Man, she made me cry like a baby while we were traveling. She was just being a mom, but her sentiments pulled me in, and I ended up equally as emotional as her. She couldn’t believe her baby girl had really done it. I couldn’t really blame her for acting this way, because she had grown accustomed to always having me around.
She had to understand I was now moving into adulthood and what I needed to do was necessary. Though I valued her tears, it wasn’t enough to compromise giving up the decision I had already made. There was no turning back now, neither figuratively nor literally, because I was already on my way with my father and older sister.
I was transitioning into a new part of life and into a new environment. It was time to begin college, and I was ready. Transitions are not always easy, but they are necessary for our growth.
Going off to college was the first major transition I had in life. Beforehand, I never actually thought I was going to do it. From the outside looking in, people may have believed I was fearless. But on the contrary, I had been used to my routine and my surroundings.
I grew up in an environment where everything basically stayed the same. Even now, the wind blows the same way, the neighbors of eighteen years still live across the way, and the people I once knew are still the people I once knew. That was my habitat -undisturbed and familiar.
At the time, none of my siblings had ever left to go to college, so there were no precedents for me to follow. There is something about familiarity that makes one feel safe, and that is exactly how I felt back then.
I don’t know if it was the annoyance of sharing a room, that drove me to pursue architecture away from home, or the freedom that I longed for, but something arose in me that had me longing for this transition.
Transition is the ability to move from one state or environment to the next. There are times when transitions happen by choice, but at other times, they may be unexpected. Whether you want it to happen or not, change can sometimes be inevitable. The hardest thing about leaving for college was wanting approval.
Not everyone agreed with my decision. Some thought it was unnecessary; others thought I was too cowardly to actually go through with it. And some just didn’t agree with my decision because it went against the views of the undisturbed habitat. In this particular scenario, it became difficult not having everyone support me for something I truly thought was a good idea.
Also, it didn’t help that everything around me began to give me signs against my decision. I swear, every sermon and every sign all geared me towards not going. Even unforeseen incidents of other people were stamped as reasons for me not to go. Due to this, my mother’s fear of me leaving took root.
“Is this good for me?”
There will come a time in your life when you must ask yourself, “Is this good for me?”
Everyone has a perspective and suggestion as to how they believe your life should go, which is influenced by how their lives may have gone. “Life is really like a box of chocolates, and you never know what you will get.” So, how can you be sure this season calls for a transition?
1. Are you growing?
Not every tree or plant grows in the same type of environment. Without the proper soil from the correct habitat, growth will not happen. Because of this, you will know you have stopped growing from signs of complacency, frustration, revelation, and awareness of your surroundings.
You will notice the extensive work and fatigue of trying to keep whatever is around you alive. If you are not growing, you can’t provide what’s in you to others. Growth is so important to God and our Christian faith. God cares about us reaching our maximum potential and our growth is synonymous with that.
2. Can you get to where you need to be from where you are?
Suppose you wanted to visit a place, but you were afraid of leaving your current place to get there. And no matter how hard you prayed, cried, or imagined, the place will NEVER come to you.
There are places where you are needed, and instead of going to them, you are waiting and praying for them to come to you. But even Jesus had to leave his birthplace to fulfill his purpose. Had he stayed where he was, he would have wasted more time trying to convince people at home, rather than receiving the willingness of others elsewhere.
3. Did God call you to transition?
In the Bible, Jonah fought this idea of not only being called by God but also not accepting the task. Some transitions are God-ordained. We must think of God’s calling as a privilege and not a challenge.
When the children of Israel were crying out for God to remove them from slavery God was talking to their answer: Moses. Someone could be praying for you right now. At the same time, God could be searching through his index of suitable candidates before deciding to choose you for His next assignment. The call is not just from God but also for God. It can be from the person or the people looking for your help, gifts, talent, expertise, or skill set. Open your ears to hear all that God may be saying to you.
4. What is stopping you?
Inevitably, when making a major decision, fear creeps in. But before that, comfort has already settled in. We may think that change is not necessary because everything is going so well. We often assume a crisis must happen for us to make a new change. But no matter the situation, fear shouldn’t stop you, and comfort shouldn’t keep you.
If what you are doing is God-ordained, then your trust in Him will keep you. When making life-altering decisions there are many things to consider. But instead of thinking about the hundred-and-one ways things may go wrong, instead focus on all the things that could go right with God’s provision.
5. What is best for you?
After leaving for college, I was nervous as I approached the school and my new environment. Everything around me was so unfamiliar. Behind me were my sister and father, who were both a place of familiarity, waiting to help me unload my things.
Before they got ready to leave, I looked to my sister with tears beginning to form, and said, “I think I want to go home with you guys and study at a community college. It will be better, and I can save on money and mom will be happy.”
She looked at me and replied, “Get a hold of yourself! You have a great opportunity here; one I never had. Why would you leave the university to come back home to community college? Wipe your eyes. You got this!”
She forced me to look at what was in front of me as an opportunity worth seizing and to stop looking at everything and everyone else. I needed to just focus on myself. I had to realize I would be happier in the end. I needed to do what was best for me.
Therefore, I pray that you find strength in your season of transition and open yourself up to all that God has in store for you. Though it is hard, “Get a hold of yourself!” You have a great opportunity; one that some will never have.