I hate transitions. I have never been the kind of person who looks forward to new changes in life.

To me, transitions are painful because they often involve bidding goodbye to things that I have grown familiar and comfortable with.

How I wish I could live in a world where everything remains the same forever (of course, I know it isn’t possible).

Last month, I went through one of the biggest transitions in church.

I left the community that I had been a part of ever since I came to church, the place where I grew up and served in for the past five years, to join a new community.

Though it was a different service in the same church, it was still a new place for me where I barely knew anyone, except for a few acquaintances.

The transition certainly wasn’t easy, nor was it comfortable.

… it would actually be wise for us to reflect, celebrate and give thanks for the past season that God has brought us through.

As an introvert, it meant that I would need to invest in new relationships in the community all over again.

It also meant that I would leave all the friends and peers whom I had found comfort and safety in for the past few years.

It did take me some time to settle down in this season of transition and figure out how I could go through it well.

And while I’m still navigating this season, here are some tips that I’ve found helpful in going through a transition.

Give thanks for the past season

It is completely normal and acceptable for us to feel sentimental about leaving our old community.

After all, it was where God had grown and moulded us – where many journeys with God and with His people had taken place.

When we go through transitions, it would actually be wise for us to reflect, celebrate and give thanks for the past season that God has brought us through.

Dawson (left) with his mentor.

Doing so allows us to appreciate the work that God has done in and through us, and helps us see that the season wasn’t wasted.

Beyond helping us to find proper closure for the past season, it also reminds us of God’s faithfulness as we enter a new one.

We can be confident that God will continue His work in us even as our community, environment or life station changes.

So, take time to remember and give thanks for the relationships that we had found in the community.

These are people that God has blessed us with and had journeyed with us in our past season.

Let’s not take them for granted!

Keep the current friendships

On that note, while we have left our old community, it certainly doesn’t mean that the friendships we shared there have come to an end.

One of the things that touched and helped me a lot in my transition, was when many of my friends from my previous community met me during my birthday week and celebrated my birthday with me.

Dawson (left) with his friend who celebrated his birthday with him.

That assured me that these friendships would continue even after I leave the community, and that they are friends that I can continue to journey through life with.

I have also come to appreciate that these are friends who can keep me accountable and look out for me as I settle down in the new community.

In the time it takes for me to grow close and build trust with people in the new community, these friends can also continue to keep me in check for my blindspots and my ongoing struggles.

As we go through transitions in community, we can still be intentional to invest in existing friendships.

Step out of your comfort zone

While it might not be easy to open up to a whole new group of people, the truth is that it does require us to take the first step and step out of our comfort zone to settle down in the new community.

A friend once said something I find wise and remember even today: “Trust needs to first be given before it can be proven.”

While we may hope for people to first “earn” our trust and “prove” their hearts are for us, the truth is that these expectations are often unfair.

They are based solely on our own judgments, and they are often not communicated with the other parties.

Rather, we need to first choose to give trust and let people into our lives. That gives them the opportunity to honour the trust and respond in love.

In this process, trust is built and strengthened.

Dawson (first from top left) with his new community.

In one of the first few gatherings with my new community, I felt prompted by God to share with them about my current struggles.

It certainly wasn’t the most comfortable or natural. But I decided to just do it anyway.

While some of them struggled to respond after I shared, I wasn’t particularly affected because I understood that I was still very new to them.

What surprised me, however, was the text messages that came that night.

A few of them texted me to thank me for opening up, and some also shared their encouragement for me.

Their gestures meant a lot to me, because they showed me that they did not take the trust I gave for granted.

More importantly, I was assured that relationships can be built in my new community as I step out of my comfort zone.

Invest in personal relationships

If your new community is a big group and you find it hard to open up to so many people all at once, you can start with individuals in the group.

Identify a few people you feel more comfortable with, ask them out for a meal, get to know them, and share a little bit more about your life with them.

As you get to know these people and allow them to know you, you’ll start to feel more comfortable in the community.

In time, opening up to the rest of the group will also become less challenging.

Dawson (right) with one of his new leaders.

I’m glad that I initiated a meet-up with one of my new leaders after I joined the new community. During our first meet-up, he treated me to a meal and also got to know more about my life.

After hearing more about the current season I’m going through, he grew to become very intentional towards me.

He would text and check on me from time to time, and he even remembered my exam dates and sent me prayers before that!

I am extremely grateful that I have found someone who can journey with me even as I am still settling down in my new community.

Remember that your Shepherd has never changed

If you have done all of the above but still feel unsure if you’re transitioning well, I get you.

After all, there are still days that I find challenging. One day, after a particularly rough week, I asked God this question during a time of worship in service: “Am I really transitioning well?”

I was expecting some revelations from God about what I had done wrong or how I could have done better.

But His response was different. It was simple yet powerful enough to bring me to tears.

I felt Him say to me: “Well done for getting through the week, son.”

God is not looking for perfection from you in your new season. He is not judging if your transition is a good or a bad one.

He simply longs to journey with you. And that has not changed even in this season.

He is taking every step with you, even if you feel lost, even if you don’t know whether you’re doing it right.

God remains ever present and ever faithful. He does not have any knowledge gap about you. He knows you completely (Psalm 139:1-4) and He will never leave you (Joshua 1:9).

He is still your Shepherd, and in Him you lack nothing (Psalm 23:1).

  1. How do you feel about transitions?
  2. Do you have friends who can journey with you through a season of transition?
  3. Do you have friends who are currently going through a transition? Think of you can support them!