Thinking About Transitions

Having to process transitions over the last many years as a Pastor has taught me a few things, and continues to do so every time the process presents itself. I’m referring not just to staff transitions, but any kind of life transition.

Some are planned for and some catch you by surprise. Some happen slowly, while others leave your head spinning, wondering what just happened. Some are good and some are bad.

The months of June and July seem to have gone by in both slow motion AND fast forward SIMULTANEOUSLY! Incredible when life happens like that.

Sometimes, life’s jerks (I’m talking about EVENTS, not PEOPLE!) and twists and turns that are so unexpected just grab your life and have their way for a while. That’s what I feel like this Summer has been like.

Even as I write at the very end of July, our own Susana Pozu is in the hospital after a mild heart attack awaiting an angiogram, Shurie Southcott had an expected surgery on her hand that came up much sooner than anticipated, and Mark Sanders will finally have his long-awaited kidney transplant on August 7, also much sooner than the nine month wait they expected. Please be praying for each of their healing and wholeness!

Many have been asking about my Mom and I am glad to say that she continues to do well and is getting stronger, slowly but surely. Her surgery and recovery were one of those events that grabbed me somewhat by surprise.

Then, Stephen Hampton’s sudden and tragic death grabbed us all by surprise. Anytime someone so young and filled with potential dies with so much ahead of them, it takes us a while to process the loss of them from our own lives. It will still be a while – and then some – before we can figure out how to move ahead from this loss.

Another process of some “loss” for me has been John Cox’s transition off our staff. Even though he is still here in town and even a part of our church family, we don’t see each other as often.

Grief is a process of life that NONE of us can pass by. Try as we might, it won’t let us. Grief INSERTS ITSELF into our lives, whether it’s the loss of person by death, severed relationships, loss of a job, a move from one neighborhood, city or state to another.

Grief’s fingerprint is as different for one person as it is for the next, but one thing holds true …. it takes time. It’s process of time is not something you can make happen any faster or any slower than it does.

Where you go with it is hopefully led by Jesus as we trust Him to daily show us more of His life and ways. Scripture declares that “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” (Psalm 34:18) and that “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” (Psalm 147:3)

Being a continual survivor of clinical depression, I can say from experience that IF God is closer to a person at one time over another, then He is closer to you in your grief and brokenheartedness than He is when everything’s grand in your life. I say this from the vantage point that God is always in the midst of working something in our lives, whether we feel His presence or not. Why would grief and brokeness be any different?

Just my thoughts ….

1 Comment
  • Sherene
    Posted at 17:45h, 03 August Reply

    I agree with you. Transition is a process. We don’t all enjoy transition and change, but it comes whether we wish for it or not. I believe God is involved in every single transition we have. I also believe that he is with us in a much stronger sense when we are grieving. When we are completely brokenhearted and in need of comfort. He embrases us with compassion that can’t come from anywhere else. I have felt that and know that He reaches down into the deepest part of our hearts when we are too sad to express how we feel or even know how to reach out for help. He knows. and He comes down and meets us in those places, so we don’t have to reach so far to find comfort and understanding. Transitions are inevitable, but they are markers for where we’ve been and how we’ve survived and trusted in God.

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