Change is never easy to deal with in life. When God decides to bring change in your life it can be quite hectic! Recently, God called our family to another church. For the past couple of weeks we have worked tirelessly to prepare the house for sale, finish the school year, go to church camp, cry, whine, and then smile for all who ask.
Let me be clear. We are excited to be in the middle of God’s plan, but the transition needs a little work! I say this, not to be all whiny about following God, but to be honest. As I told one person the other day, 18 years ago was a much easier process because it was only Dulcie and I. Now that we have two children it makes it more difficult. In an age where pastors only average 2 years at a church, 8 ½ years is a blessing! I pray for my kids. This is the only house, church, community, and school they have ever known. The family at church we have is all they really know.
Life in transition is tough. Why?
I think transition gets tough because of a few factors.
1. Relationships. Anytime one builds relationships it makes it sweeter as the days go by until such a time as transition. With technology today those friendships are easier to maintain, but separation is still hard. Some do not build relationships, but we do. We are far richer for having done so and I would not change this fact. Make friends. Extend your family. Love.
2. Involvement. After a while it is easy to become entrenched in your situation. For a personality that goes all in all the time it is easier. Transition gets hard the larger and longer the involvement. Whether it is church or community, the gospel calls us to be involved. When the God of that Gospel calls you to move, however, it can become complicated. Bowing out of leadership, responsibilities, and activities drives home the point of soon-to-be departure. I thank God for the opportunities given over the past several years. I do not want to look back too often because those who remain must forge on. I pray God’s people will forge ahead stronger. At the same time, I must look ahead too. Transition is hard because of living in two worlds for a period.
3. Attachments. Often transition is hard because we selfishly don’t want to leave or we have become too attached to “things of this world”. I love the church family God has allowed us to have these years. Unplugging is not impossible, but it feels like it. We like the familiarity of the route to work, the people at the store, community activities, and more. We get lazy in the luxury of easy. Let’s face it. We all like our routines. We find solace in them. We find rest in them. Yet, all of scripture teaches us to find solace, rest, peace, and hope in God.
God uses a transition to deepen our faith and shore up the reality that we are to depend on Him more than anything else. Often, I find that the words of Jesus take new perspective, not the least is this comment:
But Jesus told him, “Anyone who puts a hand to the plow and then looks back is not fit for the Kingdom of God.”
As a follower of Christ, God constantly acts so that we become fit for the Kingdom. Life in transition reminds us so much of this fact. God places you where He needs you and you need to be. Maybe that is in a community. Maybe that is in a particular department. Maybe a neighborhood. Maybe a church. Wherever God has planted you, bloom. Just don’t dig your heels in if He decides to change the pot!