Sunday, March 14, 2010

A Series of Transitions

By Teresa Spurlock

I am not high-strung. I consider myself “flexible”. But lately, I’ve had snippets of recurring anxiety. I stopped to be still and reflect. Transition. That’s what it is. I have been in a series of transitions for some time, but hadn’t stopped to think about it. Now it was rolling over the top of me…

This past year was a roller coaster of change. We sold our home in Iowa; packed and moved back to Colorado. Stored our belongings and lived in a friend’s apartment for 6 months. Took in our pregnant daughter and stood beside her through another birth. Lamented when she turned and went back to her unhealthy relationship. Attended a wedding of a dear friend (a widower whose late wife had been my mentor). Joined my church’s team to Uganda (a last minute addition). Finalized paperwork and got approved for a non-profit. Took in our daughter again. Moved to a new house and neighborhood. Bonded with our small grandsons. Grieved when my husband lost his job. Pondered as my church’s pews emptied after another series of events. Mourned when our grandsons and daughter left again. Listened as others shared their own version of tremendous trials. Yes, this past year has been a series of transitions.

My phases of transition: excitement/anxiety….darkness….shaky ambiguity…new season…repeat!

I often visualize the scene in the movie Apollo 13. Everyone was excited for lift-off; but no one anticipated the words, “Houston we have a problem.” Meanwhile the seasoned astronauts rotated to the dark side of the moon and all was silent…

Silence. Darkness. Why do we equate that with bad things? Fear of the unknown I guess. We try so hard to find a flashlight of friends with advice to break the silence and validate our dilemmas. It is not enough. Perhaps it is supposed to be silent and dark…

”the silences of Jesus are as eloquent as His words and may be a sign not of His disapproval but of His approval and His way of providing a deeper blessing for you.” Streams in the Desert

In the movie, the onlookers hold their breath. Meanwhile the travelers learned, adjusted and applied what they could, before bracing for re-entry into the earth’s atmosphere. I get that part. Often my transitions feel like intense moments of shuddering and shaking until I see the light and find my footing in a new season.

I am just coming out of the quiet, the dark. I am feeling the shaking. It is humbling. It reminds me that I am not in control. From quiet to not so quiet. From still to shaking. From now to next. The pattern of transitions. Oh that I might learn to recognize and then even welcome it and all it brings…


  1. what a great description of the anxiety/depression I've been going thru due to similar experiences. Thank you for sharing and for your insight. Very helpful...

  2. Thank you, Teresa, for your vulnerability. Right now I feel like things are barely holding together and that if one small thing slips, my life and that of our whole family will fly apart. How good to be reminded that God is holding us all in His wonderfully wide and strong arms. Even on this dark side of the moon, I can trust that God is with us. I needed this reminder.

  3. thank you for your honesty and wisdom-- so refreshing. may you feel His deep blessings.

  4. Teresa, it takes courage to share your vulnerability and feelings at times like this. I've been there and understand the need for someone to listen and say yes, you've got reason to feel like you do. May you always know and sense that He is there for you whenever you need a friend. Wishing you peace and blessings.

  5. Thankful for the subject of this entry and agree with the comment of Rebekah as to the response to the entry. I am there too and needed to know I am not the only one, again. May the Lord show up big on all our behalf. He is so famous for doing such amazing things. I want to see it with my eyes.

  6. Thank you soo much. That is exactly what I needed to hear at this time. My family and I have been going through constant transitions since Aug 07. The silence can be so discouraging but as I stood fast I saw the hand of God. He placed us for very specific reasons and I am grateful to have learned the lesson in all of it thus far. I pray that I will forever remember and live it!!