We have been married for 44 years come this December, and we met in ministry…
We are in another transition. Our home is on the market, we are downsizing, and moving our ministry headquarters nearer Bill’s aging parents. His parents need someone in the family closer, much more often, and we know it is our time to give back to the couple who gave Bill life. But our home hasn’t sold . . .yet. . . so we feel like we are in spiritual limbo. Like a plane circling an airport to land, we keep doing what we know will keep our life safely flying until we are cleared for landing.
Thinking back, we have been in transition many times before: before we married, before God called us to go to seminary, waiting to see if we would receive our first ministry calling, waiting for the results of a pregnancy test (three times), waiting to see which would be our first home, waiting to see what church would be Bill’s first pastorate, waiting to see if any publisher would want to print our book(s) . . .waiting, more and more waiting. In 10 Best Decisions a Couple Can Make, we walk couples through many life typical transitions.
In a more tender moment, at a time of life and death of our youngest son, God enlightened us on what to do while waiting:
I [Pam] was sitting in a hospital room—my son in ICU—with my husband who had just ended a job he loved. I was asked to endorse a book, Gracepoints by Jane Rubietta, and God sent His hope in the middle of the pain of my changing world through Jane’s book as I read: “God is working just beyond the headlights of your life. . . .”
Here are a few other things I have learned about navigating change:
[tweetthis]Stand on the sure when you are dealing with the unsure.[/tweetthis]
In my messages on Becoming A Brave New Woman: Step into God’s Adventure for Your Life, I encourage women to follow the example of Naomi in the book of Ruth, who, when her husband and sons died, went back to the last place that she knew she had heard from God, her homeland. If you are feeling lost, go back to familiar people and places, and the promises from God’s Word.
[tweetthis]Concentrate on the certain when dealing with the uncertain. [/tweetthis]
Look at nature, the consistent roll of the waves—tide in, tide out; or the sun that rises and sets each day. God is in control. Psalm 50: 6 reminds us, “The heavens proclaim his righteousness.” Observe the certain in nature and rely on that same reliable control of God in your own life. God is in control even if you can’t see or feel it, so observe it with a sunrise or a moonrise today to remind yourself of His power to provide.
[tweetthis]Do the known while waiting on the unknown. [/tweetthis]
In 7 Simple Skills for Every Woman, I share the obvious “Do the Next right thing” principle: Do what is healthy while you are waiting and wondering. Clean house, get dressed, visit friends, and continue in ministry, even if it is just helping the next person who God brings across your path. Proverbs 31:13 gives an example of a woman who “works with eager hands.” If you don’t have answers, research and step out to call, write, or visit people who created the information. Function on the thread of information you do know, and it will likely lead to a person or resource with more information.
[tweetthis]Focus on God’s faithfulness while waiting on the future. [/tweetthis]
Remember God’s faithfulness in your own life. Log away the faithfulness of God in a scrapbook, a photo album, and in your heart—like the Psalmist who lists twenty-five faithful victories of God in Psalm 136 and ends each accomplishment with the praise, “For His love endures forever.”
Send Up a Simple Prayer: Lord, when I am navigating change, help me focus on You, the CREATOR, not my circumstances. Be the compass needle of my life. Create light to lead me t my “next right thing”. Amen.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change, and though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea. (Psalm 46:2)