I am overwhelmed by all the changes that happened in my life this last week. I officially retired from the Air Force after 24 years, 10 months, and 26 days (would it just be easier to continue saying 25 years?!?!?!). That means I was accepted into the “blue card club”; AKA I got my retired military ID card.
As a result of that transition, I was given 30 days to establish formal residency in the state of Alabama. That means I gave up my Oregon driver’s license this week, which I might add had a 28-year-old-Emily photo and weight. I traded that in for a Jabba-The-Hut photo with a 25-pound weight gain on a black and white temporary Alabama ID.
This week also brought a switch in health care insurance to retired status for my whole family, as well as registration for voting. The next Alabama voting season will literally be the first time I have ever voted in an actual polling booth and not through an absentee ballot.
Overwhelming transitions that changed many of my self-identifiers.
*No longer active duty…now retired.
*No longer an Oregonian…now an Alabamian (is that the correct term??!?!?!).
*No longer insured for free…now paying lots for healthcare.
*No longer absentee voter…now a poll voter.
While I was feeling overwhelmed this week, our good-good God took time to remind me that we are all in transition. Sometimes those transitions are overwhelming and sometimes they seem minor, but those transitions are always blessings from God. Those transitions grow us into stronger women…stronger wives & mommas…stronger friends…stronger Christians.
The book of Joshua is filled with amazing reminders that we are not the only ones who have faced transition. I would argue that after forty years of wandering through the wilderness, God’s people were facing transition as they prepared to enter the promised land. They faced transition when Moses died. They faced a transition when Moses’ assistant, Joshua, was placed in charge.
Joshua faced a life-changing transition from the support team to a leader.
As always, God provided guidance. He told Joshua, “Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful” (Joshua 1:7-8 NIV).
God’s words of direction became a foundation of Joshua’s leadership. Our Father went on to state, “Have I not commanded you Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9 NIV).
Joshua’s leadership status and mission were huge transitions in comparison with me getting a couple of new ID cards. Yet, it illustrates that transitions happen to us all. Large and small transitions happen every day.
Your identity may change. Your status may change. Your circumstance may change. But remember this; overwhelming or not, His hand is with us in every transition.