Seeking Orientation in Transition

The only way to reorient is to admit I’m disoriented. Transition is exhausting, and I’ve lost count of the number of transitions we’ve endured this past year. I’m tired, my brain is foggy, and I’m in need of orientation.

There’s no longer a built-in afternoon quiet time (aka toddler naptime) in this season of my life. I’m not looking for everything to be the same (I was a young, SAHM in a foreign country, and life will probably never look like that again), but I’m still searching for my new normal. Life is happening at a fast pace with much tighter margins than I’m used to. I’m disoriented, but transition is no free pass to stay there.

How do I reorient? My natural tendency is to lean heavily on self-discipline. However, I’m considering something our pastor said a few months ago: “You can’t self-discipline away a problem.”

So instead of a new year’s resolution of self-disciplining myself into a strict routine I’ll just feel bad about breaking in 2 weeks, I’m praying a seekers prayer “Lord, you say in your word that those who seek you will find you when they seek you with all their heart. Help me seek you and find you!”

As I get in the word, I see the example of Jesus and his complete disregard for the patterns of this world. I see him asking his disciples to do the same as they depend on God to meet their needs. Luke 12 is a great place to re-orient as I feel tempted to worry, grab life by the horns and “write my own ticket” instead of staying the course of the life Jesus places in front of me. (I’m writing this during the holidays when it seems there’s always one more sale, hustle, gift or event … bombarded by messages from the marketplace that my stuff isn’t good enough and my kids deserve better!)

It was easier to make less, spend less and do less when we were abroad. We were content with what we had because we knew we were in line with God’s will for our lives, and we didn’t need to spend all our time and energy grabbing for economic gain. Now that we’re back in America, my constant temptation is to either sulk about not having as much as the next person or daydream about the changes I could make in my present life so I could make more money.

Then, I read the words of Jesus in Luke, chapter 12.

22 And he said to his disciples, “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat, nor about your body, what you will put on. 23 For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. 24 Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds! 25 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? 26 If then you are not able to do as small a thing as that, why are you anxious about the rest? 27 Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 28 But if God so clothes the grass, which is alive in the field today, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! 29 And do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be worried. 30 For all the nations of the world seek after these things, and your Father knows that you need them. 31 Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things will be added to you. 32 “Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. 33 Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”

I was tempted to highlight just a bit from that passage, but it’s all so applicable I couldn’t cut it apart. We’re told to disregard the world’s message that we need all the newest and latest. I know we tend to blame America, Canada, or whatever country we call home and think when we leave the country we’re exempt, but verse 30 says “For all the nations of the world seek after these things.”

Humans across the globe all want to be clothed and fed, and whenever we accomplish that, we look toward the next big thing! I’m challenged and grounded by the words of our Savior in this passage of scripture to live in contentment, trusting that God will provide.

I’m preaching to the choir, here, Velvet Ashes. I’d guess you occasionally struggle with trusting the Lord to provide for your every need, but I also see that you’ve left your homes, families, careers and possessions to follow the calling on your life. You’ve thrown the concerns of the world behind you and continue to chase after the eternal.

Do you know what you’ve done for me this past year, my overseas friends? You’ve helped me, with the example of your lives, to biblically reorient myself. You are a community of women committed to living gospel-centered lives so that others may see Jesus shine. You have taken God at his word and continue to encourage me to do the same! Thank you!

How does Luke 12:22-34 reorient your present concerns? What has God used lately to reorient you toward His plan for your life?


Photo by Craig Whitehead on Unsplash

1 Comment

  1. Jenilee January 11, 2018

    “You’ve thrown the concerns of the world behind you and continue to chase after the eternal.” What a beautiful picture. Thank you for this post!

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