How Do We Navigate Messy Transitions with Honesty and Grace?

Excerpted from “Making Peace with Change” by Gina Brenna Butz 

Change is hard on our hearts. It requires heart energy to adjust to new and different ways of living. Starting new relationships, finding your way around a new place, learning the new job, adjusting to another culture, carving out new routines—these all take an emotional toll.

So how do we navigate change well? How do we experience it as a gift with the potential to transform us? 

It begins with honesty about what we’re experiencing, so we can find the grace we need to receive the lessons God has for us in it. Can we honestly assess how we are doing, what is stirred in us, and what God might be showing us through it all?

Here are a few questions to consider as we reflect on a recent or current change:

  • What is hard about this transition? Can I simply name it as hard without judgment, so that I can be open to how God might use this challenge?
  • Do I trust in God’s goodness and sovereignty in this new season? 
  • What have I lost, and what does that say about where I’ve been finding life apart from God?
  • How am I experiencing God’s character in this change? 
  • What desires is this change bringing to the surface and how am I responding to them? Am I trying to minimize them or distract myself from them? Am I trying to control life so I don’t have to feel my unmet desire? 
  • Am I growing in dependence on God and His strength in transition, or am I trying to muscle through on my own strength? 
  • What expectations do I have on myself and others in this transition? Are they realistic? What expectations might God ask me to surrender? 
  • What losses do I need to allow myself to simply grieve and how? 
  • Where is God calling me to hope in Him? What can I be thankful for in this new season?
  • Who am I able to vulnerably share with about the challenges of this transition? Who have I found to be a “grace giver” when I need it? How can I intentionally move toward them? 

While it’s tempting to grit our way through a messy transition, to get back to “normal” as quickly as possible, navigating it with honesty and grace might mean it takes longer. What we can be sure of is that God is with us, no matter how long it takes. He plans to use each change in our lives to make us more like Him, and to deepen our faith in Him, if we will let Him. 

Note from Bob:  Someone once said “You have only three possibilities: You have either just completed a transition or you are about to start a transition or you are in the middle of a transition!”  You and I are continually involved in all sorts of transitions – some welcomed – some unwelcomed – some chosen – some thrust upon us!  Transitions with jobs, health, family, friends, moves, finances, births, deaths, etc.  The only constant is change itself.  Gina’s terrific book “Making Peace with Change” will become a welcome companion as you navigate the continual changes you experience!  Click “HERE” to purchase your book today!

Gina Brenna Butz 


Gina Brenna Butz and her husband, Erik, serve in Global Leadership for Cru in Orlando, Florida. Gina blogs at and her first book, Making Peace with Change: Navigating Life’s MessyTransitions with Honesty and Grace, releases February 4th.


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