Change is good and difficult. Many things in my life right now are a mix of excitement and exhaustion. Transitions are often conduits of such tensions. When I find myself knee deep in tension, my first instinct is to get out as fast as humanly possible.
My tendency to run is rooted in my desire to avoid fear, possible disappointments, and myself. I prefer a life free from hard right turns, unexpected blows, and suffocating scares. The reality is those line the walls of seasons of tension. Tension naturally exists between the health scare and the test results, the interview and the call back, the vulnerable conversation and next step efforts.
We aren’t guaranteed a life free from the hard and scary. In fact, if we have breath in our lungs, we can expect to encounter seasons and tensions of change. Even though I know this in my head, my heart still wants to drive me away from tension. Sometimes this looks like “tricking” myself to believe it doesn’t exist, it doesn’t bother me, or I’m already over it.
As I sat in church this weekend, I was confronted with a tension I had brushed aside [you know, the one I had “tricked” myself into believing was not a big deal]. The lights were low, the music was loud, and I was emotionally vulnerable. As I glanced down the row, I was confronted by the reality of having two kids away at college. We only occupied two seats in an endless row of chairs. In a moment, I was overcome by the fact that our transition was only just beginning.
We are learning to live in our new reality. Away at college, the kids are learning to live in their new reality. Transitions give way to tensions. Tensions are not my enemy even when they are uncomfortable, hard, and undesirable.
I’m discovering the gift of tension. When I avoid running away from it, I grow. I am learning how to experience all the feelings without pretending them away, ignoring them, analyzing them, or fixing them. I’m currently sitting in the tension of a new season. I’m not running. I’ve decided to acknowledge the difficulty, remain in a posture of expectancy, and wait hopefully.
Transitions cultivate tensions that fertilize the soil of change. Good gifts will crop out of the tension. It may take more time than I care, include more tears and fear than I care, and come packaged in unanticipated ways, but I’m committed to waiting it out. I’m surrendered to staying in the moment even though the tension is uncomfortable. Discomfort is not the enemy, but it’s often a catalyst.
If things are hard for you right now, I hope you’ll consider the good gifts that may be birthed in the tension. Running away from it doesn’t make it go away, it just delays the inevitable. Wait it out, lean into the mix of scary exhausting, and have courage.
#momentoftruthmonday #tensions #transitions #waititout #waitingislabor #lifelessons