A note from Kelly King: Transitions can be easy, expected, and even hoped for. But more often, transitions can be difficult, unexpected, and leave you emotionally drained. I feel like my life is often marked by transition—both the good and the difficult. With both, there are still areas where I must acknowledge the transition, grieve over what is lost, and have confidence in the Lord’s providence. I think you’ll be encouraged by Kaye’s article today, no matter what kind of transition you are experiencing.
For many, this year marks a year of transitions. Transitions such as relocation, kids graduating, new positions at work, some things ending while others are beginning, parents moving in, kids moving out, adult children moving in, aging parents transitioning to assisted living or memory care, ministry involvement ending or changing, and many more. Some of these transitions are welcomed and wonderful while others are more challenging and painful. These transitions often take us by surprise emotionally. When there is a death, we are ready for the grieving process, whether we choose to engage with it or not. With a transition, especially one that is “all good,” the feelings of loss around it take us by surprise. I have several friends experiencing transitions this year and some in multiple areas of their lives.
If you are in ministry to women, as you listen to their stories, listen for significant transitions in their lives. Encourage them to examine their situation through the lens of loss and invite them to a different kind of grieving.
Here are four ways to engage with loss that is a death of a different kind:
1. Acknowledge the loss. Even in a happy transition there is something lost. What is it? Name it, say it.
2. Process how you feel about the transition. Without using the words, “It’s ok” or “it’s all good,” how do you really feel about it? How has your life or routine changed with the transition? How has it affected your life, your work, your home? Talk with a trusted friend or counselor and/or journal how you feel. May I say that again? Talk with a trusted friend or counselor.
3. Make necessary adjustments. Transitions require us to reorient to a new normal. What are the necessary adjustments you need to make to your routine, your life, your schedule? Has the transition caused you to question your faith? Are there adjustments you need to make for your own spiritual formation?
4. Pray. Allow the Holy Spirit access to your pain through an ongoing dialogue with the One who knows you best! There are words of help and healing He wants to speak over you. There are words of truth and encouragement He wants to speak into you. Talk to your Father. He loves you, He is for you, He is with you, and He will never leave you or reject you. He sees you and knows the pain of your loss. He will help you.
If you are experiencing loss today, I am so sorry for your pain. I am praying for you right now, that the God of all comfort would surround you with His peace and His presence and that He will speak a word to your spirit today that brings healing and hope.
Kaye Hurta has a Masters Degree in counseling from Liberty University and is a crisis counselor for Women’s Events through LifeWay Christian Resources. Whether speaking, singing, or listening, Kaye’s passion is to help others find intimacy with Christ and soul transformation through the living pages of His Word. Kaye met and married her husband Chris in Austin, Texas in 1987. They have two daughters through the miracle of adoption, Madison and Cami. Kaye is also a contributing author for the LifeWay resource, Women Reaching Women in Crisis.