Navigating Transitions in Life with God
Change can be difficult.
New responsibilities at work? Big move across the country? Becoming a parent? Leaving family? Loss of a loved one? Making new friendships and growing out of relationships?
Big or small, transitions in life are tough and can take a toll on your well-being. So, what’s the best way to handle changes in your life?
Finding the right type of support
I just googled how to handle life’s transition and the common advice is to “seek support.”
In today’s digital world, most people would take that as an invitation to keep searching online. In fact, 90 percent of teens and young adults with symptoms of depression said they’ve gone online for information about mental health issues.
When I scroll through social media I see a bunch of public figures providing mental health tips, encouragement, and several “I’m with you in this” type of posts which attract a great amount of likes, comments, saves, and follows.
Not gonna lie, some of these posts make me feel a little better but only for a quick second. I don’t feel braver.
There has to be more than this, right?!
In my life and in the stories I’m about to share with you, God’s presence has been the game changer during critical moments of transitions. You know the ones I’m talking about —the near impossible situations with the rescue that comes in such unexpected ways, the ordinary life events that come with valuable lessons to anyone willing to pay attention—the ones that remind you that your situation, while difficult, is not impossible.
As a content creator at incmedia.org, I’ve had a front row seat to the many ways that people have been able to turn setbacks into opportunities, reframe major life transitions through faith— all with God in their life.
Here are a few of my favorites.
Coping with major life changes the right way
Before having a relationship with God, Mike Russell felt stuck in life. He was a high school dropout with no future because he had no support system and was involved with drug dealers, but it all turned around when he was introduced to the Church Of Christ.
“Since I became more and more active in the Church, I started seeing more and more opportunities—just doors opening up on their own. I had to get my GED and I went through my certification programs and I was able to get that and secure a pretty sweet job that takes care of me.”
Learning to embrace change with God
The sudden move from Guatemala to Mexico City put a lot of stress on Angie Fisher. Leaving her best friends, classmates, and her comfort zone seemed unfair and impossible to navigate.
“Although life at that moment was still hard to bear, I now understood that I was not alone in all of this. And slowly, life started to come together little by little. I could notice the blessings that I was receiving in my life. But all the more I realized that with God’s help, He does not let you sink in these situations, even if you don’t know how to swim.”
Seeing God’s plan during a difficult transition
When Tawanda Cochrane lost her mom she was heartbroken and wasn’t sure how she would fill the void, but God had a plan.
“He answers prayers. He knew how close me and my mom were. After she passed, I was back on that downward spiral. And I just kept praying, God help, help me. I wanted a mother and my mom was gone. Sister Rose is kind of like being that mother figure and she made me feel comfortable. I talked to her about anything and everything like I would with my mom.”
Allowing God to open your mind to new possibilities
After learning her son was autistic, Emirick Haro felt devastated because she thought her dreams for her son would no longer be achieved…but after seeking God’s help, she noticed how God opened her mind to new possibilities.
“We prayed. We prayed really hard, and we changed our prayers from, “Please don’t let Russell be autistic,” to “Please help us to understand Your plan and give us the wisdom and the strength to execute it.” Literally the next day, someone came and told me about a holistic doctor in San Diego who has had success with autistic patients. Someone else had referred me to this innovative Speech Therapist who suggested that we remove dairy from his diet. We were getting advice left and right and my research was becoming more fruitful. We rolled up our sleeves and we got to work. Now if you think I’m going to tell you that my son is cured of autism, hello there is no cure to autism. But I will tell you how amazing my son is and how kind God is.”
You don’t have to deal with life’s transitions alone
All these examples prove that having God as your support system makes going through life’s transitions a little less painful. If you want to hear more stories of how people have been able to navigate life’s changes with God by their side, check out the Making Changes podcast.
These stories have also made me look back at my own life and reflect on how I dealt with changes in my life. Moving to San Francisco from Hawaii by myself was scary because I was homesick, (semi) broke, and ready to call it quits after only four months. My new friends were helpful and my family (back home) continued to cheer me on, but I found courage through prayer. God opened up opportunities for me to stay and now I have my dream job.
I have always bookmarked that phase in my life as “my biggest leap,” but in retrospect, my legs weren’t strong enough…God definitely carried me through that one.
And I believe God can carry you through it too, whatever that “it” is in your life. You don’t have to go through it alone or find temporary inspirational fixes through social media posts because having God means giving Him the opportunity to step in and see what He can do in our life.
Have you considered involving God in your life? What is holding you back from living a life filled with God’s blessings? If you don’t know how to start and need some support, just ask.
About the Writer:
Jan Valerio is a staff writer at INCMedia.org and considers it her dream job because she helps to create content that proves God exists in our lives. Born and raised in Hawaii, she continues to wear slippers even during the Bay Area winters.