This past weekend, my 20 month old daughter decided to do something she had never done before – climb out of her crib! I mean I had seen her try to in the past but never in a million years did I ever think that she would actually do it. When I got up to get her Saturday morning, I found her standing at her bedroom door which left this strange feeling in my stomach. After processing what happened and thanking God that she did not hurt herself, I immediately went into solution mode – it was time for her to transition into a toddler bed.
Now, I did not think that she was emotionally ready for this. I mean she is a very smart girl with lots of vocabulary, who is quickly learning to express her needs and wishes at an alarming rate. But could she handle being in a bed with no boundaries? I hardly let her stay in a room by herself for too long without running in after her to find out what mischief she has caused. But 10 – 12 hours, during the night, a lone. Seriously, I did not think she could handle it.
Neither did I think I could handle it. Besides waking up to whatever mess she created as a result of this new found freedom, this transition was really about my baby growing up to be a big girl! I mean, soon she will stop breastfeeding, then she will be potty-trained, then, well I do not know what significant milestone comes next but I do know that eventually this toddler of mine will turn into a self-assured preschooler and on and on the cycle continues.
As I reflected on all of this, I realized that this happens to everybody throughout many stages of our lives – we are constantly transitioning! Some transitions are expected, some like the one I encountered are not expected, at least not when we thought that they should be. When we face these unexpected life transitions, our natural inclination is to scream at the world, God and perhaps even ourselves that we are not ready for them. We are not ready to move, not ready to grow, not ready for that new job, not ready to wrestle with unemployment, not ready to deal with this tragedy, not ready, not ready, not ready. And so we fight to make sure the transitions do not come, failing to realize that life is all about transitioning.
If we are still and we pay close attention to what God is doing in our lives at any moment, we will see that he is trying to prepare us for the transitions that come upon us. The frequently quoted text of 1 Corinthians 10 is true – he will not allow us to be tempted or tested beyond what we are able but when we are tested, he will provide a way out so that we can endure it! God is ever faithful and so we can rest assured that when a trying life transition comes our way, if we are not ready for it, he will help us get ready! Sidenote: my daughter is sleeping wonderfully away in her bed as we speak.
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