We have a lot of kids, so I have had a lot of practice at Labor and Delivery. One of the hardest and least favorite parts of the process is Transition. It’s the final stage of labor right before you get to hold your precious baby. For me, transition was about an hour of hard, intense contractions coming one right after the other along with nausea and the desire to escape.
Sounds a lot like my life right now.
We’ve changed so much in the past 10 years that it seems like my life has been in a constant state of transition. I hardly recognize the person that I hear in home videos from 7- 10 years ago. God knew that he had to take us on a journey to grow us into the people that could handle the things that we’ve asked of Him. Traveling and journeys are always full of transitions from one place to another, one people group to another— lots and lots of change, most of it awkward, uncomfortable or painful. In some seasons of growth, the change is slow and also imperceptible. Some times, like right now, change is fast, growth is big, and sometimes my insides want to scream “I can’t take much more!”. Realistically, I can handle more than I think I can, and I’d rather take the fast growth to catapult me into my next season rather than a slow method that will hardly run its course over the next 40 years.
One of the main transitions in our life right now has been adding more structure and a busier schedule. The pain of that transition has been in demolishing mindsets that were contrary to those ideas. What served us well in previous seasons will no longer be sufficient in future ones. When my kids were small, my highest priorities for our schedule were Flexibility and Quantity of Family Time. I was adjusting to being a Mom, my husband and I were learning how to create our family culture, and I wanted to be the primary influence to guide our children along the path that I thought was best. It was a time of creation; it was new and somewhat fragile, so we worked hard to protect it and teach it to thrive. All these years later, our family culture has been cemented: Goodness, Kindness and Love rule our hearts and our atmosphere. Part of our next stage of maturity is to keep our unity and focus as we enter into the world aka Take This Show On The Road. We’ve learned how to love God, love ourselves, and it’s time to love our neighbor as we love ourselves.
The busyness of this proposition has been the adjustment. Last year Skip worked out of town for 6 months, then started another local business. This year we started a new homeschool curriculum and added Jonah playing football. All of these things are very good, but they forced me to exercise new muscles: tighter scheduling, stronger focus, endurance. The beauty in all of this is that we were ready. We’ve seen good fruit in the last 6 months. Our marriage was ready to withstand the pressure, and we have actually thrived and gotten along better than ever. Our communication has skyrocketed, and we’ve actually become more thoughtful of each other because each kindness was chosen purposefully. Our kids have appreciated the challenges and victories in their schooling, friendships, and sports. My husband’s business management and relationships have flourished. All of these things are the little bits of beauty that I’ve found in the midst of the hardness of the transition. I don’t even think we’re truly holding the “baby” in our arms yet.
I know lots of good things are coming. For now, I’m breathing through each contraction as it comes, I’m reminding myself that I have what it takes to make it through pain, I remember that people have been doing this for centuries and surviving, and I’m focusing on the fact that I’m about to be holding a ‘baby’ in my arms. All the things that I did time after time to bring my children into this world were blueprints to a mature life. The process is always worth it.
Are you experiencing the beauty or pain of transition in your life right now? Share in the comments below!