I put the pen down on my exam paper and waited for the supervisor to collect it. The seconds ticked by as it began to sink in- this was the last exam for my degree. I was finished. I was done. I would never have to sit through another Education class. The euphoria made my thoughts incoherent- I was almost dizzy with excitement. What was that old poem again? ‘no more teachers, no more books, no more teachers’ dirty looks’.
But then I got scared- this was the end of an era, the end of something huge. I would have to move on, and transition into something else and I did not know what that would look like yet. I would not be with my friends every day anymore; there would be new people standing over me with new expectations and
This realisation is one of life’s defining moments, starting something new.
Periods of transition are some of the most stressful in our lives. They can evoke feelings of uncertainty and terror. We can become anxious as we move from one period into another. A lack of stability can lead someone to question everything they have ever known.
How do you even know what career path you are meant to pursue? How can you ever be sure that you are doing the right thing? These are the types of questions that can keep us anxious and awake at night. We work ourselves up about every new idea, always sure that we will fall at the first hurdle and will make a fool out of ourselves, or worse that we will somehow mess our lives up.
Transitions are scary; luckily, God makes several promises to us about what we can be sure of:
- No matter what changes, he is constant, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Hebrews 13:8
- If you are overwhelmed, know that God is always there for us. Psalm 18:2 says “The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.”
- God sometimes has us do something new, in Isaiah 43:19 it says “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wilderness.” Even if the way God is making for us is not the one that we perceived, God goes before us.
- In Philippians 4:6 it says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” When you are stressed and overwhelmed, remember that God is always waiting and listening to you.
- 1 Peter 5:7 says “cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” God cares for us and wants us to lean in him through periods of transition.
- We are instructed to “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding” more than that, we are told “in all your ways submit to him and “he will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5-6).
Remember, if you fall and you have scrapped knee that eventually heals. You did not go straight from crawling into walking, you fell and got up again and again.
Next time you are stressed or moving from one era of life into another, I challenge you to breathe. Then you need to think about what God has got you through so far in life. Believe then, if God has got you through this much, then how much more will he get you through. God promises us an abundant life, even through the tumultuous times of change.
By Kira-leigh Josey