Life in Transition


Change is imminent

While those might be ominous words, they still ring true.  It seems that the old statement is true: the only constant is change.  We have a growth chart outside of each child’s room.  Periodically, I will have the kids stand for me to measure how much they have grown (changed) since the last time.  We are in that stage where the growth (change) spurts occur.  Most recently, our daughter outgrew everything she owned.  Off we went on the trek to find new (change) clothes!  It is not as easy as you would imagine, though you might already understand.  We joke and tease kids that we should put a brick on their heads to keep them from growing (changing), but we don’t really mean it.  Isn’t the point of raising children so we can watch them become (change) all they dream and hope?  Parenting is simply managing change.  Life, then, is also about managing change.  Consider the necessary change for a family in each of these moments.

  • A Birth
  • First Day at School
  • Puberty
  • Driving
  • Graduation
  • Marriage
  • Divorce
  • Death

The Flood of Emotion

Each time one happens there is significant change.  For those involved I suggest that these three emotions are felt at once by the family.

  1. Joy
  2. Grief / Loss
  3. Stress – financial and relational

For example, the first day of school is usually heart-wrenching for Mom while the child bolts out to go to class.  My son could hardly wait to get to school.  My wife sat in the car and cried.  I began to consider college expenses.  At that moment all three were being felt.

Our two kids are rapidly approaching those years where Mark Twain suggests you put them in barrel.  As parents we grieve because childhood is being torn away as adolescence rushes in and stress about what that also brings:  dating.  Our kids are excited because of the new stuff they get to do in life.  All three are being felt.

A friend of mine recently went through a divorce.  All at once, these three were felt.  There was joy to be free from a dangerous situation.  There was grief because a marriage ended.  There is stress trying to figure out how to survive as a single person again.

GPS is required

We travel a lot by car.  Before kids we used to fly (joy, grief, stress).  A few years ago, I bought a new phone and it came with GPS.  I had never had this before.  The closest I had was DNS (Dulcie Navigation System) which always seemed to know which way was North!  This new device could route me to my desired location and route around traffic issues on-the-fly!  We were so impressed and thankful.  While it is cliché and a tad silly, you might have seen the shirts/hats that have God’s Positioning System.  As we are required to navigate through transitions and the ensuing emotions we need something to help us. I recently did a study on 3 names of God.

Elohim – we see this word typically describing the command and control of God.  Take rest in knowing that your transition is not a surprise to God.  He is our creator and commander.  He is aware of what is happening and has the resources to assist.

Yahweh (Jehovah) – this was introduced when Moses asked for a name.  This name is typically used about the covenant relationship with Israel.  As the new Israel, believers today can rest in the promise keeping God.  Not only is He in control, He has promised to care for you.

Adonai – This was introduced first with Abraham in Genesis 15.  Abraham, Moses, Hannah, David, and more all recognized the ownership of God and the management of mankind.  God owns it all and our lives.  We would find freedom if we acknowledge this as well.

Layover Moments

If you are not in change status now, just wait you will be.  Like the traveler who is in the airport between flights, so are we when in-between transitions.  I close today with a few words of wisdom from the wisest man who ever lived.

My son, don’t forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commands; for they will bring you many days, a full life,  and well-being.  Never let loyalty and faithfulness leave you. Tie them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart.  Then you will find favor and high regard in the sight of God and man.  Trust in the Lord  with all your heart,  and do not rely on your own understanding;  think about Him in all your ways, and He will guide you on the right paths.


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