My son Henry is 10 months old and every month brings on something new. He’s in a constant state of learning and some of these developmental hurdles are just harder than others. He’s got teeth coming in, growth spurts that throw his sleep out of wack, he’s trying new foods, learning to crawl is hard work, he now goes to a new place where he hangs out with a group of kids two days a week and has a babysitter on two other days when his whole life has been spent at home with mom.
Transitions are hard for us all.
Can I let you in on a little secret?
Our whole lives are just a string of transitions.
We like to think of life as a series of normal lulls of life linked together with a season of transition and then back to our normal dull life but that’s just not true. Our lives are an uphill climb where we don’t go back to normal, we adjust to a new normal only to face a new harder transition on up the hill. And despite what you might think, it’s actually a good thing. Each hurdle is conditioning us for the next and as followers of Jesus, we know that the hope we find in him is what provides promise for the prize and peace along the journey.
I say all of this to encourage you that life won’t go back to the normal we knew pre-COVID. And that’s not a bad thing!
Transitions change us and grow us in ways that make a lasting impact and we can’t just go back. What matters is what we do in the midst of the transition and how it sets us up to be a better/healthier version of ourselves on the other side.
As a wife and as a new mom, working two jobs and pursuing how God is calling me to serve my community, there are some key constants that have been helpful to me in this year of transition that I’d love to share with you and hope it’s helpful to you as well.
1. Remain grounded in who you are, who God has called you to be, and how God has called us to live. We are never more tempted to compromise than when we are isolated and for many of us, that’s been our reality in some way or another. With every choice you make – big or small – filter it through the lens of Christ.
2. Make a plan. It’s so easy to get caught up in a mindless, mundane way of life when working/studying from home and before you know it, another day has passed and you’ve accomplished only the bare minimum of daily activities. Make a plan as a way to increase productivity and motivation.
3. Be mindful of how you’re spending your time and try to channel time spent scrolling toward things like that enhance your well being – mind, body and spirit. Try reading a new book, going for a walk, reaching out and asking how you can be praying for a friend. If you need tips on unplugging from social media, I’d love to help you with that!
4. Keep dreaming. Good golly it is hard to remain hopeful and to allow yourself the space to dream when it often feels like the whole world is falling apart. But friend, recognize that God is still on the throne and the plans he has for you are not thwarted by this season but instead, this season is meant to refine you as a stronger vessel for his work now and in what’s to come. Spend some time dreaming with the Lord and allow His spirit to guide your heart to a posture of hope, no matter how grim this season may feel.
5. Take care of your mental health. I’ve always said that we ALL need a therapist and I believe that 100%. Whether it’s seeking out professional counseling, taking a long walk, journaling, or talking with a friend, we all need to be proactive in taking care of ourselves and our mental health is often neglected. If you’re like me, you often feel stretched thin as you take care of others but the first step in caring for those around you is caring for yourself.
Many of us entered this year with a spirit of hope and expectancy and likely feel disappointed. I get it. But friends, the same God who walked with us into this new year in January is walking with us now and He is still at work in and around us. May we open our eyes to see his work, trust in his sovereignty, and press on toward a healthier version of ourselves each and every day.
I’m cheering you on, friend!