Working with families in their home was such a great experience because I was able to truly help parents realize that sometimes their toddler struggled with transitions because it was a passed on trait from themself and they never realized it, until they had their own kid. Honestly speaking here, we all love transitions that we are expecting, looking forward to and see it as beneficial. For example, a new job that we were hoping to get, a newlywed, a new baby, a new car or outfit that we know we look good in, right?
How do transitions feel when they’re unexpected, have no good benefit (that we can see) or simply came from no where like a sudden unexpected death of a loved one, a loss of a job, a diagnosis that is bleak, just fill in the blank. We’ve all been there. Life happens and we have to roll with it. Life for the Christian also has it’s unexpected pain and detours that leave us stunned.
People don’t always show their true reaction to things, while others are quite transparent about it. I came across children that “appeared” to be fine on the outside, no matter the circumstances. They had very calm demeanors, but other behaviors proved they were actually internalizing things. I encouraged families that the ones that flat out had the bursts of tears and tantrums were positive because the parents were well aware of their feelings, they were very obvious. It was the ones that internalized things that were suffering the most. I had to “train their eyes” for red flag behaviors.
How we manage or handle stress all stems from Early Childhood. I have seen situations where there was neglect. The parent didn’t have a support system as a child and therefore, when their own child was stressed, the parent was apathetic or passive aggressive toward dealing with that child’s need. They never received help from their parent, in the moment they needed their emotions regulated the most, so when they had their own kids, they repeated the same behavior they received, as a child. They were repeating the familiar.
Even as Christians, we can tend to internalize transitions that are affecting is negatively when what we actually need is to have those feelings and emotions dealt with, by God. The immediate reaction is to tend to revert to the past. The amazing part is that we have an amazing God and Father that knows us and is there to “call us out” when necessary. If you find yourself in this situation, just know that you are not alone. Since being born again, we learn that our past and our “flesh” have no power over us,
So what does the Bible have to say about how to handle the (not so easy) transitions of life?
- Stay positive- “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11
- Remember, your past reactions are from the old you- “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17
- Don’t practice emotions that don’t glorify God- “But one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead. I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:12
- Remember the tactics of our enemy and do not give him an inch!- “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” John 10:10
- Remember to whom you belong to- “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.” Isaiah 43:1
6. God has a purpose for this – “I know that You can do all things, And that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted. Job42:2
7. Lean on God for help – “My help comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth.” Psalm 121:2
8. Look up, instead of holding your head down – “To You I lift up my eyes, O You who are enthroned in the heavens!” Psalm 123:1
9. Pray for God’s will in this situation, not yours -” Instead, you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.” James 4:15
10. God allows things for His purpose – “And we know that God works all things together for the good of those who love Him, who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28