My Life is in Transition
My life has changed drastically over the past two years. Very little seems to be normal in my world, at least not beyond two years ago. I’d like to blame it all on the recent pandemic that ravaged our planet; or attribute some blame on the mass exodus of people leaving churches; or assign some responsibility to America’s volatile workforce circa 2020.
Isn’t it just like our human nature to look for a culprit when our wonky life is underperforming? When things aren't going well, we need to assign someone or something to blame. That's how I think. I want to blame, but the fact that time and chance happen to all of us is the real truth behind my transitional life story (Ecclesiastes 9:11).
In 2020, we lost our health and fitness business to the pandemic. As weird as that sentence sounds, it is true. The pandemic literally stole our business from us. From that moment to date, Kenneth and I have been in full-throttle transition. We should consider buying custom his/her tees inscribed with “My Life Is In Transition. . .” (Ha! I wear a medium and Kenneth wears a large, just in case one of our slick readers tries to double-dog dare us).
We have been fortunate and blessed to have complementary dispositions that handle change well. That is – when one of us is immersed in personal transition, typically we have one another’s back as we weather storms that we can’t humanly stop. We suit up in our raincoats and the Halls navigate the turbulences. At least, that's been our narrative.
As of today, the transitional roundabouts can’t be any stranger than some of the past storms we’ve come through. We lost one of my longest friendships less than a year ago to brain cancer. My mom has developed advanced dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. My sister-in-law has developed a mysterious syndrome that causes her debilitation on many days. After the pandemic took our business from us, we inherited a bill that will take us a few lifetimes to pay off (unless we had Oprah Winfrey’s pocketbook; then it would take five seconds to transfer the funds to our debtors). We sold our home a few weeks ago; we set a closing date for a new home and are now living temporarily with a dear friend – all of this exudes transition. This is our first time living away from all three of our sons. Our senior dog, Noella, is deaf with a collapsing trachea, and sometimes is clearly unhappy with the transition. She doesn’t know what to do with herself now that her daily routine has been disrupted. She really shouldn’t complain though; she is terribly spoiled and coddled (not just by me either. . . ). Lastly, but not least, the economy is demanding that I have to return to the workforce. I’m officially looking for a job.
Kenneth told me a few days ago that if he has a roof over his head, I’ll have that same roof over mine. If he has a delicious meal, I would enjoy that same meal. Besides being a reliable provider, I wonder if he realizes that this transition is the reason we are living under a different roof and eating in a different location? Oh, he realizes it.
So how do I handle the wonkiness of my transition? God is my keeper. I don’t mean to be oversimple or super-spiritual. His promises for my life and my destination in this life are what I rely on deeply and daily.
Whether or not I quote a faith-filled or a promise-packed scripture, I automatically defer to God. He is my keeper. I’ve trusted God since I was 13 years old. He was carrying and keeping me even before then. Trusting Him explicitly isn’t on my spiritual bucket-list – "In God I trust" makes me secure and sane in trying times like these. Only He knows when the doors will open and close for us. What I can say is, “I don’t have an interest in testing God while He is testing me.” Job said it best for my life in chapter 13 verse 15: “Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him: but I will maintain mine own ways before Him.”
I remember when we were in a severe storm in 2009 to 2014, a storm that lasted nearly five years. I racked up stress and anxiety points because I didn’t trust God on a level anywhere near where I am today in 2022. I’ve matured in this area. Things have changed in my soul for the better – I’m not stressing out or falling victim to anxiety like I did back then. This time around, I know that God is my keeper. He saw us through the transitions and challenges of the early 2000s, and I don’t fret about Him being consistent in seeing us through this current one we’re in today.
During that scary 5-year stretch on life's highway, we spent time in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and received treatment for an unexpected cancer journey. Each trip, we wrote the words of Proverbs 3:5-6 on the blackboard outside of our dormitory room. You most likely have heard them and perhaps even know them well. Those words ring true. No matter what you are facing - as an individual, as a couple, as a human - please know that God wants to be the source of your strength.
He is your keeper!!!!!!!!! K-E-E-P-E-R!
Through it all, I trust Him. His word admonishes us to trust Him with ALL our heart - that’s one of the places where my most significant growth has taken place. God isn’t keen on part-time, lukewarm service - He wants all of you and all of me. He wants us to trust Him with all our hearts. Say it out loud to yourself: "Trust in the Lord with all of your heart. Do not lean to your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him. He will direct your paths," Proverbs 3:5-6.
My life is in transition and I can’t see around the corners. But He can. I trust Him. I pray that you trust Him too, no matter what you may be going through.