When my husband and I felt God calling us to move (again), I was immediately filled with fear. I knew I would be left yet again to avoid eye contact with the hyper-friendly church greeters while we did the “church shopping” thing. I would be nicknamed the “new girl” and try to nudge my way into already established friend groups. Whether it’s a move, a new school for the kids, a new baby, or a new job, transitions thrust us into facing the unfamiliar and being vulnerable in the space of the unknown.
As we begin a new year, you might find yourself with those same nervous jitters I became familiar with as the “new girl” in town. Instead of being overcome with fear, we can learn to face transitions with confidence knowing that God leads us through them.
3 Ways to Fearlessly Transition
1. Ask God for Faith
One of the main reasons transitions leave us losing sleep and wondering if it will all work out for our families is because we cannot see what is next. Often, we’re under the illusion that when we are in a familiar area of life, we have some sense of knowing what comes next.
But a life of faith always requires believing in what we can not see. Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”
As we enter into the new year, invite God to replace your fear with greater faith. Ask Him for faith in what you cannot see. None of us know what the future holds, even in seasons of routine, but we can trust in the God who sees and knows all. As God gives you fresh faith, you can place your confidence in His plan even before you see it and sense your fear melting away.
2. Be Prepared
When a friend was fast approaching her due date for her baby girl, she called me and asked, “can I put you on my list?” She told me that she felt some fear leading up to the arrival of her little girl. She was excited, no doubt, but knew that in the newborn season of sleepless nights and big changes, she’d need people to call on. Instead of waiting until her baby girl’s arrival, she was creating a list now of people who she could call when she was feeling afraid, uncertain, or anxious.
When faced with transitions, sometimes we wait until we experience the difficulties that may come to decide what to do. Instead, think ahead. Prepare by memorizing a few Bible verses, making a list of compassionate friends to call on, or preparing to meet practical needs during your transition season.
Sometimes, we are so busy trying to manage change that we soon find ourselves at the end of a transition without even looking up at what God has been doing in our midst the entire time. We arrive at our new season with gritted teeth and clenched fists, letting out a deep breath we don’t realize we were holding that entire time.
If you’re desiring to transition into the new year with the confidence of God, continue to seek His face. Practically, this often means pausing and celebrating on the way.
The word “selah” found throughout the Psalms has a complex meaning including a break or pause. It is also translated: to praise. My favorite meaning of the word “selah” is to be attentive. As it’s scattered throughout the Psalms, we are reminded to look up, to look around, to seek God’s face, to be attentive to what He is doing right now and to celebrate it even in the middle of a Psalm, or in the middle of a season of change.
Fix your eyes on Jesus with new faith, preparation for what is to come, and taking the time to look around and thank God as things change. He is a God who is in the details. As you celebrate the little things, you’ll notice your focus has shifted from your own fear and insecurities to a confident faith in a God who has good things in store for you in this new year.