Man. There is nothing like moving to remind you that you need to be a better housekeeper. Every time our movers (AKA our friends who volunteered to help us move) picked up another piece of furniture, I was mortified to find out what was beneath. It looked as though we had purchased a small, hairy dog, fed it into our food processor, and then dispersed the remains under all of our furniture. So…dog hair. That’s gross.
We’ve also had about 56 moments of, “Why the heck do we have this?” like when we rediscovered our pineapple corer that only cores pineapples or the thing that covers the arm of a couch that we had five years ago. It feels nice to toss things into a donation box but I wish that we wouldn’t have wasted the money in the first place.
We went back to clean the duplex tonight and discovered that we had no water and no electricity. So, we cleaned the old fashioned way, meaning I scrubbed the bath tub with a Clorox wipe and picked lint out of the carpet with my fingers.
As we swept up the last remainders of the shredded yippy dog, I couldn’t help but feel sad. It’s the end of an era- granted an era that involved pulling trash out of our air conditioning ducts and cooking in the dark when the light wouldn’t work. But it’s change and change is hard.
Change is hard.
I blogged about this a little when I told my sister that it’s okay to be afraid AND excited about new happenings in your life but God is knocking this lesson into me a little deeper.
When you read the Bible, many of the stories of people learning to trust God happen when they are in transition. God asks Moses to up and leave his stable life to go persuade the leader of Egypt to let the Israelites go. Then the Israelites leave and groan and moan about how things were so much better when they were slaves in Egypt and God teaches them a lesson.
Joseph was a shepherd who was sold by his brothers into slavery and, by the hand of God, ended up becoming a high-ranking official who had his brothers and fathers stand before him begging for food. Talk about transition for everyone involved.
God tells Abram, who was nearing the no-teeth and diapers stage of his life, that his name is now Abraham and he’s going to be the father of a great nation. I’m sure that was an eventful 30 minutes for Abraham that affected the next few years of his life as he transitioned from “almost dead” to “grandfather to kings and nations”.
I haven’t lived that long, but I get the feeling that life is just a series of transitions. You feel like you’re settled and then God flips your life upside-down and you have to find the new “normal”. I don’t learn well with “subtle” and so God takes me from “No way, Jose! No kids for me!” to “Yes! I want to adopt and I want her here with me right this second or I’ll die!” in zero to sixty. He knows that I need times of transition to snap me back into the reality of His love and power in my life.
Here’s why: If we were just “settled”, if we never had to go through any upheavals, if we never had to deal with things getting moved around and flipped, then how can we ever clean out the cobwebs that have gathered? If we never shake things up, then how can we see things that we’re holding onto that we don’t need, the dust and rot that have gathered in the corners of our heart?
There’s a reason the Bible uses the refinement of gold as an analogy for the Christian life. Unrefined gold is impure, not good enough. When you put it through the fire (LITERALLY), then it has a chance to burn all the impurities off. If the unrefined gold chose to just sit where it is, then it will never have a chance to purify itself.
God uses transition to refine us. He uses it to remind us that we have cobwebs and dusty corners that need to be cleaned. He uses it to remind us to rely on Him.
So whether your transition is taking you to an empty nest, Nashville, Cambodia, or Richardson, I pray that God is whispering reassurances to you that He knows what you’re going through and He’s ready to use this time to draw you closer to Him.