I found myself in Trader Joe’s standing in the aisle remembering what they had said, “enjoy every moment,” “in a blink this will pass,” “they will be up and out in no time.” They were right, the wise mothers. As I stood in the aisle I found myself staring at a little girl not more than 2 years old with a pink bathing suit and sandals. She was walking at a very leisurely pace, taking in all the sights. She was in no hurry, although her mother was. I stood there as she slowly passed in front of my shopping cart, eating her snack. Her mother apologized for her daughter’s dawdling. I replied, oh please don’t apologize, she is precious.
What I wanted to tell her was that it’s all true what they say, enjoy every moment, in a blink of an eye she will be grown up and leaving for new endeavors. Watching this little toddler cross my path made me smile and tear up. I wanted to tell this mom that one of mine has flown from the nest and the second one is about to. How is it possible that I am even old enough to say that? I suppose the gray hair that won’t go away and the etched crows feet would reveal we are not contemporaries. I would imagine she would have smiled at me had I said that. I thought to myself, cherish each moment and certainly don’t rush them. Your little ones will fly away sooner than you think.
Change is good. Change is good. I keep telling myself. If I tell myself enough times I am sure to believe it. If we don’t change, we can’t grow. If we don’t embrace change and welcome it we are left in the arms of complacency. Change requires transition and transition can be difficult to get through. As a mother, the most difficult transition I can think of is childbirth, from our womb to our arms. And many years later, the transition feels similar, from full house to nearly empty. Transitions are difficult. However, without transition there is no advancement, for all those involved.
There are countless transitions we go through in life. Some may be more innocuous and some more daunting. The questions and thoughts stir… Have I done all I could do? How will I handle it? What will this look like? Am I really ready? Can I get through this? I like it the way it used to be… and on and on. It is difficult to stop transitions once they begin. And funny how once they pass, we forget about them and transitions become a distant memory. We remember the outcome, the product yielded by the transition.
Transitions gives births to change and change brings forth something new. To embrace the new, we must say good-bye to what was. And no one likes good-bye’s. Like childbirth, transitions are arduous and painful. Recognize this place called transition, if you are in one, and if necessary, shed some tears. We are saying good-bye and leaving something behind.
Our journey is made up of many transitions. Maybe you are in one now. I think the main component of getting through this period is trust. God asks us to trust Him with the outcome. We don’t know what it will be like on the other side. But, He will bring us through, just as the Lord provided a pass-through for the Israelites to cross the Red Sea, He will provide one for us too.
“Moses answered the people, ‘Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still’” Exodus (14:13-14).
So I think I will just stand still, acknowledge that I am in transition and trust God to show me the pass-through. And it’s okay if I shed some tears.