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Have you recently gone through a big transition or are you living through one right now? Here's what to do when your whole life changes!

What To Do When Your Whole Life Changes

Faith

The thing about transitions or big life changes is we often think they’ll happen one at a time. In fact, we try to plan them that way. We don’t go for a new job when we’re planning a wedding, we don’t try to get pregnant at the same time we’re moving. We don’t buy a house when the rest of life feels upside down, “One thing at a time,” we tell ourselves.


But the truth about transitions is it rarely happens this way. Life isn’t a ball machine at the tennis courts, steadily lobbing balls at us one at a time.


Instead, life feels like a thousand ball machines—felt, green transition flying at us from all corners. There’s no break, no chance to catch your breath, no time to even hit them back.


Changes don’t come one at a time, they seem to happen all at once with more chaos than our perfectly laid plans know what to do with.


At least this is how it happens for me.


Carl and I had steady jobs when we got engaged. We’d been working at the same place, had a routine, had roommates and nice places to live, it seemed to be the perfect time for the transition towards marriage.


We started planning our wedding, it was slightly stressful but also wonderful, and we began to dream for the life that was unfolding in front of us.


Maybe we’d move to a new state in a few years, maybe we’d apply for new jobs at some point, but not today. Today was for marriage and we were going to keep everything around us as steady as possible in the meantime.


But as you can imagine, that’s not what happened at all.


On a random Thursday just three months before our wedding, Carl and I got called into a small office with two serious looking executives staring back at us.


Five minutes later we walked out of the office each holding a severance check. The company hadn’t budgeted well, they were making cuts, we no longer had jobs, “effective immediately.”


We stood outside for a long time in a tight hug. “It’s going to be okay,” Carl whispered into my ear, and I believed him. I just didn’t know how it would all be okay.


This was not the storybook engagement we’d pictured, and my heart ached under the weight of the change.


But it wasn’t just the physical transition that made it so gut-wrenching. It was the emotional toll the change took on us. I thought I’d have time to get used to becoming a wife, time to soak in all of the newness as it trickled in bit by bit. But I didn’t have that luxury. It was go-time. We were on. Life had to be attended to and it couldn’t wait for me to process.


We arrived at our wedding battered and exhausted, but we arrived stronger, and better, and more in love somehow. Because we learned how to be kind to each other, and how to love one another in the midst of a storm. We learned how to weather the storm together—how he could protect me and I could protect him right back. We learned that we’re tougher than we thought we were, and that we can handle more than we thought we could.


And most of all, we learned that God really comes through in a pinch. 


In the last month, we’ve found ourselves in a strikingly similar season of transition. Things we thought were secure and steady beneath our feet turned out not to be. We watched as a tidal wave of change cast a shadow over our happy, steady little life. We grasped hands and steeled ourselves for impact. “Here we go again.”


And on many days it’s hard, and really, really scary. But when I feel like I’m going to crumble, I remind myself of what happened last time. God was there, and He took better care of us than we had the imagination to pray for. He always does.


If you’re going through a season of transition right now—one you feel is on the verge of swallowing you whole—let’s repeat this verse to ourselves together. Our knees may be weak, and our voices may tremble, but we know this to be true:


“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:9.


P.S. Here’s a Girls Night Podcast episode all about navigating transitions!


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Have you recently gone through a big transition or are you living through one right now? Here's what to do when your whole life changes!

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  1. Jenna says:

    I’m currently going through a transition in my career, I just moved back to STL, I had to put my dog down of 14.5 years, on the search for a church family, etc. There have been many points where I just sit and think “God I can’t do this.” It’s comforting to know that I am not alone in life’s transitions. I have to continually remind myself that God goes before me–he already knew I was in for a bumpy ride, and trust that He will get me through.

  2. When you think about it, we are SO STRONG as how we deal with our ever changing lives. We all go through highs and lows, but how we deal with them and how we move forward truly shows our strength and our willingness to continue to move forward. XOXO

  3. Jessika says:

    Steph this post came at the perfect time for me. The future has been weighing heavily on my heart and instead of praying about it I stressed myself out waaay too much with other fears that were bothering me. My faith dwindled for a brief moment but God IS with me, I feel his warmth and presence everyday. Thank you Steph for your kind and encouraging words as always! This verse means a lot! xo. Jessika

  4. hannah says:

    sweet friend! this is perfect. it does always seem as though we will/can manage change – one thing at a time. like you, this past year has been a tidal wave of change. marriage, 2 jobs, 3 residences… and here we are – stronger, better, more in love. proud of you and sending prayers your way! Miss you! -hannah

  5. Katie says:

    I so resonate with this, I just wrote about this exact thing on my own blog last week. I’m sorry for this season of transition and change you’re going through yet again.

    Someone shared this quote on instagram a little while ago, and I found myself going back to it again and again.

    “Assurance grows by repeated conflict, by our repeated experimental proof of the Lord’s power and goodness to save; when we have been brought very low and helped, sorely wounded and healed, cast down and raised again, have given up all hope, and been suddenly snatched from danger, and placed in safety; and when these things have been repeated to us and in us a thousand times over, we begin to learn to trust simply to the word and power of God, beyond and against appearances: and this trust, when habitual and strong, bears the name of assurance; for even assurance has degrees.” – John Newton

    Just in case you needed a reminder that there is a purpose to all that chaos.

  6. Jamie says:

    I just finished Chapter 8 of your book. I’m 2 months away from my wedding date. And, I’m in the process of hearing back from the PhD programs I applied for. There were so many things in this post that left my eyes glassy with emotion. Thank you for sharing, and for encouraging!

  7. Stephanie I love this! God really does come through, he always comes through! So many people give up and think that God forgot them, but really God was just waiting for them to turn to Him. And now look at you guys, you’ve come out even stronger!

  8. Chris says:

    I know this is mostly a ladies site but I have to comment. I am going through the same thing. I broke up with my beloved girlfriend and my world feels like crumbling. On the other hand I got promoted at work and I have to take on more responsibilities. I feel like my life is all over the place but I read to myself Mathew 6:25-30 and I realize that God tells me not to worry about my life because he has my back.

  9. Just came across this post and it was just what I needed to read. The bible quote is just perfect.

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