Regardless of what it is transition can be wonderful and challenging all at the same time. For Mike and me, it was our recent move to a new church. We were leaving a home where
we had been for 12 years, serving and loving on people, being nurtured and cared for since we were freshmen in high school. Pastor Dan was our youth pastor! We were used to our shepherd’s voice and it was familiar to us. So when life brings us to a new season, how do we respond? How do we move forward? How do we prepare? These are the things that we learned in our last year’s journey in a new place.
- Have proper expectations: Things will not go as expected. We can plan and prepare for our upcoming adventure but be open to the fact that God is in control and His ways are not our ways. The reason we are being called to this new season of life could be something completely different than what we originally expected. Be open and trust God 100% that if He called you to this, HE will get you through it.
When we transitioned to Bethel we went thinking that we were there to do one thing, youth. But it turned out the Lord had us there for so much more. We had to change our expectations and trust that God knew what He was doing. We had to relearn to hear from a different shepherd, work with a new staff, and worship in a whole new way. God is good and He is the same everywhere you go, but we had to relearn and change our expectations.
- Have open eyes: The Lord is active and moving all around. In a challenging or new season the situations that arise can shift our focus from trusting the Lord to our eyes being on the storm. We read in Matthew 14 about Jesus calling Peter out of the boat to walk on water. When we are out of the boat walking on water, we need to stay centered on Jesus and remember why He called us out of the boat in the first place.
We had learned, been under and grew under one style of leadership. If we would have come to Bethel with the idea that there was only one way of doing things we could have been very discouraged. We have been able to see what the Lord has wanted us to bring to Bethel and also what we have taken and learned from Bethel. There is value in all situations. Don’t be blind. You will hit walls and it will hurt.
- Have a sense of humor: You have to laugh and not lose yourself. We are made in the likeness of HIM. He is a funny guy. New adventures may bring you to places that you just need to laugh
When you dye your hair purple and it turns grey, you look around and realize that you now fit in with the silver foxes. The Lord has a sense of humor. Don’t miss it. Laugh so hard you pee yourself. After three kids that has happened more than once 😉
- Pray A LOT, stay grounded: Prayer is essential and vital for life. It produces and encourages your heart when it may grow weary. When you are feeling alone, God is there. When you feel tired, He is there. Prayer reminds us, sharpens us, and fine-tunes us.
I have never known the value of being on my face before the Lord as much as I have in this season. When life begins to feel overwhelming, I can promise you, I have been fighting my battles in prayer. The biggest lessons that we learned from being at TFH for 12 years is the importance of prayer. You need to pray more and speak less. Thank you, Pastor Dan, Pastor Tracy and Barb for always encouraging and equipping us so well.
- Don’t lose who you are, be confident: If you are 100% sure that the Lord called you or has allowed this season in your life, then what do you have to fear? Is God enough? If HIS voice called us out of the boat, then we should be confident and walk with boldness straight to the King of Kings… easier said than done, I know.
Being different and standing out at Bethel has been one of the largest challenges for me. I have to be OK with who I am even if I am loud, have crazy hair and tattoos. I stand out to say the least. But I am me, not because it’s who I am but it’s who I am in Christ and who HE made me to be. I feel the temptation to change and be molded into someone who stands out less. The Lord worked on my heart for many years so that I would feel confident to be myself today. I will NOT allow the enemy to take that victory away from the Lord.
Transition in any phase of life is difficult. When I transitioned to being a mom, I remember feeling overwhelmed all the time by this new responsibility. Then I started homeschooling (someone should have warned me you’ll never shower again and that dry shampoo is a miracle from Jesus), which has shown me to let go of expectations and control. I also made the transition in my life to be a caregiver for my mom who was dying of cancer. I am thankful for those moments when I didn’t take things too seriously and I was able to laugh with my mom… but who am I now because of it? Am I ok with who the Lord has made me to be through it? Now we found ourselves in a new home and new family. Are we OK with where God has brought us, or are we going to be resentful for where the Lord has taken us? No way! Our God is a GOOD Father and cares for us deeply. We have a strong foundation of knowing who God is, and we have been able to walk through things in life experiencing healing and trusting the Lord. If we didn’t have those things, life’s transitions, no matter how big or small, would have taken us out of the game, and we would have sunk. Be strong and courageous, girls, stand tall for the Lord. Be confidant in who He is.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Heather Brown is a mom of three amazing kids and married to the love of her life and high school sweetheart for 17 years. She and her husband attended The Father’s House for 12 years and worked for 10 years specifically with the youth. They got called to a new assignment at Bethel in Escondido about a year ago where they attend now. Some activities that fill Heather’s soul are repurposing things, crafting, water coloring, hiking and spending time with her family.