By Sarah Wood
I still remember seeing the little pink lines on the test letting us know I was pregnant. I mean, we wanted a third baby, but now it was real and this wasn’t just a discussion of “wouldn’t it be fun?”
We had two older ones, age 7 and 5, and therefore I was on the cusp on getting the ease and independence back. We hopped in the car for quick grocery shopping trips, everyone slept through the night, my husband and I could easily take one or the other, and we lived life in the fast lane. Not the sex drugs and rock-n-roll type, but the adult/parent equivalent of that. Late nights at retreats, small groups, leadership meetings, date nights with friends, room mom responsibilities. There was an order and predictability about our lives that we had become so darn good at!
And y’all it was fun and life felt so full in the best of ways.
And now, here we are with a baby on the way. And while some would think that life would be fuller, I was concerned that life would have to slow down. I mean we have a baby; we can’t possibly be out late, involved in as much, or schedule ourselves to the maximum.
It’s like taking a step back.
And I got scared and sad.
Can I say that?
I wasn’t ready to let go of “my life” just yet.
And then, he arrived. Baby B came into this world in mid April. Our perfect schedule was now in a new season that didn’t have a blueprint or an address to enter into Google Maps. We had entered transition.
The chasm between what once was as it begins to reshape into a new thing. If we can also say, it’s the unknown new rhythm that we have yet to decipher. And it can be downright strange and stressful to many of us who prefer the predictability of order and control.
Some examples of transition:
- A move to a new place with a new environment. You are now living out of boxes and take out (which isn’t always a bad thing…hello Wonton soup!)
- A new baby that brings new adjustments, like finding a new schedule and a new rhythm.
- A new job with new expectations, new people, and often, added demands.
- Family changes - This can be good but also can be painful. A divorce, a devastating loss, or a huge change in a family dynamic.
Whether you enjoy it or not, transition is not an achievable matter. It isn’t an event to be finished, or an achievement to be conquered. It is a process that you cannot rush and there are no shortcuts as you navigate a new normal. You must walk through it. However, the great news is that you have the choice to gain wisdom and growth from it.
1. Give your family permission to be flexible.
If you are a scheduled planner (aka, if you’re a control freak…not me of course…) you will need to know this: Flexilibity is your friend. Be kind to her, she wants you to just chill out. You may be late to something by 10 minutes. You may plan to go to the store and the library today plus get a workout in, but only make one goal. That is okay. Mercy and grace to you. In the words of Elsa, “Let it go.”
2. You set the tone for your home.
In these moments when things look different, the plans you once had before can fall apart quickly and without warning (See above). If everything goes awry, and you can’t do what you wanted to, you as Mama, set the tone for that. Kids disappointed? Explain to them what happened and find something around that IS joyful. If there is nothing fun to do, explain to them how grateful you are for their patience and love and that we are all together as a family. Your kids react to your tone. God says to be thankful in ALL circumstances, and that includes this season of unknown. You are disappointed? I understand completely, friend. We hoped things would get done differently but keep in mind that His mercies are new every morning. Tomorrow is a clean slate.
3. You WILL get ”a normal” back.
This is not the end. This is a season. And just like you have to wear coats in the winter, and sunscreen in the summer, you may have to make adjustments for this certain time. But it’s not the final end. Where I was when Baby B was 2 weeks old is not where I am now, that he’s 3 months. And it’s only been that…3 months! It may feel overwhelming, but say it with me friend, “This is just a season.”
4. Find the gold.
Are you having moments of “I can’t do this?” I can relate. But I also want to say, oh yes, you can. And not only can you, but YOU ARE DOING IT. Transition can be painful, confusing, or uneasy. Yet, each moment that passes, you are deeper into it than before. Through the transition you are gaining more than you could gain by simply staying stagnant. Wisdom, endurance, patience and growth flourish in transitional times in our lives. Take those small morsels of wisdom that you are learning and journal them if you can. This transition is not a surprise to our God and he is with you to see you through it. He is stretching you in this, and you have the opportunity to increase your capacity. Pull the gold from it and keep it close. Speaker and writer, Karen Harmon, says “Determine to learn and grow through transition, not just at the end of it.” Now, how powerful is that?!
Pray and ask God for wisdom and believe you will receive it. Mamas, there is gold in that.
“Come and listen to my counsel. I’ll share my heart with you and make you wise.” Proverbs 1:23
So friends, know that as you leave one season and move into another, remember to trust in Him that his plans are for your GOOD. He is our strong tower and we lean on Him the most in these new, uncharted waters if we are intentional to do so. My prayer is that we all remember that our security and peace comes from Jesus Christ, and not from our perfectly prepared plans.
Sarah is a Florida girl living minutes from the ocean. She loves Jesus, local, delicious foodie joints, and embarking on little adventures with her crew. She is a wife to Sam, and a mommy to three awesome kiddos. She spends her days pouring into her church, sipping coffee, reading, jogging (she likes to think of it as running), and finding time to escape to the beach. She is honored to be a part of this life-giving community! Check her out on Instagram and Facebook!