A few thoughts on transition
This weekend brought the end to the first week of an ongoing transition. My oldest started Kindergarten. Leading up to the start of last week, I was an emotional teapot, ready to bubble over with emotion at the slightest memory of the last 5+ years, with the simplest thought of how quickly the time had passed, with every worry possible over what this next season and chapter would bring into all of our lives…
I have also spent the last few weeks remembering living in Germany. For some reason, every late summer, when fall seems most eager and I get the feeling that she is peaking at me from around the corner, I struggle with missing Germany. I long to be packing suitcases, I long for the feeling of being on the verge of something new and I even long for the fear of all the unknown ahead that makes room for courage and creativity. Memories flood me at this time every year. Sometimes I feel a bit like a lunatic for missing a place like I have heard others speak about the loss of a person. I don’t mean to compare the two but the feelings are real and intense and they seem to come to life around the same time every year. There were three late summers in my life spent packing up a year’s worth of what I thought I needed into 2 suitcases, and subsequent falls spent adjusting to having moved overseas. Outside of marriage and having children, those moves were some of the most life-changing, perspective-shifting, faith-stretching, heart-pounding moments I have ever had. It makes sense that my whole being would remember it with deep feeling as I still do.
Change and transition have not become easier for me. Though I have walked through a million doors of change, my initial reaction is almost always to resist it. However, as I have made choices to embrace change and transition, I have also watched the hard, the awkward, the scary, the lonely, the messy, the uncontrollable and the loss that travel as close companions to change and transition, bring beauty, gifts, new sight, new life, gain, growth and irreplaceable intimacy with others and with God that wouldn’t have been possible otherwise.
So in this new season, I cling to the verses below as my family and I walk forward – knowing that everything that is and that is happening is more than what I see. In all of it exists the pieces to a greater story, to more than what could be hoped for, missed, longed for and known now. It is HIM, the ultimate longing, hope and desire – Jesus – the author and perfecter of my faith that meets me and moves me beyond the places where I feel most immovable.
“Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!”
“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast because they trust in you.”
“Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning!”
“Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.” Psalm 91:1
My three years and short trips in Germany are no longer. More and more years accumulate between that that time and now. I don’t live there anymore. I don’t know if we will ever go back and if we do, the time I remember of it has passed. But my time in Germany changed me forever. It has made the entire world look differently than it did prior to that time. The people, the culture there, the way the land felt under my feet, now carry memories in my mind, they have built the road I have continued to travel on, however different the path and scenery look now. I see pieces of God that I didn’t know before – parts of him in the beauty of the German people that he made. I cannot believe that I could have missed all of this for fear of the unknown and uncomfortable that colored everything around my decision to travel there and move there years ago.
I am learning that Courage knocks on all of our doors. Courage is moving forward even though your whole being shakes and your heart aches and almost everything in you wants to step backward into worry and fear with your fists up and a resolve to stay the same. Right now, for me this means a choice to ask God to help me trust him and to turn from the worry-wart thoughts over Kindergarten, and to give thanks for the time in Germany that I miss. It means praying -sometimes every hour for my boy and then for God to move me deeper in my trust of Him and His word. It means to keep unclenching my fists, over and over again.
And on the other end of this kind of Courage, I pray we (all of us who are walking through a transition) may find Him, and not just on the other end waiting, but find that he has been there bringing us towards Himself all along.
Let's link arms and step forward together in courage -there's no better way.