Two weeks after graduation, I entered courtship with Daniel, got engaged after a year, got married after 5 months. In my 4 years of marriage, we now have 2 wonderful children and have lived in 3 cities- Manila, Chicago, San Diego, and now back in Manila. We are now on our 3rd apartment with our 3rd coffeemaker.
I might be in the brink of calling myself the queen of transitions but I am sure that someone out there exists who surpasses the transitions I’ve went through for the past 4 years. So I decline to be called one.
But here are just three of the many things I have learned (am learning) about transitions.
1. Transitions bring discomfort. They can be difficult because they entail change. They can be annoying, yet rewarding as you go through it. One great thing about it that we have to keep in mind is that it prepares us for the next season. It may be hard to look at a transition this way but I’d call it “grace period.” Grace to learn new things and get used to something unfamiliar.
When we were transitioning to go to San Diego to help out on the churchplant, the logistics were overwhelming. We had to manage selling our car, emptying our apartment, preparing finances, disconnecting phone lines, packing! and Judah was one year old, plus I was pregnant with Zo. I remember having 2 consecutive months of calendaring our to-do list and posting it on our wall. And every item ticked off was precious. Just thinking about it, it IS REALLY hard work. But it’s all worth it especially when you know the mission, and though everything may not be clear yet, He provides enough light unto your feet, you will not stumble. At this point, the mission is clear, to go and make disciples of all nations.
2. Transitions escalate emotions. I think it’s about letting go of the past, moving forward to what’s ahead, and all the emotions involved in it. When I was pregnant with our second, I became anxious about giving attention to 2 kids. I actually blogged it over here. Our assurance is that God brings about the path that He is continuously unfolding for us. We can either respond properly or anxiously. As for my case, I was going to be a mom of 2 and though not many books are written about “what to expect when you’re expecting your second,” I could walk through my transition knowing Who is unfolding the path for me.
I remember spending times of prayer, worship and Word during this time because I did not want to be swayed by my emotions. Godly relationships also play a vital role as it is written in Proverbs, “He who walks with the wise grows wise…”
3. Transitions usher newness. When you’re at the tail end, it looks like a breakthrough. It is! Finally you are learning what you thought you wouldn’t have learned in the past season. You are thriving and growing even more, maybe in your new role, new craft or even new location. In a way, transitions trump the familiar, so you can perceive the new.
I recall the many moments in Genesis where God would call Abraham and Sarah to a new place, then to another, then walk some more north or south, peg tent here and there, seemingly endless journey. (Sa totoo lang, nahilo na’ko pag ako ‘to). Regardless, they obeyed not just the first time when God called Abraham to a place he did not know, but also the second, third, fourth, nth time.
What will sustain you in periods of transition is your relationship with God. In our transitions, these remain constant- the faithfulness (and character) of God and the mission of professing our hope in the Gospel. Your Maker doesn’t change, your purpose and calling in Him is intact.
*I pray that if you are in a period of transition, let God be your clarity. And may you obey even before you understand. May you use whatever emotion you have as a pathway to worshiping Him. And may your relationship with Him grow deeper. May God give you the courage and strength to let go of the old, and take hold of the new.
Here are more insights I wrote previously on transitions.
Have a faith-filled Wednesday!