Life is full of transitions!
From child to young adult. From mother to empty nester. From full-time employee to retiree. With each new passage, some of what we used to do and who we used to be becomes obsolete.
Transitions often require us to carve out a new identity, which can cause consternation and confusion.
Yet if we embrace the new, we find God’s grace at work, imparting courage to develop gifts that will open new doors for us.
“A man’s gift makes room for him,
And brings him before great men.” – Proverbs 18:16
How do we know a transition is coming?
We sense change is in the air.
Sometimes transition wafts tantalizing opportunities under our nose. Something comes along that excites us and feels so right.
At other times, change churns with uncomfortable feelings—disillusionment with what we are presently doing or who we’ve become.
My current transition is preparation for retirement in June of 2019. I’ll be leaving a career in public education, which has defined my identity for nearly 20 years.
And although I’m excited to move closer to my children and grandchildren, I’m grieving the impending distance that will take me further away from precious family and work colleagues. I’m also wrestling with what I will do when I’m through.
My inner dialogue goes something like this:
I’ll have more time to spend with children and grandchildren.
I’ll definitely indulge myself in painting and developing my art business.
I’ll look into part-time consulting opportunities to share my expertise in literacy, technology and the arts.
Who will I be when I retire?
Although I’m excited about the change, “Who will I be when I retire? question still haunts me in the night when I lie awake, wrestling with the daunting task of carving out a new identity.
Yet my wrestling always brings me back to the word “trust.”
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.” – Proverbs 3:5-6
I’m discovering that some unanswered questions will only get answered when I leave the old and enter the new. It will take trust in the Lord’s ability to guide and keep me in His peace when all I’ve grown accustomed to changes.
So, I urge you, dear reader, if you are facing a transition, find consolation in God’s promise…”He shall direct your path,” and help you to carve out a new identity!
*Special thanks to Ellie Ellis, the amazing artist who created these sculptures and embodies someone who dares to carve out new identities! You can see more of her art on her website, http://www.eliteartistrybyellie.com.
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