a free download. John and Vivian Moy now in their seventies have lived in numerous countries church planting, serving as pastors, missionaries, superintendents, and counselors.
Download "Dark Night Experience"
“The amazing grace of the Master, Jesus Christ, the extravagant love of God, the intimate friendship of the Holy Spirit, be with all of you.” 2 Cor. 13:14 MSG
Paul Dyck is the former National Team Leader and now an Ambassador for the MORE Network - a Canada-wide collaborative supporting cross-cultural workers & MKs in transition. Paul fills the role of Ministry Ambassador and Champion across Canada, working with church & mission leaders involved with caring for cross-cultural workers & MKs. Paul is an MK and has experience in Member Care, Pastoring, Banking and Business Leadership. Paul & his wife Carol life in Abbotsford, BC.