Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Handling Transition Without Losing Your Mind!

Well my friends... I have been asked to post my "notes" from my message on transition that I did at Unstoppable. So, tonight... I am posting a partial transcript from that message!

I pray it ministers to you....

How to Handle Transition Without Losing Your Mind

The word “transition” is defined as “passage: the act of passing from one state or place to the next.” That definition sounds so, harmless! However, any of us who are going through a time of transition know that it can make or break you if it is not handled correctly.

Transition is one of those “events” that can affect us in several different ways… physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually.

In the last year, how many of you have faced:

· A geographical move?

· A change in ministry?

· A birth?

· Significant loss

· Substantial Financial hardship or decision?

· Rejection?

· Illness or physical challenges?

· Emotional stress or trauma?

Life is a process of beginnings and endings. In both life and nature, there are times when things move slowly and don’t seem to change very much. Then, suddenly, things change quickly. Moving from August to September, the weather changes gradually at first, and then it seems that suddenly summer is over. It is the same in our lives; transitions are as natural as the changing seasons.

Key point: Transition in life is challenging because we are forced to let go of the familiar and face the future with a feeling of vulnerability.

And to make a difficult situation worse, most life transitions begin with a string of losses, some of which we mentioned a few moments ago.

Key point: Any significant loss makes most people feel fearful and anxious.

We live in a culture that has taught us to be very uncomfortable with uncertainty, so we are anxious when our lives are disrupted.

On the positive side, these transitions give us a chance to learn about our strengths and to explore what we really want out of life. This time of reflection can result in a sense of renewal, stability, and a new equilibrium.

A life transition can be positive or negative, planned or unexpected. Some transitions happen without warning, and they may be quite dramatic. Other life transitions come from positive experiences.

Key point: Even though events like these are usually planned and anticipated, they can be just as life-altering as the unexpected events.

Whether positive or negative, life transitions cause us to leave behind the familiar and force us to adjust to new ways of living, at least temporarily. They can leave us feeling completely unprepared and we may be thrown into a personal crisis, feeling shocked, angry, sad, and withdrawn.

Transition is when your potential (your future locked up in the present) is trying to break out! While you are in “labor” trying to birth your destiny, there will always be a “transition” phase!

How many of you ladies were able to “skip” the transition phase of natural childbirth? None of us! Without going through transition you’ll never deliver that baby. Even for those who had had a C-section, your transition is not the same but you do have one although it comes after the birth!

Getting up after having the surgery and making that first walk to the bathroom is painful, and no matter how long you may put it off it you will still have to go through it.

Transition in childbirth is tough! As the body adjusts to accommodate the last few centimeters of dilation, just before you begin pushing, the hormone levels are so high that you will see undeniable physical signs.

What is amazing though is transition is generally the shortest part of labor, lasting 15 minutes to half an hour on average. However, this is also the most intense part of labor for many women! The major emotional marker for this stage is giving up.

The "giving up" or feeling out of control may be recognized by comments the mother makes. It is not uncommon for a mother to say, "I can't do this," or "I need something." This is not necessarily the mother asking for medication (although she may be begging for that epidural!), but for help. She can no longer handle the labor the way she has been, and she needs to do something different.

Ladies, when we are forging our way through the difficulty of transition in our lives, the worst thing we can do is fight it. The same goes for the woman giving birth to a child. Tools and exercises have been developed to “coach” women in childbirth through transition. Well, today, I’m going to be your Lamaze coach “so to speak!” I am going to share three principles for handling transition in life as a women in ministry without losing your mind! These principles have brought me through days when all I wanted to do was literally curl up and die.

It would have been so easy to give up, to throw in the towel, to go to bed and stay there indefinitely, BUT God through the Holy Spirit got me through… here is the first principle...

1.) Rely on the Lord

Your attitude will affect your outcome. Isaiah 26:3 says, “You will guard him and keep him in perfect and constant peace whose mind is stayed on You, because he commits himself to You, leans on You, and hopes confidently in You.”

Transition is not an indication that you have failed. It is the indicator that something new is about to manifest in your life. You may not know exactly what it is., but something is on the threshold!

It was surprising to me to find that even highly successful people are plagued with the transition phase in their lives. The first American woman to win 3 gold medals at a single Olympics was quoted as saying, “When I was going through my transition of being famous, I tried to ask God why was I here? What was my purpose? Surely, it wasn't just to win three gold medals. There has to be more to this life than that.”

Transition is a “Trojan Horse”… you cannot tell what is on the inside by looking on the outside! What is inside will either help you or prepare you for battle, either way when we commit ourselves to the Lord, lean on Him and hope confidently in Him, we will prevail. We win!

One way that aids us in learning to rely on the Lord is through meditating on the Him; make sure you get one on one time with Him. I have always found that times in the night can be especially calming for me during times of transition. When everyone was in bed, I would get up, turn on worship music and bask in the Lord. Sometimes I would just cry, other times I would dance and worship, and there have been many times I just sat and listened. And writing, oh yes, it is a form of “spiritual therapy” for me! But in all of these things, I gained peace of mind because I relied on Him. I have learned through the most painful times of transition, the loneliest days of my life, to lay back in His arms and trust that Daddy God was in control!

2.) Watch Your Words

I don’t know about you, but I can pick up on a “Negative Nelly” a mile away! To be honest, negative people drive me crazy! I’ve always been a “glass is half full” kind of girl! In times of transition, it is so easy to begin whining and complaining. Ecclesiastes 10:12-13 tells us, The words of a wise person are gracious. The talk of a fool self-destructs— He starts out talking nonsense And ends up spouting insanity and evil.” Our failure to “speak life” could turn our temporary circumstance into something that could thwart our destiny! Your life will follow your words. However, when we choose to say what God says we get the opposite result. The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” Proverbs 18:21. Let’s do a double take on this scripture for a moment… when we continually dwell on a negative situation by talking about it, complaining… we are speaking “life” to a negative situation! Our words can prolong, empower and solidify the circumstances in our lives. So, instead of speaking “life” to our difficult times, we should speak death to them by cancelling them out with the Word of God!

