When you’re going through a transition

Just a few days before we left our house for the next several months, we decided to hang some pictures and buy a new rug. I washed and arranged the silk flowers.

We finally hung the curtains downstairs.

There’s something in us that wants to make our space beautiful and bring order to it, even if we aren’t there long.

A few years ago, when I first learned we would be traveling, I was so nervous.

I remember going over and over in my head what I would need to pack. And then I tried to imagine what it would be like to live in a trailer. I spent hours on Pinterest, looking up RV hacks and organizational tips and how to decorate my house on wheels like a gypsy would.

My brain was incessantly churning. I didn’t sleep as much because of all the thinking.

Perhaps that’s our brain’s way of preparing us for the unknown. Thankfully, this time around, I felt calm, mostly. I mean, two days before we left, I hadn’t even packed a thing. But this time, I knew what I was getting into.

I knew what it was actually like to ride in a semi truck for hours with Brent and the dog and my four kids and all their school books and some toys and an iPad.

It’s not my favorite, that part–the flying down the road part. But at least I know what to expect. And I know what it’s like now, to pull onto a church parking lot, and have the kids all shuffle out of the truck, ready for the bathroom.

I understand setting up house involves taking the bungee cords off all the cabinets and later finding that the kids have made booby traps with them. It means sweeping the floors and wiping the road grime off the countertops.

It entails laying down the rugs and straightening the beds and beginning again in a new place with new people. Transitions are just easier when you know what to expect. When you’re not dealing with such a great unknown.

But still, we must prepare for them.

Thankfully, our Father God knows how to help us prepare for life change, both the monumental kind and the rhythmic moving in and out of seasons.

God knows the questions that knock around on the inside of our chests. He is acquainted with the anxieties that we carry and the nervous anticipation that we feel.

If we want to move through a transition well, we have to take time to grieve a bit. Moving from one place to another or out of one season into another, means that we lose one thing (or many things) in order to gain something else.

We must consider our losses and name them.

We mustn’t rush to move forward without first tending to our souls. We honor ourselves and the story of our lives by giving time and space to lay down what once was and release it. We come to accept that things won’t be the same.

During this little spell of time, it’s good to sit with God in our grief and in the quietness. As we posture ourselves before Him, we can ask Him our questions. His Spirit is there to search our hearts and know the anxieties and insecurities that are within us.

He will show us, if we are still enough and attentive, what to pay attention to.

Then, having spent a little time in God’s Presence, we can move on, knowing that He is going with us, in the transition. We do not leave Him sitting in the corner. Our Father God gets in the semi truck with us. Or begins the new job with us. Or makes the move to a new neighborhood or new territory, with us.

There are places that we are headed and things we must do to get there, and God is with us in all of it.

And then, of course, it’s good to look forward to what’s up ahead. There is so much possibility for goodness. And if you’re a child in God’s Kingdom, you are relentlessly being invited into Kingdom adventures.

We can simply ask, “What is it that I am hoping for? What am I excited about?” Then, when anxieties come (because they are very pestery things) we have something good to focus on, instead.

We sat at the breakfast table before we left, and asked the kids to name their losses. We took a few moments to grieve those things.

And then we asked them what they were looking forward to. During the transition, we talk about these things often and I reminded my babes, that when life change happens, we must give grace. So much grace.

Grace to the people around us, because they are going through hard changes, too, and sometimes our emotions can get all discombobulated and wobbly.

But, we must also give ourselves grace. That means that we go easy on ourselves. It’s okay to cry. We don’t apologize for that part. It simply means we are human and we feel things!

But we don’t stay there forever, in the crying stage. There are adventures up ahead and we are invited into them. For we are children of the King and there is so much possibility for goodness and light and flourishing and love, not just for ourselves but for others.

If we don’t stay in our safe little dens, we will get to venture out and be a part of it.

2 Comments

  1. by Hannah Nieckula on January 13, 2020  11:41 am Reply

    Maggie, thank you so very much for this post. Oh how I LOVE the Holy Spirit, how he speaks not just to us, but through us to the people around us! Through you, and your beautiful and relatable way with words, the Holy Spirit has spoken directly into my situation, like my literal situation, the one I was just crying in my car about, while also making my grocery list and answering texts from parents of my kids friends, and checking my email. I saw this post in my email and read it of course, bc I find your thoughts very encouraging. And wow. It was like the Holy Spirit spoke directly into my heart, my fears, and sadness, and nostalgia, if that makes sense? And gave me, like, a practical way to take action, and do something productive, and not self harming, about all these feelings. So, all that to say, thank you truly. Your sister in Christ, Hannah

    • by Maggie on January 19, 2020  4:13 pm Reply

      Hannah, I sent you an email but in case you didn't get it, I want you to know this meant so much to me. Thank you for taking the time to reach out!!!

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