Transition: by Natalie Barlow

You know that feeling when you’re at the top of a roller coaster? You’ve gone up the steep incline, you see the exhilarating drop that is about to come, you’re nervous, excited, scared out of your mind, ecstatic, and peace seems like it’s completely out of your reach. It’s transition time. Yeah, that’s pretty much where life has been at lately… moving out of the home 3 months ago, getting engaged 2 months ago, most of the girls that I’ve mentored have gone off to college, so God has begun to bring new ones, my family is on a Sabbatical from ministry for the first time ever, I'm running the church with the rest of the team while they're gone, and my brother just moved to California today. I feel so many things right now. Some good, some not so good. It’s not a common occurrence for me to just feel emotions but I know it’s a healthy time to do so. So here’s my processing. 

I miss my family. It’s finally been setting in that I’m an adult, living away from home, times with the family are no longer consistent, goodbyes have become more difficult and it’s really rough when I think about the fact that I won’t get to be a part of the daily life at home, watching my siblings grow up, and hearing and seeing every ridiculous and adorable thing that they do. Yet at the same time, I know I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be. I love living on my own. Times with the family are now more intentional and “full”. My roommates are wonderful, no crazy stories here! I’m so blessed by each one of them… they are a true gift from God and I love doing life with them. 

I’m so thankful to have the greatest fiancé in the world. For real, I know I talk about him a lot, but I will never fully be able to express the love and appreciation that I have for Danny. I’m so blessed to do life alongside this man, he challenges me, cares for me, he knows me. They say to be loved is to be known. I have never felt more known by somebody in my entire life, and yet loved so fully. Last night I finally let the tears flow, this week has been full of a lot of heavy things and big changes with my family and friends, and as I cried, he sat there and chose to just “be” with me. And after my face was swollen and I had used about 20 tissues, he then encouraged me in who I was, in the season I’m in, I think he saw that I was fearing the drop on this roller coaster, that I was looking at all the scary things that could happen, yet, he grabbed my hand, told me that we’re in this together, and showed me that this new season is good, that it’s okay to face reality, it’s a big change, but none of these changes are bad…they’re actually some of the most wonderful things that could happen! I began to realize that peace isn’t out of my reach. 

It talks in the Bible about how God gives us a peace that passes all understanding. The truth is, that’s what I need right now. There’s uncertainty, there’s sadness, there’s joy, there’s fear, there’s heaviness, there’s A LOT of change, and it’s easy to think I have to carry all of this, but when I take a step back and look at it all. I see that His plans are good and they’re not supposed to weigh me down. All those negative things I feel are just feelings. They don’t define truth. They don’t define my life. It’s okay for me to identify that they’re there, but the minute that I step into letting fear control me, is the minute that I resist the peace that He has for me…and that’s all I truly want right now, so why hold onto fear? Why hold onto doubt and uncertainty when I could let go of those things and grab onto peace! The peace that passes all understanding, it's mine, and I choose to operate in this peace allows me to throw my hands in the air, smile and laugh and enjoy the ride. Bring on that drop, I’m ready for this roller coaster!