Here are some descriptions of a woman in the “transition phase” of giving birth. Ironically, I find it to be a pretty apt description of myself when I’m in the middle of a big life transition like… I don’t know, moving across the world.
“Emotionally, she can become restless, irritable, discouraged, and confused. She may find that she focuses inward… She may have a hard time communicating her wishes. This is the point when she usually needs the most support.” —Birthsource.com
“This is when things start getting intense… ‘I can’t do it anymore’ is a classic sign of transition.” –TheBump.com
Anyone else with me??
Times of transition are NOT my shining moments. I’ve moved across the world multiple times now. You’d think I’d be good at it, but you’d be wrong.
I can’t tell you how many times women in America have said to me, “I don’t know how you do it. I don’t know how you move back and forth across the world. I could never handle that.”
Yeah, you and me both, sister. I can’t handle it either.
But I’m about to do it again.
In six short weeks, my family and I are heading to the States for a slightly-sooner-than-expected-one-year home assignment.
Transition is upon us.
We’re excited about what’s ahead… on the other side of transition. The transition process itself feels much like torture. The packing and clearing out of our home, the goodbyes, the attempt at leaving well, the process of lining up life on the other side… It’s a lot.
My journal entry for this morning just may have said something like, “God, I don’t know how we are going to make it through these next weeks.”
Here’s what I’m telling myself through the transition phase. These are my “labor mantras” that I am repeating to myself, that I need others to repeat to me. Perhaps you need them for yourself for whatever transition you are facing, whether that’s moving overseas, moving back, or experiencing other transitions.
- Breathe and push forward. You will make it through this. Looking towards a big transition, even a good, exciting transition, I always think, “I can’t do this.” In the thick middle of a transition I think, “I cannot do this.” And then one day, I look around, surprised almost, and think, “Huh, I guess I did it.” You will get through this. Just do the next thing.
- Ask for help. Remember that part about needing the most support during transition? You can only push so much. Get the help you need.
- See how much you feel your need for God right now? You always need him desperately, but you don’t always feel that, do you? When you’re shifted out of your comfortable “I can handle this” life, that’s when you know your intense need for him. That’s a good thing.
- Transition = Transformation (even when it just feels like chaos). Through every single transition you’ve gone through, God has done a major work in your heart. He’s peeled back a layer of your soul and revealed a gem of truth about himself and about yourself. Those truths are your treasures, the pearls of transformation in your life. He has something for you in this transition. Look for the next pearl to add to your strand. It will be there.
- Your emotions are like concentrated lemonade. Transition heightens everything. Remember, a hard thing will taste extra sour right now because you’re in transition. Let that temper your reaction. And yes the sour is intense, but so is the sweet. Don’t miss the sweet joys, and don’t temper those. Live them fully, gulping them down.
- Stop and connect. Your connectedness to your loved ones and to God matters more than your to-do list. You know it does. You’ll make it on that plane.
- You can worry and fret about what’s around the corner or you can believe that he will be your enough. It’s really as simple as that. Brutiful, isn’t it? (Brutal + Beautiful).
- You will stumble and flop, and that’s okay. High intentions are just that, like a birth plan, you can have your ideals for how you will handle transition, but they are not the rulers of your soul. Your ability to meet those ideals is not the measure of your worth. His grace is sufficient…
- Transition, like birth, is the beginning of both joy and challenge. It won’t be all roses and rainbows on the other side of transition. So don’t set yourself up for that disappointment. But also cling hard to hope. God has his goodness waiting ahead of you.
- Take every fear and fret, every hope and dream, and turn it into a prayer. The mysterious gift of prayer is here for your strength and sustenance. And when your brain feels too foggy, that’s okay. He knows. Let his Spirit and the prayers of his people intercede for you.
That’s what we want to do today. We want to come together, lifting each of our transitions to him. I know I need it.
Will you pray for my spiritual needs, that these mantras will sink deep in my soul?
Will you pray for my physical needs, for his provision our housing, transportation, and furnishings?
Now how can we all pray for you? Share below. Let’s gather round each other and intercede with prayer comments.
And which of these 10 things did you need to hear? What would you add to the list?
This is what we call The Grove. It’s where we all gather to share our thoughts, our words, and our art on our weekly prompt. So join us in the comments. Show us your art work by adding an image. And link up your own blog posts on this week’s prompt. Click here for details and instructions.