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Your Turn: The Tension of Transition

woman on forest bridge
In the midst of transition, we miss what is now.

In my 26 years, I have moved 17 times, had nine jobs, about a dozen career plans, 22 different roommates, and unfortunately, really only one hairstyle (except for one big-hair perm in the ’90s, but let’s forget about that one!)

I am on my third job this year and my fourth move. It has been hard; I am tired, but I am richer because of it. Friendships have been gained and strengthened, humility has grown, and my identity has become more fully solidified in Christ rather than founded on job title, marital status or financial independence.

I don’t think all this change is solely due to the fact that I can be an indecisive person. I know that’s a factor, but predominantly I see His hand moving in my life; even though the movement is divine, it doesn’t negate the fact that transition is hard.

I’m guessing you’ve been here before, too; at the precipice of change — options to consider, unsure ground to stand upon, planning reality around the hypothetical.

A few months ago, I turned in my resignation from a job that I excelled at, in which I was helping people thrive and succeed; a job that I thought would be my career. However, after months of battling burn-out, feeling like a failure, I slid that letter that I’d written and rewritten several times across my boss’ desk. Then two weeks later I cleaned out my office and left, head spinning and heart hurting.

Often, in the midst of transition, so much energy is spent on planning, trying to be responsible, seeking and obtaining security for what is to come that we miss what is now.

In this past year, the year that has been marked as containing the most change thus far, I have made a concerted effort to live in the present, to be aware of and thankful for this moment, right now. A paradox of sorts, but it takes the edge off, the pressure off of constantly looking to the hypothetical to direct my steps.

Instead, I am here, waiting again with open hands, open heart; a bud still in transition, longing for the rays and moisture of prayers, of Holy Spirit whispers, of relationship and life to open my petals, slowly, one at a time. So I wait, not in an attitude of complaint, but a posture of active stillness.

May you, in times of change, in career, relationship or location, live with open hands to give and receive. May your heart hear whispers; may you be thankful for the moment that is now, for we do not know what the next moment holds, but we know Who holds the next moment. When your hands and heart are open to His ways, not only can we revel in the beauty and creativity with which He cares for us, we also witness the extravagant love that so often arrives in packages we never anticipated. Sometimes those packages are hard to understand, and hard to accept, but we become richer in our reception of His love and provision. May you watchfully and openly wait.


Janelle Cecil is enjoying her most recent transition of becoming the head cook at a Torchbearers Bible School, Timberline, nestled in a sweet but rugged valley in the Rocky Mountains. You can read more on her blog, bud to blossom.

Copyright 2014 Focus on the Family. All rights reserved.

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