A Word About Transitions

I’m doing it again. Another post without photos. If you can’t remember my justification for including this sort of post in my blog, take a look back here. I, Sarah (of Sarah Sue Photography fame) am in transition. And transitions are beautiful, painful things. Today I wrote some transition musings in my journal and part of that journal entry is worth sharing:

Seminary is over. I’m back in Houston, trying to figure out what real life is supposed to look like now. Life is full of joy and sadness. Some days it feels rich and exciting and some it just feels exhausting. My comfort in the midst of this is the knowledge that God welcomes my wrestling with Him. The collision of transition, joy, and sorrow has of course given rise to confusion and questions, to which only my Maker has the answers. And so I wrestle with Him as I always have, struggling to know the unknowable. But there is a difference this time. My wrestling matches used to be full of anxiety and self-loathing, fueled by the conviction that questions are tantamount to unfaithfulness and therefore God must hate my questioning heart. It is only recently that I have begun to recognize the childlike trust that leads me to take my questions to Him, rather than hoarding them fearfully within myself. I wrestle with God because I trust that He is good, that He has the answers, and that He is big enough to withstand my clumsy offensive. He engages in my wrestling match because He loves me with the type of intimate, vulnerable love that makes room for conflict. Scripture says that perfect love drives out fear. As I better understand God’s love for me, I fear myself less – my sin, my confusion, even my unbelief. None of them can dampen His unshakeable love for me.

In Genesis, Jacob’s wrestling match ends with pain and blessing – seemingly odd bedfellows who have, nevertheless, popped up hand-in-hand quite often in my own story. We aren’t given all the details of Jacob’s blessing but are told that he was allowed to see God and was given a new name. My hope during this time of transition is that my wrestling will give me a clearer view of God and His unchanging character. And that He, in His love for me, would shape me more fully into the person He created me to be – transforming my identity just as He transformed Jacob’s name. There is pain in this transition, which is to be expected. Newton’s first law states that we bodies will tend to travel in a straight line once we get going. A push in a new direction is bound to hurt. A steady, straight path is comfortable, predictable, and easy to control. But yielding to the push is better. Of course, I will continue to wrestle. But only because I know the One I am wrestling and He is so very good.

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