CHANGE AND TRANSITIONS
by Shelly Busby
Note from Eric: Over the next several weeks, we’re focusing our weekend messages on the topic of “TRANSITIONS,” the theme of our 2nd Annual Ranch Retreat this fall. In today’s message, my friend Shelly Busby writes about a job transition she’s currently going through … and how God is helping her through it.
Whether you are going thru a time of change or just coming out of one, change is inevitable. Change challenges us to leave the comfort and security of the familiar.
Have you prayed for change?
Are you waiting for change?
Are you in the middle of change?
Are you in a season of change, finding it’s different then you envisioned it?
Are you wondering if you really heard God right?
Change doesn’t just happen. It’s usually a process.
As much as we hunger and cry out to God for it, when transition comes and change begins, it can be unsettling.
My brother always says, “Living things grow; growing things change.”
So we cry out for change.
And God answers.
Over the last several years I’ve prayed as a restlessness and hunger rose in me; a hunger for MORE. It appeared ‘illogical’ for me to consider leaving my work at our church as we saw God answering prayers better than we imagined. Serving on staff as Director of Adult Ministries, I should have been more eager than ever to remain in a place where God is moving in and thru people at an exponential rate.
I love the Pastors, the staff and all the people.
I love seeing the hand of God impacting new believers literally every day.
I had every reason NOT to leave.
And yet… I wanted more.
Two years ago during a time of church-wide prayer I had a dream that further fueled my hunger for MORE though I didn’t know what MORE looked like (see my post Step Into Your Dream).
Thru prayer and time and tears I began to take steps into change.
Surely I’m not the only one who finally surrendered to my new “assignment” only to be surprised that it would be a long, sometimes exhausting journey that could get lonely. I didn’t expect I would have to work at it since I did agree, “Yes Lord.”
I’ve prayed for change for years. I’ve asked “When Lord?” and “How much longer Lord?”
I had a long distance view of the assignment He’s called me too.
I’m so ready to do what You’ve called me to do; be who You’ve called me to be…
Eventually I started listening more and speaking less.
I found that in my silence, I heard Him more. It wasn’t that He spoke more. Rather, I became more aware of Him and less aware of myself.
I’m in a TRANSITION period. At first I fought it and begrudged being held back. I wanted to expedite things. I wanted to GO.
I’m used to being in an environment of strong believers praying and strategizing and talking about what we can share about God this week. I miss weekly meetings reviewing what God did the week prior.
In March, I asked for the Pastors’ blessing to step out of my role to pursue writing. It was scary as I have no writing “experience” or education.
I’ve been tempted to write and blog and post on Facebook telling what God is doing.
But God said, “No. Not yet.”
At first I felt naked. I love PEOPLE, especially my people. “What will they think?” God, this is very anti-social.
Then I felt lonely. “Does anyone even care that I’m not there?”
I realized how fond I had become of the role and title I wore. Now it’s just me, a few close friends. And God. Stripped down.
Here, in the waiting; it’s as if God is saying, “Child, just spend time with Me. Don’t be so quick to tell about Me, to show about Me. I want a season of just you and Me.”
The other day I was spending time with Him.
Me: “I love this time. I could stay here forever, but I still don’t get it Lord. It’s counter to my desire to serve others. That’s what YOU want, isn’t it? What Jesus taught?”
Lord: “What’s a wedding?”
Me: “A ceremony where two people who love each other come together marking the commitment to share their lives together as one.”
Lord: “Who comes?”
Me: “Usually friends, family, photographers, musicians. Lots of people.”
Lord: “And what happens?”
Me: “The public exchange of vows and usually a big celebration.”
Lord: “And then where do all the people go?”
Me: “They go home.”
Lord: “Why don’t they go with the bride and groom?”
He’s not condescending in these questions. I understand He always has a point.
Me: “That time is special. It’s set aside for the bride and groom.”
Lord: “No one goes with them?”
I know He knows. I’m searching for what He wants me to see.
Me: “No. This is their time. To share each other. No one else Lord.”
Lord: “Yes. Their time. A special time. They begin as one.”
Then, with “Follow Me,” He left me with this impression: “No one else is there when the groom carries the bride over the threshold.”
I can tell you right now: God is interested in your attention.
The only thing that matters is His presence.
WHAT HE WANTS FROM YOU more than ANY thing you can do or be is for you to spend time resting in His presence.
Have you found satisfaction simply being alone in His presence?
“You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13)
All that we DO is additional to what He seeks from us. If we do not first find peace and satisfaction in God’s Presence, then what we do will not be from Him, but only for Him and of our own works.
Being fulfilled in His presence changes how we see and approach that which He’s called us to. This is how we gain Kingdom perspective, and it is foundational to all we do are who we are.
Maybe you are taking steps to walk out the unique purpose God has called you to.
That’s great! You’re right on track. That’s part of what He created you for and how He reaches others.
If you are discouraged or frustrated or confused, or uncomfortable or overwhelmed or downright SCARED –I can totally identify with you!
I’m glad God is not having me move forward yet. It’s as if I’m in a spiritual pause. This is transition. And I’m loving it.
In this neutral place I am realizing that all those negatives I just mentioned are circumstantial. And here’s the good news; we are not defined by our circumstances. Rather we are defined by whose we are.
Whatever God has planned for me, I am so grateful that He drew me out to strip me down from the “good” identity I’d grown to love. I had become fond of my role. What I did was my identity.
Leaving has reminded me that there is no higher call than to live simply as a child of God.
Sometimes we need extended states of “pause” to really grasp the bigger picture. God is God, and we are His. And He’s concerned with having our full attention.
As you process thru growing in whatever season you are in, remember to first and continuously to find God’s view.
Spend time with Him. Alone.
This is where:
– He strips us down. The grime of earthly perspective is washed off the eyes of our hearts and we gain clarity of vision.
-We become accustomed to His voice in the quiet and recognize Him in the noise of the worldliness. He wants each of us to hear directly from Him!
-Our thoughts are made new as we receive a download from God Himself. We access the mind of Christ!
Get in the Word. God speaks thru it.
Gather and worship with other believers. Something just happens when we do this.
But more than anything; take time alone with God daily.
If Jesus did this then how much more should we?
I find it helpful listening to worship to get my mind and body in tune with the spirit. After a song or two and some time in a devotional I take time to listen.
Practice being or becoming AWARE of His presence. He has much to say to you.
“My sheep listen to My voice; I know them, and they follow Me” (John 10:27).
God has plans for you. You don’t have to figure it all out, you need only show up and take Him at His word. Enjoy being with Him. Everything else will follow. Savor this time of transition, and look forward to what He can do with an expectant heart!
“Do not call to mind the former things,
Or ponder things of the past.
“Behold, I will do something new,
Now it will spring forth;
Will you not be aware of it?
I will even make a roadway in the wilderness,
Rivers in the desert” (Isaiah 43:18-19).
Follow-up from Eric: If you’re going through a time of transition in your own life, I hope you’ll join us this October for our 2nd Annual Ranch Retreat. We’ll be focusing on the topic of “transitions” and how God can help you through them, too. Shelly and her husband will be joining us from Texas! I hope you will, too! Click here to learn more.
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