I've been having a lot of conversations lately with people who are going through times of transition or, at the very least, are feeling the tremors of transition beginning within them.
As I mentioned a few days ago here, this is a normal part of the universe's rhythms ---order, disorder, and reorder.
Sometimes, the seasons of disorder are thrust upon us by circumstances beyond our control. Perhaps we lose a loved one, or a relationship ends. Maybe our kids grow up and move on to college. Or it could be that we receive a diagnosis that affects our long-term health.
Most of us describe this sort of disorder as a trial, a difficult season, a loss, or just life being life-y. We didn't cause it. It just happened.
But there are other kinds of disorder as well--the kind where we begin to feel a certain sense of unease or dissatisfaction with how things are in the world or our lives.
It could be that we find ourselves nearing the end of a season in life or begin pondering a career change or a seismic shift in how we live.
At times, when we begin to imagine where our feelings of unease might take us, we can become frightened or be filled with dread about what comes next. We wonder if it would be worth it to keep moving forward instead of staying put, finding safety, and embracing what's comfortable.
There's no easy way to walk through the seasons of disorder that we encounter. There's no shortcut to re-order. Winston Churchill once said, "If you are going through hell, keep going."
Melody Beattie wrote something that I find so helpful as I ponder these very things in my own life.
We will be fulfilled in the best way possible and as quickly as possible. But some things take time. Sometimes, we have lessons to learn first, lessons that prepare us so we can accept the good we deserve. Things are being worked out in us, and in others.
The truth is when we go through challenges, and it feels like the ground is breaking apart beneath our feet, that's the time when we need to move.
It might be a long and arduous journey to where we need to be, but the only to get there is by taking the first step in that direction.
The lessons we learn from the challenges and the hard road out of hell are vital aspects of our overall growth as human beings. There is good to be had for us on the other side of the struggle, but we may have to keep walking until we are ready to embrace it.
I have had these kinds of revelations before as I've looked back on the difficult moments in my life. If I had not gone through the disorder, the grace and peace I could feel on the other side of it would not have been as sweet.
And I may not have been able to recognize it when it came, either.
May you keep walking through the challenges you are facing and know there will be lessons you need to learn as you go. May you open your heart and mind to what God is doing around you and within you.
And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.