Waiting in Transition
Have you ever been in a position where you have a big change coming up, you’ve done everything within your control to prepare, and now all there is to do is sit and wait? That’s where I’ve found myself in past few weeks of this season.
After I had officially decided that going on the church plant team to Morgantown, WV was my next step in walking with the Lord, there came a surge of scrambling and anxiety to get things in order. I needed to find a place to live and a job; I needed to start saving more money in preparation to move; I needed to finish school, etc., etc. But now, two months out from moving, I have been so blessed to have things fall into place. I have a job, a place to live, and I’ve been fortunate enough to be working almost full time while finishing my masters in order to save some money (trust me, it’s not much, but enough).
But I’ve come to find myself in a unique place: there is still so much to do right where I am while I’m also waiting for the future to come. There are 22 days between me and graduation; 22 days full of writing papers, assignments, and group projects ahead of me with a comprehensive licensure exam as the cherry on top. I’ll be testing for my CrossFit Level 1 certification as well at the end of May. All this while attempting to keep my feet grounded, stay present, and enjoy the time I have left in Athens. There’s a LOT to do in not a lot of time, yet I still feel like I’m floating around in space waiting for the change.
I know Morgantown is coming and I’m anxious to be there. Each time I’ve visited, I’ve left with part of my soul took root in a new place in the city. Athens has begun to feel more so like a holding station, a place for me to sit and wait, do my due diligence, and bide my time until the moment has come to go.
There is sadness welling up during this time, too. I’m beginning to realize through reflection that I have grown tremendously throughout my time in grad school. SO much has changed. As I walk through the brick streets Uptown and notice all the significant mile markers of my life in this city, I can’t help but mourn the loss of moving on. A year and a half ago, if you would have told me I’d be sad to leave Ohio, I would have laughed in your face, yet I find myself stuck in such a place of the bittersweet.
Although none of this may seem out of the ordinary, I never thought that a transition season and a waiting season would go hand in hand as much as this time has. When I conceptualize waiting, I think of waiting on an answered prayer: that phone call, that news, that next thing I’ve been longing for. Except now, everything is kind of settled and in order, but I’m waiting around for the green light that says, “Now’s the time to move.” I can see the green light a few stops down, but in front of me the light closest me says, “Stop. There’s work to be done here.” The signs feel like their conflicting: yes, but not yet. Go, but stay here a while longer.
I can only imagine that God is using this unique time to train me up and prepare me for whatever lies ahead. In Acts 1, as the early church was being planted and dispersed after Jesus’ death and resurrection, the writer reiterates Jesus’ instruction, “He ordered them not to depart form Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise for the Father...” The apostles and new disciples were trained up and ready to go spread the gospel, but God told them to stay for awhile longer so he could fully equip them. More specifically, they hadn’t yet received the Holy Spirit, which was the driving force behind the entire book of Acts and the early church. They had knowledge of the mission; they were even willing, but they weren’t quite ready yet. That is the best analogy I can use to describe this unique place: God said go, but He also said, “I need to teach you a few things first.”
As I’m anxiously awaiting all the exciting change and blessing that is in store for me this summer, I am praying for patience in the places were God has placed me in the present. It is no small task to stay rooted where you are when there is so much to do in preparation for the next big thing, but God’s timing has purpose. He does not make us wait just to watch us squirm or beg or plead; but rather He asks us to be still so He can give us what is required of us to complete the task to which we are called. Instead of frantically searching for the next solution, sit quietly with God and seek what He’s trying to lend you. Waiting is a gift, but you have to be still enough to receive the treasure.