How to Survive Transition

2 12 2008


 Let your roots grow down into him and draw up nourishment from him. See that you go on growing in the Lord, and become strong and vigorous in the truth you were taught. Let your lives overflow with joy and thanksgiving for all he has done!

Colossians 2:7 LB

  On Sunday, Ryan, our worship leader, shared this verse from Colossians, then later a woman came up for prayer. Susan always ministers to others, but finds herself in the middle of transition.  We have both just begun attending Freedom Foursquare Church and so I feel an affinity with her. As we talked God reminded me that we must keep our roots growing down to him! We will never be beyond help if we draw close to our God.


            When we are in transition, it is easy to want to shut down and hide for protection and safety. We have to see that transition is a great thing, not just a necessary thing. Without the incarnation, Jesus would never have died for us.


          When the transition is tough, we can choose to see it as a good thing. Getting fired was a good thing because it brought me face to face with who I was, my walk with Christ and what I truly believed about God, myself and the world. 


            That was June of 2007, and I am still in transition. There have had moments when I found myself hoping and pleading to the point of begging God for this transition to be over. This hasn’t helped me all; in fact, it made the process that much tougher. But finally, as I look at all the transition and the many questions I have, I am finding peace, not because I have the answers, but rather by staying rooted deeply in Christ, I am able to stand.


            It is not what I do, but rather who I am that matters to God. Am I a woman of God or a woman of the world? Do I have to have every duck in a row or can I live when the puzzle isn’t all put together? God is committed to putting all the puzzle pieces of my life together if I will just trust in him.


            I went to a Goodwill store with a credit of $10.48 cents. I had returned a pair of green pants that didn’t fit and hoped to find another pair. I looked at the pants, but had no luck. Browsing on around the store, I walked past my favorite isle, lamps. I love to look at the lamps and imagine the homes where they have been and the people who must have owned them. It seems like in the lamp section, no matter the store, I am open to hearing God. I saw a grape cluster, milk glass parlor lamp missing its shade. It was a beautiful lamp, and so I thought about how sad the people must have been to have the shade break. I have collected harvest pattern milk glass since I was a kid and never saw a lamp like this one. I told the Lord I could spend my credit on that lamp because it was only $9.99, but without the shade, it didn’t make much sense. I went on around the corner to the next isle and found myself hunting to see if the shade (Who knew what it might look like?) was just misplaced on the lamp shade shelf. But I didn’t find it, so I went on to the nick-knack isle, where to my surprise, I saw a milk glass grape globe in the same pattern with a price $9.99. I picked it up and went back to the lamp isle. Unfortunately, the globe was heavy and the lamp was on the top shelf too high for me to reach. One of the stocking people happened by and asked if I needed some help, so I told him what I had found and that I hoped it fit the lamp,. He was happy to put it on the lamp for me. The lamp was beautiful, and without a thought, I found myself asking what the price was for the complete lamp.


            I waited not believing what I had asked, know I only had the $10.48 to spend. The base had been $9.99, and the globe was marked another $9.99, so surely complete it would be much more because I was sure the lamp on E-bay would go for close to $50 or more. To my surprise, I was told they would make it $9.99 for the set, and as he finished marking it, he put the lamp in my arms. What had I done?  Where was I going to put another lamp? Then I realized I could put it on E-bay if nothing else and make some money for ministry expenses, if only it worked when I plugged it in.


            As I drove home, God began telling me I was like the lamp. I had a beautiful base, but I had been walking around for a long time with my shade missing. He knew every moment of my life, so I could trust him to bring my lamp shade back. I realized I don’t need to worry about the second half of my life or what my ministry will look like. Suddenly I quit worrying about whether the lamp would work, and began thinking where this lamp belonged in my home.  Years ago, I sold my favorite lamp, which sat on my night stand, to provide ministry funds.  This lamp would now sit on my night stand to remind me of God’s promise!


            I came home and showed the lamp to my husband. He was not impressed. I don’t know many men that would be, but he supportively followed me to our bedroom to look at my new lamp. I rejoiced when, to my surprise, not only did the light in the shade work, but the night line in the base worked as well as the day it had when the lamp was first produced.


            This lamp lesson has brought me hope and the assurance that God will see me through this transition. My prayer is that you too can grow deeper into God, drawing nourishment from the Lord for your own transitions.


Blessings and Complete Joy,



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This blog is part of the ministry of Complete Joy and is published each Tuesday and Saturday, usually by noon Pacific Time.




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