Good morning! As I write this I have a breath taking view of the Mediterranean Sea and the Rock of Gibraltar. It’s a beautiful point of transition between Europe and Africa. All of that has me thinking about the transitions Steve and I have experienced over the last few weeks.
Steve left a position as lead Pastor and become the new president of Reach Beyond. As I think back, there have been exhilarating moments and exhausting moments. The excitement of meeting new people and traveling have been mixed with the exhaustion of living out of suitcases and sleeping in different beds almost every night. During this season of change, I’ve learned a few things about myself…some good and some not so good. For example, I realized again, how deeply my heart bleeds for the world to know Jesus and how much I enjoy meeting new people. Good. But, I’m also reminded that I’m not always very flexible and when I can’t find things and life feels out of control…I become agitated and tense. Not. So. Good.
Transitions bring out the best and the worst in us because they require growth and growth involves pain. What felt secure in the past is no longer a firm foundation. We’re forced to open our hands to let go of the known in order to receive the unknown. The excitement of the new is thrilling but the surrendering of the old – the familiar and comfortable – a little nerve racking. As I’ve been musing on these thoughts over the past few weeks, I decided to plant my heart in a familiar and favorite Psalm written by David.
A Few Thoughts on Surviving Transition from Psalm 37
- Take delight in the Lord – (Psalm 37:4). Over the last months, I’ve noticed that I need “extra” time to connect with God. There in His presence, He reminds me that He is my home and my greatest source of joy. It’s easy to cling to the familiar and mistakenly conclude that my joy and security is rooted there. As I look out my window I’m reminded that God is my Rock of Gibraltar! He alone is my steady source of security. While Steve and I have been without a home, I’ve been even more desperate for the Lord then normal and that has led to amazing times of sinking into His presence and finding new joy there with Him. I wouldn’t trade those moments for anything!
- Make deposits in your trust bank. (Psalm 37:5). What do I mean? Over the past few weeks I’ve purposefully reminded myself of God’s provision in the past and His promises for the future. I’ve purposefully kept “thankful lists”. As I have reminded myself of how God has led in the past He’s strengthened me to trust Him with the future.
- Give yourself permission to grieve what you’re leaving behind. (Psalm 37:7). At times during this transition I found myself on the verge of tears and then beat myself up for crying. One day my oldest daughter reminded me of something profound. Bethany said, “Mom, guilt isn’t helping you. It’s okay to grieve what you’re leaving behind even though you’re excited about the future.” I realized Bethany was right. Letting go involves a measure of loss. David reminds me to “be still” and not rush the inner work that grieving accomplishes in my life.
- Create the space for rest and renewal. (Psalm 37:7). Part of being still is resting. Change and transition can feel draining. Over the last few weeks, I’ve needed extra sleep. To be honest, that felt frustrating for me until I realized that the changes, different time zones, and new challenges were taking a toll. Once I gave myself permission to get some extra sleep – I ironically began enjoying more energy. God created our bodies to need rest. When we create the space for rest He renews our spirits and we find that our strength and joy increase!
As I close this blog post and look to a new day here in Spain, I’m excited to see what God has! The lessons I’ve learned during this season have been invaluable and I’m thankful.
I’d love to hear from you. What have you found most helpful during seasons of change?