Encouraging thoughts on Change

Monday, August 15, 2022

Transition is a constant matter in life. When you move, you go through quite a bit of it. I am learning I can't avoid transitions. How I go through them informs what comes next. 

In the past, I thought of transitions as painful. Some truly were. Recently, through a workout strategy session, I learned to see transitions as manageable. 

I was attending my first CrossFit competition. My team, headed by one of my coaches, was talking about strategy. We were to split the workout into an equal and effective way. There was no doubt we could do the work required. The transitions are what slow you down so we had to pay attention to them. We needed a strategy.

We prepared for the workout through communication. We talked about what our strengths and weaknesses were. We agreed on who would start the workout and who would continue from there. 

We went on to warm up for the competition. Warming up is important because it allows your body to be better conditioned for what's to come. During the competition, communication continues to be important. We decided to communicate out loud, checking with one another to find out when it was time to take over. 

That day, transitions became something intimidating and uncontrollable to something I can control. Once I identified how I was going to face transition and who was with me to help me, everything took on a different note. 

We ended up winning that competition. Winning is good but the greatest gain was this new knowledge of transitions.

Moving can hurt the heart. I recently met someone who called it a minor trauma. I see moving as a transition. 

While some moves are more challenging than others, I am learning to prepare and cope with this normal transition of life. 

We all transition in life. Our kids transition from elementary to middle school. We transition from old jobs to new careers. Some people transition to a new marital status. Many years ago, I transitioned from Brazil to the United States. 

We all can learn how to make transition manageable. 

Transitions are not meant to be permanent. Yes, it hurts. Yes, it is difficult. I am learning that we can waste time if we remain paralyzed by our fears. Fear robs us of agency. When we don't have agency, our self-efficacy suffers. 

I'm here to tell you that it is okay to feel your feelings. I certainly feel mine. I remember crying so much during previous moves. The pain was immense. Still, I held on to my faith and somehow, kept going. I kept unpacking boxes. I kept cooking dinner for my family. I kept writing and creating. Life is made of the feelings we feel and the actions we choose to take. Both things exist together. 

How can you "split the work" during your transition? If you are switching careers, can you ask for help during your first weeks adapting to new demands? If your kids are transitioning to a new school, can you offer them some extra time to talk? Can you make room for soothing family activities as they adapt to their new environment? 

Transitions are easier when faced with support. I understand some of us are alone. I came to this country by myself. I wasn't alone. I know God was with me. My family was supporting me from a distance. I called them each chance I had. The warmth of their voice gave me the push I need to adapt to my new life as a freshman in college in a foreign country. 

During times of transition, it pays to ask "who is for me?" We know God is for us. Proceed to list people who truly support you. 

I am currently on the other side of our transition since we moved to Georgia. Thank God, it has been a peaceful transition for us. 

Still, I prepared for this move the best I knew how. I relied on God's word to give me daily strength. I prayed without ceasing. I also took care of my health. I knew that if I felt better, it would be easier to accomplish everything required of me this season. 

Moving an entire life was not the only thing going on with me. For the other matters at hand, I relied on my husband and trusted friends for prayer and encouragement. I rely on our children to remind me of the simplicity and joy of life. Thank God for the gift of childhood. 

I decided that my transition would be easier if I was practicing CrossFit regularly. Thank God I found a place to call home. It became a constant source of encouragement. I'm learning and growing. I'm grateful.

If you are facing the pain of transition today, please know I understand. Encourage yourself with the fact that it won't last always. There are things you can do to manage. You are completely able to make it to the other side. 

While you don't, remember who is for you. God is. Family and friends. 

Remember to take care of yourself. Asking for help is wise. 

Lean on God's faithfulness. He is faithful to guide you and lead you towards His best plan for your life.