The next few months are going to bring a whole lot of change for me. For those of you who know me well you’ll know that my family are moving away next month and then a few weeks later I’ll be (hopefully) off to Uni. Two moves in the space of just over a month. Honesty time: I am struggling to get my head around the prospect of my life looking completely different, let alone the actual change itself. I worry about being away from my Church and my friends and starting a fresh, completely, twice. This is a period of transition for many of us as we await exam results this summer, a time of uncertainty about what the future holds. I’ve been thinking a lot about how to make the most of this ‘limbo’ period, just before exam results, just before that job interview, just before moving house. A new season is about to be embarked on and you may feel unsettled, anxious about what your life might be like in a couple of months’ time. So how do we make this ‘just before’ period the best it can be and how do we remain positive and expectant despite all the doubts and fears?
C ling no more- stop desperately trying to keep everything the same because circumstances are often out of your control. Trying to fight the inevitable is just tiresome and can leave you feeling inadequate when life moves despite your best efforts at preventing it. I think we often have a tendency to cling to our ‘normal’ because even if our current situation isn’t the best, it’s familiar. With every box packed in my house I feel like I cling that little bit tighter to the past, giving in to that desire for everything to just stay the same. You can be at a complete standstill yet be reluctant to move because at least at when stay put you can’t make any mistakes, no rash decisions that you might regret but life is going to move and sometimes you just have to move with it.
Hold on to His promises. Whilst clinging to your present circumstances and fighting against the current is not advisable, gripping hold of His word most definitely is. Malachi 3: 6 tells us ‘I the Lord do not change. So you, the descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed’. The best thing about your life completely changing is that you have to hold onto the one thing that never changes, God. Through all the ups and downs he remains the same, He is as for you when you are having a turbulent time as when everything’s going smoothly.
Be Active in this season of change, if you are unsure what results day will bring be seeking out alternative opportunities, God will move you along the right path but there is no harm in having a couple of different possible routes in mind. Make the most of this period, be engaged in it, use the time wisely to plan, pray and dream. With no exams to distract you this just might be the time where a new vision is sparked within you. Don’t just deal with change, enduring the season of upheaval, but make the most of it.
Not closed-minded. Whilst I think it’s great to spend this ‘just before’ period actively thinking and planning for the future, don’t be closed to God moving you away from all these plans and presenting an entirely different and unexpected path. This can be one of the hardest things to accept, that for all your dreams and aspirations, God actually has sovereignty and could direct you well away from the very future you foresaw. God’s plans may be very different from your own but the good news is they are also the best plans for you, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future’ (Jeremiah 29:11) So during this season don’t be afraid to dream and plan but also remember to be open to what God wants to do.
Get yourself around those who’ve been through it. I am a real believer in learning from the experiences of others, be present in conversations with those who have gone through the same anxieties about the future, the same periods of change and be encouraged by where they are now. If you are planning on trying to break into the business world, find someone familiar with that path, if Uni is for you then chat to someone who went themselves. Stories are one of the most powerful tools we have, so try to learn from others, allow yourselves to be advised and inspired.
Be Expectant for what God can do in this new season, as unstable as it may feel, as insecure as you may feel, He has a plan for your future, he wants to see you prosper. The Word tells us that He is ‘able to do immeasurably more than we could ask or imagine’ (Ephesians 3:20). I’ve learnt that when you hold this verse close to your heart and you really believe it you can travel into this period of transition ready for God to work in those changing circumstances feeling, if not confident, perhaps not even too settled but full of hope. If at the end of this ‘just before’ period you discover that you haven’t got the results you wanted and all those plans you made suddenly disappear as the rug is pulled from under you, He will catch you and not only that but He’ll bless you in ways that you couldn’t even ‘ask or think’.
I reckon some people cope with change a whole lot better than I do but if you are like me then perhaps the reason we struggle so much is that we aren’t fully throwing ourselves into the change instead we are exhausted from fighting against it whereas if we embraced it we might find the process a whole lot more rewarding. Because let’s be honest, change is going to happen anyway so we might as well make the most of it.