Have you ever thought that you were transitioning from point A to point B,
but somewhere along the way, things changed? And instead, you wound up at point C….or D…or L?
My A to L? My BIG transition? It was the discovery of an enormous brain tumor.
If you’ve ever faced or are currently facing a huge transition, allow me to encourage and motivate you.
Please realize that whatever transition you’re facing can be a wonderful opportunity to grow and make the most of your life!
Each and every one of us on this planet share certain things in common.
One of those shared things is transition. We all have to deal with transition.
There’s no shortage of change.
A person doesn’t have to go in search of transition or change. If your heart is beating and you’re breathing, change comes and finds you.
Because the nature of this life…is transition and change.
The course of our life is often changed by decisions that we make for ourselves. We decide to move to a new city. We plan to get married or divorced. We chose to start a new business. The list is endless.
But there are also times when our course in life is changed by elements beyond our control. Have you ever lost a job? Ever been in a serious accident? Have you ever suffered a serious illness or received a diagnosis? Again, the list is endless
By the way, if you’re reading this and thinking, “I don’t know what she’s talking about. Everything in my life is great.”
Let me just say, for the rest of us, how thrilled we are for you. *Cue: smiling with eyes rolling
My ‘Big Transition’ was the brain tumor. I was busy keeping a home for my husband and two teenage daughters. I was a teacher… a choir director. And I had the responsibility of caring for my elderly parents.
No one saw this transition coming, and we had little time to prepare for all that lay ahead.
I was facing death…the BIG transition.
I required 2 surgeries. Before the second surgery, my neurologist was rather grim about my chances.
“I cannot guarantee you’ll make it off the table. We’re going to do our best. If you survive the surgery, Nancy, there’s a good chance you’ll be blind or partially blind.”
My mind and heart raced. I felt sure that my husband, Mark, would be okay. He’d probably become a reclusive workaholic, but he would manage. My daughters, Lord, those precious babies that you entrusted to me! They’re not much more than girls.
But many women have lost their mother’s at much younger ages and somehow managed.
I took comfort in the promises of a few godly women who had known Angela and Michelle their entire lives. They assured me that they would ‘stand in the gap’ if and when my daughters needed it.
But my parents, God, who will care for my parents? There is no one else but me. My brothers all live hours away. Please let me honor my mother and father by caring for them until they’re gone! Then, if you want me, I’m ready to go.
Please don’t make my mom and dad bury me! I begged this prayer repeatedly.
*Not knowing how God would answer, I worked feverishly. Talk about transitioning!
I wrote a letter to each of my daughters. I wrote a letter to my husband, “Sweetheart, in case the worst should happen…”
I visited numerous senior living facilities. I needed to find a place I felt good about, just in case.
It makes me laugh now, but I even went so far as to plan my own memorial service.
Being a choir director, I wanted LOTS of music. And being a slightly particular choir director, it had to be the RIGHT music. Ya know what I mean?
I was trying to spare my loved ones from having to struggle with all of those decisions and details.
I was transitioning from this life to the next.
But here I am! Let me assure you, thinking that you’re going to die and then NOT dying…it’s tremendously liberating!
THAT is a transition I can get excited about!
I felt as if I’d been given this awesome ‘do-over’. It wasn’t long before the questions came.
What am I going to do with this do-over? What am I supposed to do with it?
Does God have something specific that he’s kept me here to do?
For over thirty years I’ve been a teacher. I’ve taught Bible class, public school, private school, and homeschool. I’m no longer teaching.
For over twenty years I was raising a family. My ‘kids’ are now adults. For more than nine years, I cared for my aging parents. Our family laid both of them to rest within a year of each other. Whatever was I going to do with myself?
Honestly, I fully expected to drop dead 30-60 days after losing my mom. After all, I had begged God to spare my life so that I could care for my parents. He had graciously allowed me the privilege. A few months after mom passed, a new pattern developed.
Each morning I would wake up and think, “Shazam! I’m still here!”
I went and had an MRI to check on the tumor. It was not growing. In fact, it actually looked as if it had shrunk a bit.
“Huh. What am I supposed to do now, Lord?”
I entered into a season of prayerful searching for my ‘new purpose’. I confessed to God that I am rather slow to pick up on things (as if He didn’t already know). If there was something specific He had in mind for me to do, He needed to make it obvious so that I couldn’t miss it.
If I tried to share with you all that happened in answer to this season of prayer, this post would take a long time to read! If you are among those who doubt the power of prayer, we need to talk!
Talking with folks, sharing my ‘story’ and others like it, that’s my ‘new direction’.
This blog post you’re reading is a part of my ‘new direction’. I’ve begun public speaking,. All those decades of teaching experience are still being put to use.
My mission in life, with whatever time I have left, is to encourage anyone who will listen. I have many messages, but at the heart of each is the idea that every day, when you get up in the morning, that’s a do-over!
Every sunset and every sunrise…they’re beautiful transitions! One day is over and another is coming.
It’s a do-over!
What if…we all looked at the transitions in our lives as do-overs? What if each new situation was regarded as a new opportunity? Imagine the difference it would make in your life and the lives of others! How could that change your family? Your city? Your world?
Determine that your move to a new city, that transition is a do-over. It’s an opportunity for new, beautiful things.
Your new business can be the start of a blessing that will reach countless others.
Even an accident or an illness, if you choose to make it so, can be a do-over!
Dear reader, whatever transition you find yourself in, claim a do-over! Be thankful for it and determine that with God’s help, you will make the most of it!
Remember the words of Ralph W Emerson:
“What lies behind us
and what lies before us
are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”
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