We all say we want to grow, step into our purpose, walk in the NOW season that God has for us...
And then transition hits.
In labor (don't worry guys, this won't get graphic) transition is the most painful part of bringing fourth life - especially if done without an epidural, which in my case was with all four of my amazing humans.
Contraction after contraction pile on top of each other making it feel as though you won't be able to go on any longer - that you'll need ALL THE DRUGS, that you're ready to claw someones eyes out, anybody's eyes out. Sometimes in transition you start vomiting all over the place (so glamorous), laughing one moment and then crying the next. Saying things to your husband like "Come close to me - No! GET AWAY FROM ME!" literally all in one breath.
Needless to say, transition is intense. And then, not long after pain, on top of strange foreign emotion, on top of primal moans, those glorious words are spoken, "It's time to push" - soon after, a baby is placed on your chest, boring a hole straight into your heart as they try to open their little eyes to see this strange planet they've just arrived on. And in that endorphin rushing, all consuming moment - transition is complete as utter joy over-rides any memory of all the pain you felt just moments before.
Transition is necessary to bring fourth new life.
Just last week I had a moment where I dramatically slid down the wall until I was sitting with my my knees pulled up to my chest, crying (all the emotions) as it hit me that my eldest was going to Middle School and my youngest was going to full time Pre-K. They were those "all over the place" sort of tears; grieving the end of an era in the Andrew Household, excitement for what was to come and terror as I tried to work out the new calendar we were going to have to navigate as a family. Not to mention that I had just embarked upon my first round of edits for my first book (this is a HUGE job - whoa!). I also had in mind that I was in need of preparing messages to speak at Highlands Women's conference, ReCreate just a couple weeks after my kids started back at school. Then there's the not so small, looming set of details that our own Women's Gathering - SHE IS FREE was bearing down upon us (all the birth references ;).
It all began to hit me as I recognized this all to familiar, welcome yet slightly unwelcome package of emotions... I found myself in a life transition once again.
So now what do I do? To what do I cling to?
Grace for the moment. Not for tomorrow. Not for all the things I am worried about "someday when", but grace for now... Grace for today.
I mentioned in my most recent Coffee with Andi that as I woke up with a checklist in my head a couple of weeks ago, Holy Spirit whispered to me as worry tried to grip my heart,
"Andi, you can do this day in My grace, or your strength."
Immediately I made the choice to align my heart and life with GRACE. The grace that is all sufficient for me in my weakness, worry and checklists (2 Corinthians 12:9). The grace that is available now and always because I have all of Jesus - ALL OF HIM.
In my own words, GRACE is:
- God’s ridiculous love that saved us and made us sons and daughters - heirs alongside Jesus. This. Is. Crazy. This is GOOD NEWS! This is AMAZING GRACE!
- Unmerited favor that we live in on a daily basis.
- The sufficiency (an adequate amount of something) and fullness of God that we are able to walk in because we’re sons and daughters.
Matthew 11:28-30 in the message says,
" Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
As life transitions hit, or any new season for that matter, we have to find a new rhythm of grace because grace is always available to us. Maybe last season you were dancing the Samba, but this season requires you to do the Waltz. Pay attention because it's possible that the Samba has no grace in this season. Don't ignore the signs of transition or change. Walk with Jesus. Work with Jesus (not for Him - do you see that?) and you will learn the unforced rhythms of grace.
This morning, I dropped off my eldest at the subway to meet his friends so he could ride in to school WITHOUT ME for the first time. The rhythm of grace had changed for our family, and we've decided to go with it.