“You have hyper-transitionitis,” she said.
We were talking on the phone, a mentor giving me her listening ear, offering her gentle wisdom. We both chuckled at the made-up word, but as the laughter subsided and the “diagnosis” began to settle on me, I responded with a passionate “YES! That’s exactly what I have.” That made-up word resonated deeply with the layers of emotion and fatigue that I was experiencing.
It takes six to twelve months or more to adjust/recover from a significant transition. And probably that much time to prepare for a transition (if you know it’s coming). If this is true, my husband and I have been in constant transition since we were married thirteen years ago. We don’t know life without major transition yet.
A year ago, I was staring down the barrel of major transition. With a baby on the way and moving (again) on the horizon, I pleaded with the Lord, asking him what responsibilities I could remove from my plate, so I could better handle the transitions ahead.
I’d been in the river of transition so many times that I desperately wanted to avoid the feeling of being up to my eyeballs, just trying to keep my head above water. I hate that feeling.
I was certain that because I was seeking him, he would lighten my load, give me a way out.
But he didn’t. Instead, he gave me a promise.
“I will carry you. I will sustain you.”
Clinging to that promise, I took a deep breath and plunged into the waters. A few months later, I sat on my bed with a pile of tissues around me in an all-out lament session with the Lord.
“Lord, I feared this season, and it’s been harder than I even imagined. You promised you would carry me. You said you would sustain me. It doesn’t feel like that’s happening!”
And suddenly a rush of memories came over me. The meals that showed up at my door. The note from someone who said, “I think God wants me to tell you this” followed by words that were in fact the Holy Spirit’s message of encouragement to me. Over the previous months there was a clear trail of his graces to me.
I had felt like I was going to be swept under, but when I looked down, smack in the river of transition, I saw that I was being held. Those hands had been there the whole time tenderly sustaining me. I was just suddenly, blessedly aware. Now I added to my pile of tissues, not with tears of lament, but with gratitude.
If I had the year to do over again, there are probably things I would do differently. God doesn’t always save us from ourselves, or from the choices of those around us, or from nasty bouts of illness.
But he does keep his promise to hold us.
I’m tempted to go cliché on you here and bust out the story of the footprints in the sand. But surely you’ve heard it. Just as surely as you’ve heard again and again that “He will never leave you or forsake you.”
We know this to be true, but sometimes in the thick of a hard season, we can’t see it, can’t feel it until we’re emerging on the other side. That’s when we look back and see his hand so clearly we wondered how we didn’t sense it in the moment.
I don’t know where you’re at today, friend. Anyone else out there have a case of hyper-transitionitis? What are your symptoms?
Maybe you’re in the thick of a hard season and you just need to be reminded that you are being held. Maybe you need someone to point out to you this truth when you can’t sense it for yourself. Be assured, dear one, he’s got you. He’s not letting go.
I’m certain that you all have stories of your own, times when God has carried you, held you close. Share them here with us? Maybe your story will spark hope in someone else.
Because we are all, collectively as one big Body, and individually as each precious soul, held by a God who loves us so.
This is The Grove and we want to hear from you! You can link up your blog post, or share your practices, ponderings, wisdom, questions, ideas, and creative expressions with us in the comments below.
Here’s our Instagram collection from this week using #VelvetAshesHeld. You can add yours!