Last week was a doozy. It felt like the last four months of transition caught up with me, and came crashing down upon me. For those recently joining our community, our family recently re-located from Dallas,TX, to our beloved home town in Louisiana. Several mornings last week, I woke up feeling like the weight of the world was on my shoulders, and feeling exhausted from the fight to try to see clearly in the middle of change. Both the energy from the abundance of gifts of our move and the weight of the remaining questions of our move seemed to be colliding into what felt like a “dust storm”; where my body, spirit and mind try to process all the goodness and the questions swirling around me.
A month ago, I wrote about the brewing dust storm in prayer I was feeling over at the dotMagis blog. Since then, our transition added more to what is swirling around us. God continues to shower us with gifts and surprises as we lean back into life in our home-town: family, large community of support, gatherings with life-long friends, a community of colleagues within Catholic ministry, a beautiful school community for our children, a warm, welcoming Parish, a surge of retreat and speaking invitations. There are nights I struggle to fall asleep as my extroverted side attempts to process all the concrete gestures of holiness that I experience in one day.
There remains a shower of questions. There is so much newness that surrounds us that it feels confusing and unclear as we seek to find a long-term place to live, to discern ministry opportunities, to develop friendships, to acclimate to a new Parish and school community, and to physically re-locate our entire lives to a new city. As a parent, I often lay awake at night worrying about how our oldest two children are handling the transition, knowing that as welcoming as the community is that it takes time for them to develop friendships as the new kids. Their emotions are not as volatile as past moves, but they, too, ebb and flow from excitement to sadness to joy to grief. They can easily name what excites them about our new city, and yet, they can also name their fears and longing for our old way of life.
I know that this season of transition is not unique to our family. My guess is many of you are in the middle of your own seasons of transition, loss, and change.
How might prayer support us right now?
Prayer can be our constant and our anchor when the rest of life feels unsteady.
Prayer can be our solid footing in a time where everything feels moveable and transient.
Prayer can be our place of honest conversation where we can name our thanks, our struggles, and our questions.
Prayer can be our rudder as we turn to God for guidance in how to move forward in the middle of a dust storm.
While prayer feels bumpy and clunky, and anything but still and calm, right now, I keep showing up, knowing that God is there and trusting that God is helping us take one step at a time. Prayer is keeping me grounded in the hope that the dust will settle and what feels unclear now will one day make sense. And you know what? God shows up in prayer to comfort us and affirm our decisions and choices and encourage us onward on this path of transition.
That’s what happened to me last week. God showed up in the middle of the dust storm and brought God’s gift of consolation, and suddenly, what felt like the weight of the world began to feel light again. Through prayer, God renewed my spirit and strengthened me to take another step forward towards clarity.
The reminder for me and for all of us is to keep showing up in prayer– even in a season of transition.
Know of my prayers for all of you as we continue to grow in faith and trust in God, and in a special way for those of you who are going through a season of change.