Making Good Transitions


// Denise Burns

Life is filled with different seasons. There are seasons in our jobs, seasons in marriage and parenting, seasons in the weather. Ecclesiastes 3:1 says, "For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven" (NLT).

Every season is beautiful in its own time. When we're in a season, we're doing our thing and loving it. But when that season starts coming to an end, we begin feeling uncomfortable. We feel like we should go in a different direction. But maybe we're not sure what to do or where to go. In between where we are and where we're going is a gap of time—a transition.

For example, Ecclesiastes 3:8 says there is "a time to love and a time to hate." Love and hate are opposites. We don't go from loving something to hating something and vice versa just like that. There's a gap of time in between.

Transitioning from one season to another can be difficult for some people. But we need to realize that the way we leave one season is oftentimes the way we begin the next season. So we want to make a good

Some people make good transitions and some don't. Many times people start to gripe and complain. And sometimes they do things that hurt others. When transitions aren't made correctly, a lot of damage can be done. I don't believe that God wants us to handle a change of season this way.

Recognizing When a Season Is Ending
Transitions don't have to end badly. We don't have to burn bridges every time we move into a new phase in our lives. We can make better transitions by recognizing when a season is coming to an end. Here are some ways to know when it's time to move on.

1. We're no longer content. We used to find a lot of happiness in what we were doing. Now we just can't stand it.

2. We become easily irritated. Things
that never used to bother us now irritate us. Everything gets on our nerves!

3. We complain and find fault. We begin judging others—feeling that we can do things better. We start sowing dissension among our peers.

4. We dream of a better place. We believe that if we could just move somewhere else, life would be a lot better.

Our Guide—the Holy Spirit
The good news is that God hasn't left us alone to figure things out by ourselves. He gave us a Guide to help us through the transitions and seasons of our lives.

John 16:13 (NLT)
13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future.

Oftentimes, instead of paying attention to the Holy Spirit, we ignore Him. It's kind of like people on a sightseeing trip. The tour guide is talking about the different sights, but some people just tune him out instead of listening to what he has to say.

Sometimes we do that with the Holy Spirit. Instead of dialing in and saying, "Lead me. Guide me. Show me about the future," we tune Him out. This is how people miss their transitions. They've stopped listening to their Guide.

That's why we see people who constantly complain and have nasty attitudes. They're miserable and unhappy and don't realize their season is up. They need to transition to a new season. But they've quit listening to their Guide and don't know where to go to next.

Stepping out of a season can be scary. But as we closely follow the Holy Spirit, He will get us to where we need to be.

Make a Plan
Anytime we're sensing a transition, it's never a good idea to take a big leap. That's not smart. That's how bad transitions are made. We may see where we want to be, but there are steps to take to get there. And a plan on how to take these steps needs to be made.

Sometimes the hardest thing to do is not jump out. Timing is everything. God has His timing under control, and we need to stay within His timeframe. The Lord may be transitioning us to a new place, but if we get there at the wrong time, it still creates a whole world of problems for everybody.

Before making a move, it's always good to seek godly counsel and talk to someone who is smarter and wiser than we are—someone who can give us sound advice on how to make the transition.

And once we've settled in our heart that God is moving us to a new season, we need to keep a good attitude. This can be hard, because we want so badly to get to the next season. It's never OK to sow discord and dissension. We don't want to leave a wake of injured people behind us. And it's never a good idea to burn bridges. We might need that bridge in the future.

Recognizing Our Seasons
Let's take inventory of our lives. Are we exhibiting any of the signs that indicate it may be time to move on? If so, we need to pay attention to our Guide. If we take a step and it starts getting rough, we just need to look to the Holy Spirit. He'll tell us when to move forward, whether to turn right or left, and when to wait. Let's recognize the seasons of our life. And when our season is changing, let's purpose in our hearts to make good transitions.

[Editor's Note: Denise Burns is Student Ministries Pastor at Rhema Bible Church. She is the daughter of Kenneth and Lynette Hagin. Hear more from Denise at this year's Kindle the Flame Women's Conference.]