I am terrible with transitions. Some people love change, others are neutral, and I absolutely despise it. Change can be good, like adopting a puppy; change can be bad, like saying goodbye to a good friend or family member. For me, good change feels just as scary as bad change. Because good change is still change.
In May 2016, my husband Jefferson and I made the decision to uproot ourselves from my hometown of Brampton and move an hour away from all of my friends and family. Jefferson was offered his first full-time ministry position at a small church in Hamilton and we knew it was the right decision. Our current living situation was not so great, and the new church had a parsonage – just sitting there, waiting for us to move into. It just felt right. Even though I was terrified, even though I doubted if I could even handle it, we moved.
At first, I was anxious. Very anxious. After a month of panic attacks and crying episodes, we adopted a puppy to keep me company while Jefferson worked and to give me something to do during the day. I tried my best to settle in, as the plan was to stay at our Hamilton church for many years to come. Little by little, Hamilton began feeling like home.
However, about eight months into Jefferson’s new position, we knew that Hamilton was no longer our long-term plan. For many reasons, God made it clear that it was time to move on. I was terrified. Moving. Again. Change. Again. Finding a new ministry position meant finding a new city (most likely), a new church, a new community, and a new house.
We had only been married three years and this would be our third church. Three churches in three years. Where was my magical stability that supposedly comes with marriage? Where was my home?
As Jefferson began the church interview process again, I couldn’t help but feel discouraged. I knew we were making the right decision, but once again I wasn’t sure if I could handle such a big change.
After lots of prayer and a few months of searching, we were excited to begin our time at Forestview. From the very beginning of the interview process, we knew this church was the right fit for both of us. However, underneath the excitement, fear still clung tightly to my chest.
Because we were unable to find a place to rent that allowed dogs, we soon realized our only option was to temporarily move into my parent’s basement. We would be moving from a three bedroom bungalow to…a basement. My parent’s basement. We would also be leaving a chapter of our marriage and ministry behind. Even though I knew without a doubt that this was the right decision, I still began to silently question if we made the right choice. I kept thinking to myself, “I hate change, I hate moving, I just want some stability!”
One day as I was doing my devotional, I was hit hard with a sudden realization. Stability had become my idol. I began idolizing this concept of stability, which no one truly has as life is completely unpredictable, to the point where I felt scared of and anxious about really, really good change. The only thing stable in life is God. Not a house, not a husband, not a job, nothing.
This realization did not make the transition perfectly smooth for me. There were days I felt down, especially as I mourned the loss of my adorable, perfectly outfitted home office and giant renovated kitchen. But living with my parents has actually been a great source of comfort and I think God placed us here to help me handle the transition well.
I suffer from a few different anxiety disorders that often make leaving the house or meeting new people difficult. As I’m sure you know, when you go to a new church, you meet a LOT of new people! Yet, I felt comfortable immediately and almost cried the first time we came to a service. I was so overwhelmed with how at peace I felt in a totally new environment.
Transitioning to ForestView has been the easiest change in my entire life. Throughout the seeking and interviewing process, God made it abundantly clear that this where both Jefferson and I needed to be. There have been good days and bad days, but I have been able to see God’s hand not only throughout the last few months, but throughout the last three years as we transitioned from different cities and churches. God was there the entire time, preparing us for what was to come.