Consistent Transitions

*Sigh*  I know you want to do it too.  

We hear the word transitions and it just makes us want to sigh, or perhaps throw our hands up.  If your life is anything like mine, it is full of transitions.  Small ones, big ones, hard ones, and thankfully some easy ones.  

GreenLight

When I’m honest, and I mean deep in the pit of my soul honest, I have to admit that sometimes I believe more transitions come to me because I am single.  (Married women – please let me have a moment to explain)

Roommates are a case in a point.  This year, for the first time in 10 years, I renewed a lease with the same roommates.  I was so excited I threw a party…literally, threw a party.

There is a part of me that is tired.  I’m tired of transitions, I’m tired of change, and I’m tired of the unknown.  I want one thing to stay the same.  In the midst of that desire, the idea creeps in that if I was married I would always have at least one constant.

I start to blame transitions on singleness,
I blame change on singleness,
I blame discontentment on singleness.

When I start down that path then all my discontentment becomes centered on my singleness.  If only I were married…if only…if only…

But then I realize that even marriage can’t offer me the true consistency I’m longing for.  Marriage still has change, transitions, and discontentment.  Yes, you may have a constant partner to face the transition with, but it doesn’t change the fact that life is full of change.

The real answer isn’t marriage.  No, the answer is Christ.  I must focus on my one and only constant – Christ.

He is my Rock,
My Refuge,
My Shield,
and my Deliver.

No matter the changes and transitions in life, He is there.  He is the constant in my storm.  He is the one who knows my joy.  He is the one who knows me. He knows me completely and constantly.  

He is with me.
No.Matter.What.

What are some of the recent transitions you’ve been through?

Photo credit (green light) branox via stock.xchng

15 Comments

  1. Morielle January 26, 2014

    Um, wow, Lizzie, I think you could have written this post and just said it was by me. Sometimes I get frustrated by how often I need to be reminded that the problems I too often blame on singleness would still exist were I married. Reminds me of Psalm 23 (everything seems to, lately), “Your rod and Your staff give me comfort and cheer.” I guess the rod and the staff are every tiny instance in my life in which I feel the nudge or prod of Christ. And yes, they give me so much comfort and cheer.

  2. Morielle January 26, 2014

    p.s. that last bit starting with “The real answer isn’t marriage….” is amazing (not that the rest isn’t amazing too) but I keep reading it over and over.  Thanks so much for writing this.

    1. Lizzie January 27, 2014

      Psalm 23  is  always a good reminder!  His rod and staff are truly there to comfort. I heard it said once that the goodness and mercy of verse 6 are the hound dogs of heaven…following us all our days.  Now that’s a constant I need!

  3. Kimberly January 26, 2014

    My kids are sleeping in sleeping bags on the floor of a friend’s basement in CO. And they think that’s normal. For us (family of four) transition IS. Since this is the life we have chosen, transition. Even we, though together, are not stable. Christ, our constant. Thanks for the reminder.

    1. Lizzie January 27, 2014

      Such a good way to describe our lives, “Transition IS.”  And then we return to – Christ is, was, and will be!

  4. Janet Dierker January 27, 2014

    I sure understand what you’re saying, sister!  I’ve been on the field in Central Asia for 10+ years since 2000, and it seems that change is a constant.  During that time, I’ve had 6 different team leaders, worked under 2 different sending organizations, studied 2 difficult languages, worked on many different projects and seen literally hundreds of colleagues come and go.  Then, in 2013, I packed up and moved eleven times–some of that in the U.S., some of it on the field.  And I’m single.

    You got the right answer to the issue of transitions, changes and instabilities–and it’s not marital status.  He is the only constant, our eternal and never changing Lord.

  5. Lizzie January 27, 2014

    Dear Janet- 2013 was indeed a year of transition for you!!  I hope that you can feel His constancy in the midst of your ever-changing world!  Jia you!

  6. Caitriana January 27, 2014

    Oh yeah… I’ve been thinking (read: complaining, whining and grumbling) about transition a lot in the last few days, making preparations to return to the field in a couple of months. I should be focusing on enjoying the last couple of months with family and friends here, instead of dreading the goodbyes before they’re even happening, but…

    So, thanks for the encouragement and the reminder of the only One who is truly constant. I find it hard to really “get” the reality of that, sometimes – I know in my head that his grace is sufficient, that he is the One I need (not “God+”:  God+husband, God+stable home in one country, God+good friends that you never have to say goodbye to, …) and that transition wouldn’t necessarily be any easier if I were married, but find it hard to grasp and be comforted by.

