Some people say they crave it, but for me, change is hard. Sometimes life happens and the transition to a new norm is forced. But even when the change is elected, I can still struggle.
There’s always so much more letting go than I originally anticipate, both in what I’m leaving behind AND in what I’m moving into. How is it that the faded or once hidden good things of where I’ve been seem so obvious, and the future, which sounded so hope filled and controlled when the decision was being made, becomes laden with questions and uncertainty?
When the thing left behind has more positives than negatives, there is an interwoven process of grieving what no longer is, gratitude for having had it, and a longing for the new to be as good or better. Transition requires not only that I release what I had, but that I move toward something that is only an outline, at best, of what eventually will come to be. Like the trapeze artist flying through the air, suspended in the midst of the in-between, I’m no longer fully connected to what was and I’m not yet entirely linked to what is to come. This is an unsettling place to be.
The transition can be slightly easier, or perhaps filled with slightly less doubt, when the change has been prayed about, over, under, and through, and I’m as certain as I can be that I’m following the doors that are closing and opening. But whether the change is involuntary or chosen, there is a jumbled mix of emotions. Hiccups, speed bumps, and disappointments are swirled together with joy, celebration, and mystery and I can be just as easily prone to laughter as tears. And sometimes both at the same time.
Whether the transition is from pre to post cancer, resigning from one job to starting the next, shifting from one stage of faith to another, moving from one decade of life to the next…the list goes on. I guess it comes down to trusting, again and again, that God is in it all.
Photo Credit: Deb Turnow
Nicole Mills is an oncology nurse, cancer survivor, nerd, and contemplative. She has a secret desire to be a nun or double-dutch jump rope champion. Not being Catholic or able to jump two ropes poses significant hurdles, but she remains hopeful. Visit Nicole at www.noticeandwonder.com to learn more about her beautifully messy journey and her whimsically quirky spirit.