How to Survive a Transition

Updated: Dec 10, 2020

There are times in our lives where a major transition is forced upon us. We didn’t ask for it. We didn’t want it but nevertheless, we are in it. Now what?

This type of forced transition that many have to deal with could include major things like a death of a loved one or a reversal of health in you or someone you care for. These are long-term and long lasting transitions. It could be a lesser but still life changing transition like having to move to a new location, start a new job or losing a job, and all that comes with it.

I want you to know that I’m not writing this as some academic exercise. I’m going through a major transition in my life. It’s one of those that is forced upon me. I’ll be honest, I would not be writing about this nor would I have started my coaching business at this time in my life if it were not for this forced transition. My transition is in my career.

For most of my adult life, I’ve served in vocational Christian ministry. What that means is that I’ve been a church planter and pastor for 21 years and also worked at religious non-profits for another 14 years. My last assignment was with Oklahoma Baptists leading their church planting efforts. Then we entered 2020 and the coronavirus shut most everything down. Then, due to financial constraints brought on by the shutdown, Oklahoma Baptists decided to release me and several others from our positions.

Now, this had a profound impact on me. Losing a job is impactful for anyone. But in my long career, I’d never experience being let go. It was a shock to my system. It took me a week to process what happened, then I got a migraine and became sick and could not stop coughing. I believe it was the emotional and mental stress my body was experiencing.

Then the questions come. What do I do now? What am I supposed to do? What does this mean? Why was I let go? Is it my fault? What is God telling me? What can I do next? What can I do right now? Why do I feel so bad? Why am I angry? What am I supposed to do about it? What future do I have? These are the questions that come flooding in.

Your transition may be like mine or it may be harder. Believe me, I know that my transition struggles pale in comparison to those who have to deal with health or relationship transitions.

So the big question is, how to survive a transition? I have a few thoughts.