My pastor preached his last sermon before his summer sabbatical on transitions, the one he had preached in January my first year of teaching. The last time he preached it there was one baby in the congregation, we had 6 born this year in our congregation and another on the way. It isn’t the only transition our church has gone through, but it is one of the most obvious.
In this second rendition of this most apt message he talked about the word transition in the context of child-birth. Birth is a transition for the baby, but also for the mother, really the whole family. First there is no baby, and then when the birth is over a new life.
Birth is a transition, but more specifically there is a transition within the birthing process. Transition is the point that your body moves from dilation to pushing. I’ve written about the spiritual birthing metaphors before. But the idea of transition struck me. I am not sure on what I am transitioning into. But right now, emotionally, spiritually, I think I am in transition, and perhaps my church is true.
In both births I have personally experienced when my body transitioned, I freaked out. With the Peanut I decided I did not and could not have this baby. No thank you. I was done. With the Rooster I simply called for the drugs, “give me an epidural” just like the movies. Everyone in the room laughed. I don’t know how funny it was in the moment, but I do know that both reactions weren’t what I really wanted. I wanted to have the baby, I wanted to avoid the giant epidural needle. (I am in no way saying you shouldn’t get the epidural if that is the informed decision you are making. I am just personally afraid of it.) But when everything started changing, the feelings, the job of my body, the position of my baby, it freaked me out. It freaked me out. Even the second time. Even when I knew it was coming.
Both my girls seem to be going through major transitions this summer. The Peanut has been cut off from the bottle, and no longer sleeps in a crib. Night time has been going nicely but nap times the Peanut is attempting to phase out. I suppose I wouldn’t mind, but when she does actually go down she will sleep for like 2 hours, leaving me to believe she does in fact still need a nap. She is just fighting the new system, the one without a mid-day bottle.
Meanwhile Rooster has decided that she is not having this semi-mobile thing and gets up on her hands and knees about once every twenty minutes and thinks about crawling. I get the distinct impression that when she figures it out she is going to be quick. I am not sure I am going to be ready for it. But so far her legs and arms are not co-operating with her trunk and she ends up on her face more often than not. My normally easy-peasy good-tempered baby has become a crank fest. She wants to move already!
I feel for them both. I think I am going through a bit of a transition spiritually. I know that my God hold good things for me, but I don’t know exactly what is being birthed out of this. There are days when my writing is more difficult (hence the lack of blogging). It is all muddled confusing, too personal, not personal enough. I am dealing with some hard emotions I think, and the way God has designed me to get them out is through writing, only I try really hard not to publish other people’s personal business on my blog…just mine.
There don’t seem to be any answers (I know it feels like you might want to, but it isn’t time to push yet!) and there don’t seem to be any on the way. If there are no answers what is the point of the publish? I’ve certainly found more questions.
In labor you don’t really have a choice. Eventually your body starts pushing. But as I learned the second time around, it works much faster if you decide to get on board and be really purposeful when it is time to push. But spiritually we do have a choice. I think that if I wanted to I could choose to not do this, choose to not work through the issues, live in the uncomfortable tension indefinitely.
I know people who have I think. They tell me that they just don’t feel comfortable, or Jesus isn’t working for them anymore. I’ve been there, heck I am there. But I’ve learned a few things about transition, like when in doubt keep doing what you are doing and you won’t miss the urge to push. If you are ready you will respond. But you have to keep breathing, keep prepping, keep doing what was working before. Cling to the things that made this thing do able, and don’t be afraid to look to the people around you. Sometimes they are the only ones who can see that you are doing fine, even when you don’t feel like you are.
I have been ignoring this transition for too long, I don’t want to be stuck in it anymore. I know that the pushing is hard, but I prefer it to this strange in between. It always makes me feel like running. I believe in the transition. I believe there are greater things coming.