When I was five years old, my family picked up and moved from southern Georgia to Castle Rock, Colorado where my parents planted a church. From the age of 5 to 24, I was a part of 8 different churches in 3 different states. My hottie-pastor-husband and I are now located in small-town Kopperl, Texas.
I have lived in a ministry home my entire life. My parents were church planters and I have been married to my husband now for almost two years. One thing I have learned that often comes with a ministry calling is frequent transition.
Sometimes transition can be an easy thing, you find yourself desiring change. Other times, it’s difficult and the new change leaves you confused and lonely. One of my favorite passages is Hebrews 11:8-10:
By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God. — Hebrews 11:8-10 (NIV)
Abraham was the great patriarch of faith. It’s comforting to me that his first faithful action was transition! Abraham left a comfortable home to live in tents in a desert for years and years. Why? Because God said so. He simply obeyed.
Through my many transitions, I have held tight to these verses, constantly being reminded of Abraham’s attitude and eternal focus. Abraham was considered faithful because he willingly transitioned without hesitation.
So how can we transition faithfully and effectively? I have learned a few things throughout the years to help smooth the process. Here are my ABC’s of transition:
A – Accept it.
Finish well, start strong. Many who transition find themselves sad to leave the old and afraid to embark on the new. For others, a change is welcomed. Regardless of your circumstance, refrain from a lazy exit or a sluggish start. When a transition is near, fulfill your ministry role until the very end. God has had you in that place for specific amount of time for a reason. Once settled in your new location, jump in with both feet. We all know transition takes time, but do not hold on to an old place or nostalgia. Be present, engage and embrace your ministry role from start to finish. God knows best.
B – Be authentic.
No matter how hard you try, you cannot be anyone but yourself. Figure out how God is calling you to serve in the church and community and fulfill that role. Do your best to let go of any pressures to be someone else. It could take a while for the community to get used to a new minister’s wife (or it might not), but do your best to focus on your authentic relationship with Christ and demonstrate that you love the people and value the community. If you are willing to admit that you are not perfect, people are a lot more willing to accept your imperfections. Do everybody a favor (including yourself) by being your best “you.”
C- Cultivate contentment.
Practice Kingdom focus to cultivate contentment. Sometimes we don’t love where God puts us or trials arise that leave us desiring a change. You might literally be a “stranger in a foreign land”…or at least feel like it, but God calls us to be content where we are. When we align our hearts with His, our focus shifts and we are suddenly able to see the “city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.”
For those of us in ministry, transition is inevitable. I would have never guessed I would end up in small-town Texas, but we are here and I can see the Lord working through our ministry. It’s not only rewarding, but it reminds me that even tough transitions are worth it when it’s the Lord’s calling.
Stay faithful, hold tight to God’s Word and keep an eternal focus. Be like Abraham and “look forward” to the work God can do through us.
Have you been through a lot of transition? What lessons have you learned along the way?
Hi! I’m Alyssa. I’m a Christ follower and a wife to a hottie pastor named Michael. We live in Kopperl, Texas where I am delighted to serve in ministry with my husband at FBC Kopperl. I work full time in marketing, as well as a freelance wedding and portrait photographer. I am passionate behind the stove and enjoy whipping up something new and flavorful in my kitchen. You can find me reading foodie blogs, channeling the food network and seeking out the newest (or oldest) local restaurant around in my free time. I’m a professional coffee drinker, love resale shops and will occasionally shoot a deer with my rugged husband. I have a heart for women and enjoy investing in lives, helping prepare others for eternity.
Alyssa lives in Kopperl, Texas where she serves in ministry with her husband Michael at FBC Kopperl. She works full time in marketing, and as a freelance wedding and portrait photographer. She has a heart for women and enjoys investing in lives, helping prepare others for eternity.
Published January 26, 2015