A few years back I was part of a writing community that provide my first opportunities to guest post of various sites. This is one of those posts. Unfortunately, the site for this post is no longer in existence, so I am posting it here on my site. Happy Reading!
Accidental Transition :: It’s Not About the Boxes
I’ve invited some wonderful women to share their experiences on evolutions and revolutions in life for our series “The View From Here :: On a Life in Transition”. I hope you appreciate their words as much as I have. Today’s post is from Marvia Davidson.
All packed up and ready to go. Boxes piled high. Bubble wrap strewn across the floor. The house is helter-skelter. It’s moving day. It’s another moment of transition. Are you ready? Is this what you need to do to move forward? Do you think the grass might just be greener on the other side? Is this the right thing to do? Will it solve your problems or compound them? These are all questions I’ve held secretly when it comes to moving transition.
I was an army brat. We moved to three different states and one continent over to Germany. Most of what I remember from my childhood travels are the fun trips my mother took my brothers and I on to see castles, kingdoms, and cultures we’d only read about in books. I used to love the process of the search and the anticipation of getting ready to start something new. In a way, I still enjoy those things about moving, but as I’ve gotten older, my perception as changed. Life has changed. I have changed. The concept of “the big move” has taken on a different meaning.
Moving is upheaval. Moving is stretching out of the comfort zone. Moving is stepping forth into the unknown. In reality, each move is a transition, a shift. I didn’t comprehend the shifting until I was in my 30s. In previous years, I was enthralled with the notion of my-first-place, it’s my own, no curfew, no checking in, and I can walk around in the buff if I so desire (not that I do or have). In those times, the search was exciting. I’d walk into an apartment, empty, waiting for my unique seal or décor. I would “oooh” and “ahhh” over granite or faux granite countertops, spacious kitchens, nickel finishes, a real dining room separate from the den, tiled flooring, central air, a supreme mountain view from the balcony, and a spacious walk-in closet. Yes, those things were important to me then, and they still are important today. I realize the shifting was not just boxes, furniture, and belongings. It was my view of my life that shifted.
In recent months I see how my constant moving was due to restlessness. That restlessness had and still has everything to do with “be-ing.” There is a phrase I have grown to love: “to know thyself.” I didn’t understand these words until my last move. I carried a burden of not knowing myself. I lacked confidence, clarity, and direction. I turned that lack into finding a home, a place where I would fit. I didn’t have roots to keep me grounded. I tried and failed to associate who I was with where I lived. It didn’t work. I became transient. I would move here, there, and every where searching for my just-right spot. I was not satisfied. I would settle into a place, but vacate in six months. I even put down deposits on apartments but ask for them back within days. That indecisiveness was unhealthy and gave way to second-guessing and unnecessary relocating. It plagued me for years, but I’m overcoming. What does this have to do with moving? Everything. Everything. Everything.
Relocating to Dallas has been the most unsettling, undoing, unbecoming, un-everything move in my entire life. I call it an accidental transition, but it has become the most welcome one. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Here’s why. In the last 12 months, my life changed in a way I could not have planned. For the first time in my professional career, I “lost” a job. You may not see the change because it didn’t happen outwardly. It happened internally. It’s the kind of change my heart, soul, and mind needed in order for me to accept my “being-ness,” the whole of myself, to be able to boldly decide, and to love myself as God does. It was the kind of change that shakes the core, forcing lies to crash to the ground. This kind of transition you can’t plan for. It just happens, and when it does, you have two choices: cooperate and find grace to become who you’re really made to be, or kick against the goads and continue struggling in life for meaning. Obviously, I chose the first, though I did fight God at first. Fighting was futile. I wanted to “be” authentic, to grow, to love, to have confidence, and to be whole. Wholeness happened and continues to happen in the transition and sometimes even in the breaking of things, like unhealthy thought patterns, sly lies, and false hopes.
You could not have told me I would have done all the things I’ve recently done while in career transition. My focus was and still is on finding a job (not just any job, but a career) that’s a great fit for me, but God is gracious and interrupted my life. No one ever really thinks of getting laid off from work as a gracious interruption, but I do. Since that time of being “let go,” I have taken several unplanned, unexpected, you-wouldn’t-believe-me-anyway turns. They have all been exciting, thought provoking, engaging creative twists, and leading to things I cared about: writing and being. It wasn’t until my work life was interrupted that I remembered how much writing and being mattered to me. Perception changed. Heart changed. Mind changed. I changed. None of this was accidental.
When I say “accidental,” I mean I was not planning to lose my job. I was not planning to experience gut-wrenching, heart-healing. I was not planning to write a book. I was not planning to be a children’s book contributor. I was not planning to lead a career networking group. I was not planning to do any of that. I was not even trying. But God, who works all things together for good, knew what would happen in my life. He knew the call on my life and all the unpleasant things that would unfold. He made a way for me to prosper where I could not see one. God made a way for me to find “home” in Him not in a place. He opened my eyes to see the beauty of being.
You see God is not some far off person who is not intimately concerned with our lives. He cares. He gives us hope. He keeps His promises – every single one. He’s been constantly reminding me how I am “His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which [He] prepared beforehand that [I] should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10). What appeared accidental is a work of art masterfully planned to bring me to the place where I can live, move, and have my “being” in God. The be-ing is not in the moving. It is not in the packing. It is not even in the spacious kitchen with high-end finishes, walk-in closets, or breath-taking balcony city view. It is in learning to be His – a beloved, chosen daughter. The rest of living flows from my “be-ing,” and the “doing” portion of life comes from the be-ing.
Now, I embrace change. I embrace the adventure. I embrace the fact I can’t control what can happen. I can only control my response. Today I am learning to choose from a grace that says, “it’s not the end of the world; everything is going to work out; it will be okay.”
I can learn something from living present and in the moment. More than this is a revelation of divine – God with us – moving us from grace to grace in each transitional moment.