Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The Difficulty with Transition

Life has many transitions. We move from being a child to an adult, single to married, and parent to grandparent. All of these have their challenges, but one thing that they all have in common is our ability to see what is on the other end of the transition. We are able to plan and prepare in such a way that the change happens smoothly.

There are some transitions, however, where we cannot see what is on the other end. We walk gingerly out onto a skimpy rope bridge over a deep chasm filled with churning rapids, and the fog settles in. We cannot see what lies ahead, and we have gone far enough that we lose track of what we left behind.

This type of transition is terrifying! It is easy to get frozen in our tracks; unable to move for fear that we will not make it to the other side. At the same time, we cannot go back to where we have been, as it no longer exists in our realm of vision!

Fear of the unknown puts its icy fingers around our hearts, and our determination, courage, and tenacity lose their strength. We feel inadequate, weak, and insignificant. Our measly skills are not sufficient to bring about a successful resolution to the seeming impossible task before us. 

When this happens, it is vital that we muster our faith; faith that God will provide a course of action if we simply continue to move forward; faith that the bridge will hold up and we will not be plunged to our deaths in the churning rapids; and faith in ourselves that we have the strength to move one foot in front of the other!

Our best defense is to assure ourselves that the transition will not last forever, that God has been both merciful and faithful in the past, and that we do know that others have trodden this path before us. Our ability to use positive self-talk allows the scared child within us to be reassured by our competent adult self that everything will work out in the end.

We begin to see glimmers of hope as small rays of sunshine break through the fog. We look ahead eagerly and see a faint outline of our destination in the distance. Gradually, the picture begins to form in our minds and hearts. We take courage and our stride increases as we begin to understand what lies on the other side of the chasm.

With sweat pouring off our brow, we step forward as we put our feet on solid ground again, heaving a sigh of relief that the transition has come to an end. We look behind us, surprised to see that others have followed our path, in spite of our faltering example.  

We turn to embrace them, giving encouragement and hope that they will make it! Together, we reinforce the bridge, knowing that there will be others to come who are experiencing the difficulty of a similar transition.

©2014 by Denise W. Anderson, all rights reserved.

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