How do you best navigate major life transitions as a family? Our oldest daughter is not a huge fan of change and we were about to uproot her from everyone and everything she knew. Before we broke the news of our upcoming move, I had a terrible image in my mind: My daughter in a counseling office many years from now saying, “Well…it all started when we moved to Pennsylvania. Everything was good before that move.” Fortunately, my worst fears aren’t playing out. Our kids seem resilient and responding well to the move so far.
In this video, I share a few things we’ve learned about navigating changes together as a family. How can you hold together the need for cohesiveness and adaptability during a transition? One thing we’ve noticed is the importance of open and honest communication. People process change differently and there needs to be a safe place to grieve and share the full range of conflicting emotions that come with transitions.
I hope it helps!
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Blank spaces aren’t fun, so here’s the link to my video: Helping Your Family Navigate Transition
When your family is dealing with change, it is vital to look at your dance. (Remember, we said the balance of family is very much like a beautiful dance.) Invite the Holy Spirit to reveal the trouble spots:
- Are we communicating freely and often?
- Does everyone have a voice and validation of their emotions?
- Are we supporting our children and spouse as they process change in their own way and on their own time-table?
In a healthy environment, where there is stability, cohesiveness, open communication, and a sense of deep commitment to one another, transition and disruptive change can be an opportunity to form stronger bonds. In fact, change can always be seen through the filter of opportunity. We can be sure that all things are redeemable and nothing needs to be wasted (Romans 8:28). Change can draw us together and reinforce the security and safety found within the family.
As you choose to look at the big picture, it is sometimes helpful to see your family ten years from now looking back on the difficult transition you are now in the middle of. How will they remember it? What will stand out in each person’s mind?
Let that “stand out” memory be one of love.
Meditate on Colossians 3:12-14 as you lean into God’s best for you this week.
“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.”