[Editor’s Note: The following article addresses walking through difficult life circumstances and seasons of transition and discouragement. This article is not meant to replace seeking help and wisdom from your local church along with professional medical care. Our encouragement is for you to seek counsel from your local pastor, a wise mentor in your church, a licensed counselor, and/or a medical professional.]
“I wish we hadn’t had to move.” I whispered these words to my husband through tears one night as we laid in bed. It feels like the only constant in my life is change. Just when I get used to something, it’s no longer predictable. Last year, my family walked through birth, death, job loss, illness, fractured relationships, and a move, all while parenting a toddler and navigating the world of foster care.
My mood is like a yo-yo, going up and down with every little disruption, and I easily become exhausted. Each small misstep becomes a mountain that feels insurmountable, and all of a sudden, I find myself depleted of strength.
Discouragement settles into my bones, and I begin to claim weariness as my uniform. Getting out of bed is a triumph, and moving through the motions of the day is a victory. “Will it always be like this?” I wonder to myself for the umpteenth time each day.
Distracted and Discouraged by Seasons of Transition
In some seasons, change will be our only constant. There are times when we question God’s sovereignty and kindness as we look around at the ruins of our lives, begging for a sense of normalcy. In these moments, the enemy longs to distract us. John 10:10 tells us that he comes to “steal and kill and destroy,” while Jesus comes to us to offer life “to the full” (NIV). Life can feel full of all the wrong things when we walk through seasons of seemingly endless transition. Instead of peace, joy, and laughter, life may be full of confusion, sorrow, and tears.
The enemy seeks to distract us from all God is doing in our lives by telling us that our Creator doesn’t care and that we are too busy and bogged down to benefit from time spent in the Word. I’ve been there, sister. I know the feeling of dread when you open your eyes to another day. I know the weight of anxiety that feels unbearably heavy.
The psalmist says, “As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God” (Ps. 42:1–2). In seasons of transition, we often ignore the cry of our souls for the living God, falsely believing that something or someone else may bring us the comfort we crave. How often do we reach for the phone and look to social media or a mindless game to play instead of reading our Bible to remind us of his promises? Often, we want to numb out, but what we need most is the Living Water that will awaken us from our slumber and satisfy our dry souls (John 7:38).
God’s Word Offers Strength and Comfort
The best thing for us in any season—especially in seasons of transition—is God’s Word. The Bread of Life will nourish us when we feel void of strength and energy. There is no way we can walk through life without the strength of our God. Strength from God comes from the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit speaks to us through the living Word! What a treasure and joy!
With change as your constant companion, it’s easy to play the victim card. To throw up your hands and say, “I quit. I can’t do this anymore.” When you reach this point, you have a choice. You can continue to complain about how hard everything feels, or you can remember that to know Christ is to join in his suffering. To walk with him is to know peace in the midst of trouble and transition, not instead of it (John 16:33).
God can handle our questions. He is not afraid of our unbelief, doubting, or longings. In times of transition, we may feel tempted to be discouraged or live in survival mode, just getting by. But our Creator knit us together so that we might thrive and rest in him. We must press into him in our need and weakness and let him fill us to equip us to navigate difficult seasons.
His Word Prepares Us and Sustains Us in Transition
How do you fill yourself with him when you’re already running on empty? Thank the Lord for the advent of technology, which allows us to fill ourselves with the Word in many different ways! Even if you don’t feel like you need it right now, he will reward your commitment and discipline to come to him by bringing to mind Scripture when you need it most. If you are in the midst of transition and in a parched land, weary and thirsty for the Living Water, try one (or more!) of these simple action steps:
- Listen to the Word on the YouVersion or Dwell Bible apps.
- Write a verse on a card or check out the verse card sets available in the Well-Watered Co. and stick them in a place where you will see them frequently.
- Play worship music based on Scripture (check out The Corner Room, Shane & Shane, or Poor Bishop Hooper).
- Text a friend and ask her to hold you accountable and memorize Scripture together.
- Create a routine that is simple, such as reading or reciting verses at mealtime, listening to worship music in the car, or listening to Scripture while exercising.
Sister, your circumstances may feel heavy and impossible, but we know and serve a faithful God. You may be tired and weary, but your joy can still run deep. Your heart can be full and your cup can run over with blessings because God is for you and not against you. While your fleshly desires are certainly pining for a life of ease and comfort, your spirit can rejoice in each difficulty sifted through the sovereign hands of God, knowing that it leads you closer to his heart. Cling to his Word and his promises, knowing that they will not fail you.