The term transitioning has many different meanings in today’s society. But we can all agree that to transition means to move from one thing to another, in whatever sense you’d like to apply that to. I feel through words. And this word has been on my heart and mind over the past few weeks.
The dictionary defines transition as, movement, passage, or change from one position, state, stage, subject, concept, etc., to another; change.
For me, transition is a very apparent and obvious part of my life currently. The definition of transition can apply to every aspect of my life. It can be stamped in bright red ink on where I’m at right now. Two months from today, we will be in a different country, a new city, a new apartment (hopefully!), with new jobs and new furniture and new positions in life. It’s overwhelming to think of all that at once, which is why I’ve taken the simple approach of focusing on one word: transition.
But if we’re defining transition as change, then it can be said ‘transition is a part of life.’ All humans go through change and therefore transition. Your changes might not be as blatantly obvious as mine, but they are changes nonetheless. And I have come to discover that it is better to embrace the changes and the little shifts of life than to hide from them.
Why do we fear change? The simple answer is because we appreciate comfort. We like what we know, and we also life to feel in control of our own lives. But we live in a world full of unknowns, where we cannot control many of the things we are faced with everyday. We can only control our response to the things given to/thrown at us.
When we moved to New Zealand I started collecting sea glass. If you do not know, sea glass is just shards of glass that have been in the ocean and become softened by the rubbing of the sand and salt water over a period of time. The glass becomes weathered and develops a frosted or glazed look. I started collecting it because a friend took me to a beach where we found it in abundance, and it was pretty. I collected a jar full in just a few hours.
But I think I appreciate sea glass for more than just it’s simple beauty. In each piece a transition took place, changing it from a piece of a broken glass bottle, to what it is now. For me, it became a sought after treasure on a beach full of sand and shells. I wouldn’t go dumpster diving for old Heineken bottles, so why do I scour the beach looking for bits of sea glass? It’s because of the change that occurred. The weathering of the glass has turned old trash into what many would consider art, or at the very least, things of beauty.
What if the changes and shifts in our lives, the gritty sand and the waves tossing us, were not looked at as things to annoy us, but things to refine us? What if we saw them as the perfect conditions which allow us to become even more ourselves? Instead of fearing change, what if we feared comfort?
The change is not comfortable. Transition is often not ideal or easy or even fun. But I look at all the times God challenged me in the past to take a big step and transition into something new, and I can only see growth from those periods. The transition never took me backwards, only forwards. And I can only ever be thankful for the sand that rubbed me, and the waves that pulled me under. Because the rough edges are slowly being smoothed, and I am becoming who I was created to be.