Hi everyone. Rob here.
The view from my office window has changed somewhat. Instead of looking out at the High School fields and the impressive trees that border it, I now look at a shipping container and a rather austere temporary office. This is all for a purpose. We’re getting ready to replace a building and these structures, while ugly, will help us immensely as it gets built. It reminds me that there’s no rebuilding without a tearing down, but also, sometimes we need to build temporary structures as we transition. This is because life goes on and we need to find ways to function well even as our heart undergoes upheaval.
Our building is being removed because it’s not fit for purpose. It’s not capable of serving the purpose for which it was intended. This happens for us in life. Old ways of thinking, behaving and believing no longer help us. We outgrow them or they are shown to have been inadequate in the first place. They need to go and be replaced by healthier ways. Other times the upheaval comes through trauma, grief or simply a change of circumstances, like moving to a new city or starting a new job. Either way, transition and change is a constant. How we deal with it dictates our life.
A crisis in our marriage had the effect of me questioning my ways of thinking and acting. I had to transition from a thirst for knowledge about God to a desire to walk with God and know his heart. Self-protectiveness had to give way to vulnerability and fear to courage. There was no instant transformation, but a “slow turning” as John Hiatt puts it. What helped was having people I could be vulnerable with in the transition, people who I could be honest around and resources that showed me that there was a way through. The slow turning continues but the old is giving way to the new and that’s the path that Jesus sets us on.
It strikes me that for most of us the lack of ‘transition support’ is the biggest issue. Many of us don’t even know we’re in transition and, therefore, don’t have support in place. So let me name a few transitions that happen;
Change of job or job description
Change of home
The kids get older
Our parents get older
Our bodies get older and more fragile
Our friends move away
Parents or friends or people close to us die
We have more money or less money or a money crisis
These are but a few of life’s curveballs. God’s promise is that he’s with us always. Our lesson is to learn to trust that, trust in his goodness and trust in his love. We are open, honest and vulnerable with the ones we trust. If we trust God like that then he truly can be our counsellor and comforter. He will give us people we can trust also.
While we transition the view may not look great. It may look hopeless, confused or ugly, but it’s just for a time. Let’s press into the Father’s embrace as we learn to trust him more deeply. The slow turning does happen, the view does improve and the light does come in.
Grace and peace everyone.