The last three months have been one of the longest periods of continuous transitioning I’ve ever experienced in my life. When the pandemic hit, I was forced to work from home, then I experienced the unexpected loss of my father to COVID-19, found myself in a new relationship, and inherited a big, slobbery Saint Bernard named Mia. Everything about my life—all of its routines and habits—have been uprooted, completely reshaping what “normal” looks like for me.
It’s easy to get pulled in a lot of different directions, especially when everything is so new and different. That’s why the current series, “Thriving in Transition” has been so relevant for me. Pastor Chris spoke about how the habits formed during the midst of transition will be the habits we keep after transition. It’s also important to be mindful of the habits we are making or the lack of habits we are making. We want to make a conscious effort to form positive habits that will lead to the best version of ourselves, while also bringing us closer to God.
The first new habit that I had to work on was making time with God my first priority. I started waking up 30 minutes earlier to read the bible and create a prayer list for people needing support. This way I would set my mind on God first thing in the morning and connect with His plan for my life. Starting my day off with God helps me to set up a positive rhythm for the whole day. As Paul stated in Colossians 3:2, “Set your mind on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” (NLT). I realized it is so easy to fall into an unhealthy rhythm for the day. By putting God first, I am able to focus on His needs instead of my own.
The second habit I’ve been working on is saving money. This transition has made me aware of the amount of times I was going out unnecessarily per week. Friends birthday’s, work happy hours, I haven’t seen you in two weeks let’s go out to dinner,etc. But this post Covid-world has made me realize that you can still get together with friends and family in a meaningful way without spending a lot of money. Now I suggest to my friends going for a walk on the waterfront, having a birthday party in a park, or just hanging out on the front stoop. We can still have these great connections, just in a simpler way. Also, having the extra funds in my pocket has allowed me to make donations to various organizations including towards the Home Initiative at Hoboken Grace.
The third habit I have made has been prioritizing Mia’s health. Mia was my father’s therapy dog that I inherited. She was trained by my dad to help people in nursing homes, autistic schools, hospitals, and library reading programs. In order for her be able to help others in the future, I have had to change both of our routines. Our new habit together is walking every morning and evening so that we can keep her healthy and strong. After the pandemic regulations loosen, I’ll be able to become therapy certified so that Mia and I can carry on my dad’s legacy of bringing joy to the people who need it most.
This transition period has been difficult but also good. The series, “Thriving in Transition” has allowed me to make a conscious effort to form positive habits during this time of change. I know that once I go back to work and the daily demands of
my life begin return to what they once were, these new habits will stick and I’ll be able to grow into a better version of myself through my engagement with God and my other healthy new routines. As Pastor Chris has pointed out, our ability to continue to transform our lives is found in creating habits that draw us closer to God. There is nothing we need, nothing we long for, nothing more important than our pursuit of Him