After the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of a gentle blowing. 1 Kings 19:12
Transitions are difficult. When my children were little babies, the transition from two naps a day to one was always tough. They were quite tired late in the morning and yet I had to wait to put them down just a bit longer so that they could sleep deeply for that one long nap. Eventually they adjusted and things were good.
Transition is like that for us as adults too. Perhaps we are between one life event and another. Marriage to parenthood. Having a baby to having a toddler. Halfway living in a house you’ll soon be moving out of to begin another adventure in life. Saying goodbye to people you love and then saying hello to a place and to people you want to learn to love.
We wait, emotionally and physically stretched thin, reaching for rest and the moment when everything will right itself and one life stage gives way to the next in all its fullness. Waiting on God is not easy.
In times of change, like the precipice of time where my family and I are standing tentatively right now, waiting as we pack up eight years of our lives and leave a home and community we love and feel safe in, there is a certain, unchanging hope.
Life turns in circles, but thankfully God does not.
For I, the LORD, do not change; therefore you, O sons of Jacob, are not consumed. Malachi 3:6
Oh how thankful I am that the Lord will carry us gently into our next place. There is so much uncertainty in transition. It is a privilege that we as Christians do not have to rely on ourselves to make things work. The Holy Spirit can lead us in confidence to take the next step. And sometimes it’s the first step that’s the hardest. But there are times that it must be done.
We can praise Him for His gracious gifts in all times, whether we are fully certain of what our future is going to look like or not. There is a time for stability, quiet and rest. And then change inevitably comes, often brought on by God Himself.
As I was talking with a friend a few weeks ago, we came to this conclusion. Sometimes God calls to us and says:
I don’t want you to be comfortable. I want you to be challenged.
How hard that is to hear. And yet how true.
The creation of a pearl is truly a miraculous thing. It begins as a foreign object–an irritant–within an oyster’s shell. Something that the oyster believes does not belong, and he seeks to ease the feeling it gives him by covering it layers of a soft, crystalline coating over a long period of time. And yet as he works to cover it, it becomes a part of his life…..and eventually it is revealed to be something beautiful and lovely.
This is a picture of life, is it not? The rough edges smoothed, the difficulties we encounter used to transform us and bring lustrous beauty out of struggle. The waiting giving way to newness, sometimes bringing with it resistance but also a joy that cannot be explained away.
God is near and present in times of transition. And it is my prayer that you and I will not disregard this in-between as something to be pushed away or ignored but as a brief pause in life where we allow God to work in our hearts, bringing us in….and under…..and then through.
Grace and peace.
But now, thus says the LORD, your Creator, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel, “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine! “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, Nor will the flame burn you. “For I am the LORD your God, The Holy One of Israel, your Savior…. Isaiah 43:1-3a, NASB
Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, and whose trust is the LORD. “For he will be like a tree planted by the water, that extends its roots by a stream and will not fear when the heat comes; but its leaves will be green, and it will not be anxious in a year of drought nor cease to yield fruit. Jeremiah 17:7-8, NASB
Jennifer Thorson is a pastor’s wife and mother of four, who realizes that it’s the grace of God that carries her through each day, giving her joy in this journey through motherhood! Her goal at The Purposeful Mom is to equip and encourage other women to trust in that grace and embrace motherhood purposefully, without the pressure to be perfect.