The fascinating thing about transition is that it produces entirely opposing emotions, simultaneously.
There is something altogether lovely that happens when you release yourself into the unknown and embrace the multitude of fears that arise in your world of secret thoughts. There is an element of courage involved which must be recognized as completely remarkable.
Of course, this makes transition sound rather simple, as if it is a brilliant equation and easily solved.
This has not been my experience.
As beautiful as the process of transition can be, it is also very raw and often ugly.
I stepped off the plane in Kigali, Rwanda having one contact- a contact who does not speak English. I ventured to my new home, which I had never seen before, to discover that my life would be entirely African. Altogether, I was pleased with my new surroundings. After all, I had a roof over my head and a toilet inside.
As I began to settle in, the reality of my life slapped me in the face. There I was, in a room barely big enough to host my bed, looking at my clothes hanging from nails on the wall, realizing that there was no one I call and nowhere I could run to.
As my spirit started to explode, Jesus quietly whispered to me, “I’m here.” It was that simple. In an instant I was at peace.
I don’t mean that in your average, “Everything is perfect and I am so thrilled!” sort of way. It’s more of that inner knowing that even though everything is more than terrifying, it will be okay.
I held tight to this knowing until everything seemed to go wrong in my fresh life of adventure.
Within just a few days several of my things were stolen, I became terribly sick, and my apple computer charger was completely fried, leaving me to spend half of a month’s support to replace it. To top it all off, every westerner I met seemed to live a very “American” life, so even those I thought I could relate to seemed to have far different lifestyles than me. I found myself feeling somewhat displaced.
As I began to complain to the Lord about how hard my life was and how much I was struggling, He was quick to bring to my attention the reality of the situation.
It was not easy for Jesus when He carried the cross, Laura. Don’t you think He struggled? Don’t you think He wanted to give up? Don’t you think He wished there was another option? Don’t you think He asked me why He was the one called to that difficult walk? It was very hard for Him, Laura. But it was His destiny so He pressed on and fixed His eyes on Me. Remember that, Laura.
Wow. It was one of those moments that was less than easy to take in, but had greater impact than I could have imagined. It was one of those moments that forced me to rest in the truth.
And the truth is this:
I was chosen because God knew I would say yes. He never promised me it would be easy, but He did promise me that it would be worth it. I have a responsibility to believe that He is not a God that would lie. This insane journey, this ridiculous transition, will be worth it. I will want to quit. I will want to give up. I will want to go home. But when those moments find their way to me, I will persevere, knowing that sometimes the thing that is the hardest for us is the thing we are called to. I will remind myself of the reward that Jesus received when He said yes. I will remind myself that it is a privilege to love Him through whatever comes, and over and over again, I will say yes.