Hey there! It’s been a while. By a while, I mean nearly a year.
I hope you’re enjoying some of the changes we’ve made around here and that you’ll share any ideas and suggestions you might have to continue that growth.
In the meantime I want to talk about transitions. Scary, right?
Whether leveling up from high school to college, shifting from dorm life to an off-campus apartment or throwing your cap up and waltzing into the ~real world~, change is tough.
A senior at the University of Alabama, I’m feeling that deeply right now.
I crave adventure like no one else and adrenaline drives my spirit. That being said, the heart-throbbing excitement of jumping off a bridge greatly exceeds the gut-wrenching nerves of entering a new life phase. Same feeling, different experience.
But why are they so contrasting? And what makes us believe that now is better than later, that familiar is better than different? Why are we so hesitant to change?
Let’s see what the Word has to say about change and shifting seasons:
“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.” Ecclesastes 3:1-8 (ESV)
Continue reading through chapter three of Ecclesiastes for reminders of God’s sovereignty, humanity’s frail nature and the gift of hard work God gives us. Between these reminders and the convictions they place on my heart, I come away with two main points.
He sets eternity into the heart of each and every person.
Ok, Danielle, cool, but what’s that got to do with life transitions?
I vividly remember reading Tradecraft at my job’s front desk just shy of two years ago as I prepared for a summer in New York City (aka my favorite place of all time). The blue and red pen marks leaking through its pages speak to the work that book did (and continues to do) on my heart and my future.
At that desk, God revealed Himself to me in a way I’d never experienced and completely changed the way I look to my future decisions. My role as a Christ-follower is first and foremost to glorify God. Period. It doesn’t matter where, to whom, how, etc. He’s given each of us a variety of passions and gifts and talents that we can use to further His kingdom. We can freak out about what to do next, what major to choose, what trip to take, what city to move to, but at the core of each decision lies God’s glory. Especially as believers, but even for those who don’t yet believe.
For you that might be teaching. Glorify God in your education classes, in your future classrooms. Others might give Him glory in their passion for engineering, through their care as nurses, their arguments as lawyers, their cubicle neighbors at an insurance firm.
To be a missionary isn’t to move across the globe and immerse yourself in another country’s culture (while that is a beautiful way to do so). Being a missionary is a mindset that is chosen daily in the way we live and the decisions we make, including and especially when we’re in the midst of transitions.
The other point: it isn’t up to us.
Sure, we’ve been gifted the free will to make decisions about how and where and with whom to live our lives, but we are so limited. Ecclesiastes 3 tells us that while God has placed a longing and acknowledgement for eternity in each person’s heart, not one of us can fathom what He has done from beginning to end (v.11).
Lately I’ve been struggling so deeply with my inability to do anything about looming decisions. Whether in my relationship, my family, my post-grad future or any other aspect, I’m kind of just caught in a waiting game with everything juuuuust out of reach. And it sucks.
But even in the moments when I’m frustrated to my core, I can at least trust in God’s sovereignty and faithfulness. Those reminders are the ones that pull me up, dust me off and challenge me to keep pushing forward. I’m coming up on some big steps, and so are you, but with God’s glory as our eyes’ fixation, we can’t lose.
I don’t need to know all the details, to have the perfect plan and to craft all the answers. All I need to know for my next season of life is that the Lord has placed eternity in the heart of every single human being and that it isn’t up to me to keep the world spinning round. I can treasure His faithful truths in my heart and shake the self-applied pressure from my shoulders; He’s got it.
What transitions are freaking you out right now? How are you dealing with it? Let us know!