Helping Those in Transition
Transitions freak me out. I don’t like change. In Central Asia, the transitions often brought out fear and tears. Somehow this time is different. The transitions are a good and natural changing of the guard. I am also in a better place emotionally and spiritually. Most of all, my role is different. I am in a position to help those who are also transitioning to transition well.
So how do I do that? Here are a few ideas that I came up with but I would also love ideas of how you helped transition someone or something that helped you transition well.
1. Be a Tree Planted By the Water
Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord and whose trust is the Lord. For he will be like a tree planted by the water that extends its roots by a stream and will not fear when the heat comes; but its leaves will be green, and it will not be anxious in a year of drought nor cease to yield fruit.
I don’t want to be just any tree. I want to be a tree that is grounded in who God is and who He made me to be. I want to be a tree that trusts in the Lord and not my own strength. I want to provide a place of love and grace but also truth. If I am not doing well, I will not have the capacity to help others do well.
A tree is available to provide shade and rest. The tree in Jeremiah could even handle the drought- a time when things were hard. Transition is hard and comes with lots of emotions. I need to be willing to be there in the good, bad, and hopefully not ugly. It is also great to remember to not take it personal if someone doesn’t like something. The deep roots provide stability. Trusting in the Lord means we are not in this alone.
Whether it is baked goods or a meal, food is always good. It also gives you an excuse to check in and see how they are doing as you deliver the goodies. Remember it doesn’t have to be fancy. When I had kids in the house, I always invited people over on Taco Tuesday since it was so easy to just make extra. Now I often invite people over on a soup night or when my husband is available to help with the cooking. It is easy to make a double batch of muffins or bread and my husband always enjoys eating my baking now and then.
3. Choices and Balance
As to choices, it is good to give options. As we have been in discussion with a new family coming, our conversations often include “we do it this way but another family does it another way”. This way the new family can figure out what works for them and even maybe find another new way to do something. For an example, what do people do for church? Some have home church alone or with others. Others go to a church in town that is more contemporary. Still others go to a local church closer to where we live. The key is figuring out what fits your family and what will help you serve the best long term.