I know this is especially difficult at times. I mean reality is reality! And if we are all honest, there are times when we have prayed every prayer, quoted every promise and declared everything there is to declare and STILL, we are ready to lose it! It is at those times when we just don’t know hat else to do.

How many of you ever took a Lamaze class when you were expecting? Do you remember the session on breathing? Lamaze teachers use breathing techniques to help manage the pain a labor and delivery. These patterned breaths help force oxygen into the blood, but should not be confused with rapid breathing or hyperventilation. Hyperventilation causes dizziness and other problems that only increase anxiety. While using Lamaze breathing can help you to manage your pain, it will not eliminate your pain, it helps you through it.

Okay, now for the spiritual application. Someone taught me about ten years ago exactly what I need to do when I have NO IDEA what to do, when the pain of transition and circumstance has you close to the point of losing your very mind… PRAY IN THE HOLY GHOST!!! That, my friends, is the equivalent to Lamaze breathing! When you begin to stir up the Spirit of God that is within you by the power of your prayer language, you will pull down heaven, crash the gates of hell and God will give you the strength to get you through! You may have NO idea what to say or how to begin, or when all you want to do is complain, allow the Holy Spirit to pray through you! You will find yourself encouraged and refreshed in the midst of your transition and any adversity it brings!

3.) Don’t Stop!

During transition in childbirth, you’ll often hear a woman say, “I don’t want to do this anymore! I want to quit!” Generally, at that moment, a coach, a helper can be heard saying, “No, you can’t stop now! You’re doing great! I know you’re tired, I know you are in pain, but you are so close! Don’t stop, it’s almost over!”

Our good friend the Apostle Paul provides us with some timely advice when we get to this point in Philippians 3:12-14 I'm not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don't get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I've got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I'm off and running and I'm not turning back.”

At this very moment, your coach, your helper, the Holy Spirit is whispering in your ear, “Don’t stop! Keep your eyes on the prize! I know this isn’t what you thought it would be. I know that you are in pain, you’ve been hurt. I know you’ve lost hope, I know you need a miracle yesterday, and I know that you are afraid… but you can’t stop. You’re almost there! You can do it! You can make it! And through it all, girl, you are looking good!”

One of the most powerful truths about transition is that although it is difficult and painful, it is also a stepping stone to the next level in your life, your ministry, your marriage, your healing, and your miracle!

I know how difficult it is. I know that sometimes it might seem easier to quit, but DON’T! Whenever you feel like stopping, get around people who will speak to what is in you when you can’t. Find other women who know the importance of a life giving atmosphere who will partner with you in removing negative influences and will set the atmosphere in worship! Find yourself a Mary… like Elizabeth did, a person who will make your baby jump during the most difficult time of the process.

But whatever you do, DON’T STOP! Don’t abort what God has placed inside of you because of transition, don’t allow people who have their own agendas to get in the way and cause you to miscarry either.

You are on assignment, you have a purpose, a destiny, and your labor is not in vain. God has prepared you for such a time as this… DON’T STOP!


Deb said...

Ah haaaaa!!! Finally! It makes sense!!! I am in transition! The labor analogy... THANKS!

who will focus on being and breathing. :)

Deanna Shrodes said...

Awesome stuff my friend. You're amazing.

I think we all need to be prepared for this at all times -- because transitions come even when we are staying in the same location...as you mentioned there are all kinds of transitions.

I know you're going through one of the biggest of your life and I'm here for you always, day or night. As Job, when you are tested you will come forth as gold!

You have truly LIVED these concepts even before this latest challenge came about! You have been living in a twister transition for some time now and are truly emerging from captivity into a season of blessing where you will be a prophetic voice to people who are still in the wilderness.

By the way, check my blog tomorrow (not that you don't every single day!) but I will have a special post there for you tomorrow...

I love you ~
Me (((hugs)))

Melissa said...

Hey girl! How interesting, it seems as though God was preparing you for your transitions and pushing through for the break through even before Unstoppable! Still praying for you! Thank you for posting this. I wasn't able to go to your workshop I was in a different one, I really wanted to go to all of them...love ya sista!~

Pastor Shelisa Hull said...

It is so funny you just said that about my post......because I was literlly about to say the same thing about yours! We must have been reading at the same time!

Great stuff and I wish I could have been there! :o)

Love ya,

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the confirmation Tara , we are in the most pivital time in the history of christiandom. Not only are the politcal parties jumping the fences and making history , but so should the saints be prepared for sinners to be ready to change sides as well.The bible said to be ready with a word or answer.The harvest is ready and so must we believers .Even as we encounter economic down falls God is on the rise.Believers must be ready to pray for the least expected of people, and unusal kinds.If one thing that unite and make people one and come together is disater.Now is the time to worship, now is the harvest ripe.I ask what makes a different between a believer and a sinner , faith in God.This is our moment to shine, that is the light of the world Jesus. Jesus is the way, let's help sinners transition over, prayer , counseling , edification and motivation.The whole creation is waiting on the son's of God.Who are the son's the mature believers siege the oppurtunity to pray for some one and out reach , people are desperate and ready for help.Speaking of coaches yes we are co-labors in christ. This is our time, arise.Job situation changed only when he prayed for others , then will provision show up.Pro means before, run ahead with your vision.The means will show up!

Stead Fast with the commission.