This has been another season of transition. It is an expected season. Officers receive marching orders. Soldiers grieve the loss of relationship with pastors they have come to love and simultaneously wait for the new pastor to arrive.
Many transitions take place as a result of conscious choices. New schools, new jobs, new cities, all create new surroundings. Some transitions, however, are the result of others’ choices. Whether you consciously made a choice to change something or the choices of others created change, and whether or not those changes are exciting or just plain necessary, transition is not easy to navigate.
GIVE YOURSELF TIME TO GRIEVE. People who invest in people and places cannot be expected to pull out without feeling some degree of grief. Attachments are formed, friendships are made, and environments are embraced. Realistically, you must give yourself time to feel the loss. Grief honors that which you love. It is healthy to acknowledge it and feel the sadness or disorientation.
REMIND YOURSELF THAT YOUR IDENTITY IS NOT SHAKEN. It doesn’t take long for people to assimilate into their surroundings. When you pull up stakes and the new environment is unfamiliar, it is not difficult to lose a sense of who you are. It is helpful during transition to stay in contact with a close friend or family member who can help you maintain perspective.
PREPARE YOURSELF TO EMBRACE NEW POSSIBILITIES FOR GROWTH. How we navigate change is more important than the change itself. Resistance to change creates negative emotions and a sense of being “stuck.” Embracing the good and new possibilities in change offers the opportunities for our world and heart to be enlarged as new experiences, people, and places stretch our inner world and outer sphere of influence.
Let this season of transition serve as a reconnection to God, to others, and to yourself in healthy, meaningful ways!
The blessings of our Lord be yours!!
Grace and all good to you!
Joanne Holz, Major
The Jack McDowell School for Leadership Development