It’s likely you’re facing some pretty big transitions as summer hits its stride. Maybe you’re going to college in the fall, or your older brother or sister
is. Maybe your family moved to a new town over the summer and you’re unsure of everything. Perhaps your are getting a divorce or you’re moving from middle school to high school.
The good news is, we’ve all been there. The not-so-good news is that change is hard. But change is all a part of God’s plan. He knows that life goes in cycles and that’s exactly how He intended it to be. Ecclesiastes 3:1 says, “There is an occasion for everything, and a time for every activity under heaven.”
But sometimes change is painful. Amber Lynn spent her sophomore and part of her junior year coping with her parents’ nasty divorce and an unpleasant custody battle over her and her younger sister. “We were always going to court to figure out who [Crystal and I] would be better off with, but all I could think was, well, I think I’d be better off if we could all just be together,” says Amber Lynn.
Maybe the shape of your family is being restructured this summer, or you’re being forced to pick a parent. Maybe you’ve just lost your first love. Or after having an older sibling around your whole life, he or she is leaving for college or going into the military. You’re dying to know if you’ll survive. Will you come out on the other side? How can you survive all this transition and not let it destroy you? We’ve got a few tips!
1. Can’t find the good? Hunt it down.
You may not have an easy time finding a bright spot in your parents’ divorce, but the way you handle it and focus on God’s abiding presence during your tough time could show your friends at school a thing or two about the peace of God. Jesus never promised us that we wouldn’t face tough times, but He did promise that we wouldn’t be alone in them (John 14:15-18).
2. Use your pain for good.
A key turning point in dealing with big transitions in your life is recognizing that God can use what you’re going through for good and His own glory later on. Consider 2 Corinthians 1:4: “He comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any kind of affliction, through the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” It’s easy to see the pain, hurt, and fear in a tough transition right now, but seeing things from God’s point of view may help you to see the purpose beyond your pain.
3. Fine-tune your focus.
Look at Philippians 4:8. God says not to wallow in self-pity, but to focus on His goodness. “Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable—if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise—dwell on these things.” When the reality of your tough transition starts to get you down, focus on this verse and the things it mentions. You’ll be surprised at how the Holy Spirit uses the true, honorable, just, lovely, and commendable things in your life and the situation to change your attitude!
4. Live with purpose and passion.
Remember Colossians 3:23-24: “Whatever you do, do it enthusiastically, as something done for the Lord and not for men, knowing that you will receive the reward of an inheritance from the Lord. You serve the Lord Christ.” Let that passage shape your attitude toward this tough time in your life.
You can’t always control what happens in your life, but you get to control how to respond. Vow to make the best—God’s best—out of the path you’re on. God’s never going to put you on the wrong one