All changes are more or less tinged with melancholy, for what we are leaving behind is part of ourselves.
The year was 1996. We were in transition from the state of California to the state of Texas because of a job that had ended. I’ll never forget crossing the state line between California into Arizona and looking in the rear-view mirror. Tears ran down my face as I saw the last California palm tree I would see for many years to come.
Last night a friend of mine said goodbye to his leadership group. He repeatedly said to those gathered, “This is a good thing. I don’t know why I’m crying!” I was instantly taken back to that image of the palm tree waving us goodbye. Just like my friend, I knew it was a good move despite the conflict I felt inside.
Leaving is necessary to allow growth to take place, build character, when a relationship is unhealthy, or if you’re stuck in a job that limits your creativity. People leave for all kinds of reasons and not all are negative. I suggest the following six steps to help navigate your season of leaving:
- Pray earnestly for favor and wisdom to successfully navigate the transition.
- Find moments to be alone and meditate on the Word of God. Nothing else will give you more clarity and bring you more peace about the move than the Bible.
- Keep yourself accountable to your mentors.
- Calendar the date as soon as you have confirmation. Do not leave things to the last minute–this creates unwanted stress in an already stressful situation.
- Don’t burn any bridges regardless of the circumstances for your departure. Honor the relationships you leave behind.
- Communicate with your family. Remember you are not the only one affected by the move. Give your family an opportunity to express their feelings.
John 14: 25-27; 29-31 (The Message) gives us words of encouragement:
25-27“I’m telling you these things while I’m still living with you. The Friend, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send at my request, will make everything plain to you. He will remind you of all the things I have told you. I’m leaving you well and whole. That’s my parting gift to you. Peace. I don’t leave you the way you’re used to being left—feeling abandoned, bereft. So don’t be upset. Don’t be distraught. 29-31“I’ve told you this ahead of time, before it happens, so that when it does happen, the confirmation will deepen your belief in me. …I am carrying out my Father’s instructions right down to the last detail…Get up. Let’s go. It’s time to leave here.”