Staying Joyful In Transition

One of my favourite movies is The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. The movie begins with four siblings amidst the chaos of the Second World War. In order to keep them safe, their parents send them away to a large, old country house. From the perspective of Lucy, the youngest of the four siblings, moving to a new house in a new place without her parents is extremely confusing, frightening, and overwhelming. It is a big transition for her. The feelings Lucy experiences are not foreign to us, and I am sure we can all relate to those emotions. From a change in school to a new class, we’ve all had our share of transitions.

THE GREAT CHANGE
We’ve all heard the saying that change is the only constant in life, and while we may not like to hear that, it’s true! It’s perfectly normal to feel uncertain during these times of great change. We don’t know how things will turn out, and that can be paralysing! More often than not, we are anxious and uncomfortable with change, but the reality is that as we get older, adjustments become part and parcel of life.

Is there a way for us to get through them without getting lost in transition?

REMEMBER GOD’S PROMISES
When I was 15 and taking on a new class, new subjects, and new friends, it was extremely daunting. Truth be told, it was a huge struggle. After two months, I still found myself getting used to the class dynamics and the rigour of the subjects, and trying to build friendships with people I did not really know. I felt so lost.

Instead of allowing myself to remain in this state of confusion, I decided to write down a list of verses that brought me comfort and hope. Verses like “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” (1 Pet 5:7), and “The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged” (Deut 31:8) were an encouragement to me during that time. The overwhelming emotions we face during times of uncertainty can drive us into a place of doubt and insecurity, but holding on tightly to God’s promises can ease the difficulty of transition.

HOLDING ON TIGHTLY TO GOD'S PROMISES CAN EASE THE DIFFICULTY OF TRANSITION

STAY ROOTED
I have a close group of female friends that I consider my confidants, and throughout the various seasons in my life, they’ve been a community that I can fall back on to encourage me with the Bible, pray together with me, and send me messages during the week to show that I was in their prayers. I don’t know what I would have done if these girls were absent from my life.

Together, we have journeyed together through puberty, friendship issues, adjustments in school, family drama, heartbreak from boys, and more. Each transition varied in its length and difficulty, but having a godly community made it much easier and reminded me that I was not walking through them alone.

CELEBRATE AT ALL TIMES!
It may sound counter-intuitive, but when you have to go through painful or uncomfortable changes, rejoice! One thing I have witnessed over the years is that many people around me, Christians included, struggle with rejoicing and finding joy in their daily life. Hence, when transitions hit, they are vulnerable to feeling defeated.

Paul is one of my favourite characters in the Bible. In the book of Philippians, he was locked up in prison and in chains! Imagine being in his shoes — suddenly thrown into prison, and trapped in a cell with many other inmates. I am sure that I would have been constantly grumbling and filled with extreme negativity at my circumstances. However, Paul responded in a completely different manner. In Philippians 4:4, he writes, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!”

Each time I put myself in Paul’s shoes and read this verse, I am humbled and blown away. I am unable to comprehend his response to his circumstance.

Learn to be thankful for the little things daily. These can be as simple as the food you eat, clean water you drink, the roof over your head, safety in Singapore, access to education, good health, and so on. When you start cultivating a lifestyle of thanksgiving, your eyes will be open to see God’s touch all over your life! Then, when transitions come, difficult as they may be, you can have the confidence that God, who has always been present, will continue to be present and see you through. 

WHEN YOU HAVE TO GO THROUGH PAINFUL OR UNCOMFORTABLE CHANGES, REJOICE!

EMBRACING TRANSITION
Going back to Lucy — she decides to make the most out of her situation by embracing the changes in her life. Eventually, she and her siblings discover the land of Narnia and have an unforgettable experience with Aslan (the King)! Transitions are not all doom and gloom; there can be beauty in them as well. For those who are feeling lost in the midst of transition, stay rooted in godly community, rejoice daily, and hold on tightly to His promises. As you adapt to a new season in life, know that God embraces you and will see you through each milestone ahead.

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