Change is inevitable. Whether welcomed or unwelcomed, we can’t avoid big transitions.
If you’re working professionally, it’s possible that you could be making a move to a new place for a new position. You might be a college student who has found that there is less time left in the day after classes and maybe even a part-time job. The loss of a loved one could be causing a major strain on you mentally and emotionally. Maybe your kids’ schedules have become increasingly busy. Maybe you’re a new parent wondering if you’ll ever be able to sleep again.
No matter what the change is, you want to be consistent in your time with and devotion to God. You just may not know how. Don’t worry, you’re not the only one who has ever had to adjust to a big life transition. Here are four things that can help you maintain your devotional time.
4 Ways to Maintain Spiritual Disciplines
1. Plan ahead
While some changes are unexpected, some you know about ahead of time. When you are anticipating a big life change, the best thing you can do is plan ahead. As early as possible, create a strategy to keep you focused on the One who matters most. Choose a Bible study that is an appropriate length to sustain your transition time. If you don’t have one already, get a planner and mark what you will be doing each day, whether it’s focused time in prayer or working through a Bible plan. Be specific in your planning. Be sure to mark what days and times you might be in a different location than your usual place for your quiet time with God. If you’re going to be out of town, map out coffee shops or libraries where you can spend some time. If your change is going to impact your generosity and giving, make sure to plan for that too. You may want to plan to set money aside beforehand so that you can continue to be generous with your resources. If you will not have time to serve your church, think of ways that you can support from a distance or offer your time before leaving.
2. Reimagine Spiritual Disciplines
In addition to having to change your routine, you may have to change your method. If there is a certain way you are used to practicing spiritual disciplines, you may need to reimagine what they might look like. You may need to pray while you’re packing a box or while you’re on a plane. You might need to listen to Scripture on your phone or laptop rather than reading a physical bible. For more ideas on how to adapt your time with God, check out our blog, “Going Deeper in Spiritual Disciplines.”
3. Ask For Help
Don’t think that you have to figure it all out on your own. Reach out to your community. There are people in your church, small group, or Bible study who have also experienced these types of transitions. Ask them what methods were helpful for them and how they saw God’s faithfulness to them during that time. There are people in the body of Christ who would be glad to listen and offer counsel. Above all, ask God for help! God is delighted that you want to be faithful to Him in all seasons of your life, and He delights in helping you! His Spirit is the one working in you to act according to His purposes (Philippians 2:13).
4. Know When to Switch Gears
There are some seasons in life that are more mentally and emotionally taxing than others. When you are grieving the death of a loved one or experiencing a season of depression, you may need to reevaluate what you can realistically do. The discipline that you might need to practice the most this season is trust. Remember that spiritual disciplines are meant to help you enjoy God and allow Him to transform you. Spiritual disciplines do not sustain your relationship with God—Christ Himself does that. Believe that His presence is with you. When you pray, when you read your Bible, when you show up to church, no matter how fractured, disengaged, or inadequate you feel, know that God is near. The most helpful thing you can do for your soul in times like these might be to believe that God will carry you through this time of suffering.
Additional resources on spiritual disciplines