    This is my first transition back to the field after a year at home, following my first term (4 years) in Asia. It reminds me of how, when I left home to go to university, the worst homesickness was at the beginning of the second term (semester): the first term, there’s all the excitement of starting a new phase of life, but going back for the second, after the Christmas break, the excitement’s worn off and the reality sets in. I think leaving my home country for the first term in Asia, there was all that excitement; leaving Asia for the year at home, there was the joy of reunion with family and friends (and with the cheese selection in the supermarket 😉 ) but now, preparing to go back to Asia, that first-term buzz is gone, and instead I’m wondering how much cleaning I’ll have to do in whatever apartment I end up living in, whether or not there’ll be a cockroach infestation this time, how I’m going to re-assemble the IKEA bed, who I’ll hang out with since my closest friends there have either left or will be leaving soon… 😉

    So, working on living by what I know to be true – thanks again for the reminder of that truth! You ladies who’ve been living this crazy life longer than I – does it get any easier??

    1. Cecily January 27, 2014

      Caitriana, I hear you!  When I go home for a break, it is easy for me to waste the last couple weeks thinking about how hard I think it will be to say goodbye.  But the more times I do it, the easier it gets because every time I remember that the Lor

      1. Cecily January 27, 2014

        Sorry.  Something crazy happens when I try to type in here!

        Caitriana, I was trying to say that the Lord always gives me grace when it comes time to say goodbye.  But, when I am fretting about it ahead of time, there is no grace.  So, my prayer for you is that the Lord will give you abundant grace when the time comes to say goodbye, and when you arrive back on the field to all the new things.  And I pray that He will give you the peace of heart and reassurance and joy in these last weeks at home so that you won’t be distracted by the things that you don’t yet have the grace for.

        1. Caitriana January 28, 2014

          Thank you, Cecily, for that great reminder! It has been really helpful in the  last couple of days! 🙂

  7. Cecily January 27, 2014

    8  By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. 9  By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. 10  For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God. Hebrews 11:8-10 (NIV2011)

    When I saw this new conversation, this was the word of comfort that came to my mind.  Abraham lived in tents.  Tents are temporary.  And he lived like a stranger in a foreign country.  BUT he was looking forward to the city with foundations!

    Dear ones, let us fix our eyes on Jesus in the midst of all the changes, and let us set our hope on what is ahead.  Transitions are tough, especially saying goodbye (I HATE that part!), but let’s remember that all of this stuff is temporary and in it we are preparing for life in that new city.  (I LIKE that part!)

    So thankful for each of you traveling this road with me.  Thanks for all the openness and encouragement that speaks to me day by day.

    1. Karen January 28, 2014

      I so enjoyed your comment!  Thanks for reminding us about Abraham and his life of “temporary” and his longing for the permanent “city with foundations” whose architect is God.  Such an encouragement. 🙂

  8. Kristi January 28, 2014

    I know I’m switching gears here, sorry. I tried comment yesterday but the crazy internet wouldn’t let me. Your post reminded me of Ps. 84:11. “No good thing does He withhold.” If my Father, in his perfect love withholds something, anything, from me it is not good for me at that moment. It could be marriage, children, stability, etc. On the flip side He loves to give good gifts. Whatever I do have is for my ultimate good, even if it doesn’t feel good at the time. He gives “Grace and glory.”

  9. Karen January 28, 2014

    I too feel like this could have been written by me for my situation and longing for a constant companion.  I know that my only one true constant companion is Jesus Christ and that God is sufficient for me, just as I know that having a husband would not be the complete solution, but oh how much harder it is to live that knowledge out!  I’m tired too of getting to know someone and connecting only to have to “say goodbye,” or rather, experience that change in the relationship as she falls in love and gets married or moves away (or more likely I move away).  It’s so easy to blame my singleness, or even to blame God, which ultimately underneath it all is what I do.  And then He reminds me that He is not the problem but rather the Solution!  I’m interested in hearing the comments of those who are married concerning transition and how it affects them, even with their husband by their side.

    And by the way, this is good timing, as right now I’m in the US waiting for paperwork to return back to Mexico and as it is taking longer than expected.  This is a transition I was not particularly looking forward to, nor planning for as long as it will be.   So thanks for the reminder and encouragement.

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