A percentage of these emotions will be affirming ones such as anticipation and excitement. But a percentage of what we feel will be comprised of emotions such as doubt, anxiety or uncertainty. These varied emotions are all natural in times of transition.
Experiencing such diverse emotions generally happens when we are facing an unfamiliar task or one that might cost us in some way. Or when we are confronted with an activity that we have never considered or wanted to do.
Stepping forward into something new necessitates us stepping away from the familiar and comfortable. Periods of transition therefore generate mixed feelings. Unease or apprehension as we anticipate what might lie ahead. Yet sorrow and grief about what we have to leave behind in order to move forward.
Because of this tension it can be tempting to ignore a new idea. We might try pretending we did not notice it or even try to avoid it altogether. But we fool ourselves if we think we can ignore it for long. For when God places a new endeavour in our path He is prompting us to new adventures. Tasks that He knows will help us learn, grow and further His kingdom.
In the Old Testament God placed a call on Jonah’s life by calling him to go to a city called Ninevah and proclaim His message to this rebellious, unfaithful community and nation. Jonah did not want to comply with God’s request as he felt these people were beneath God’s attention. So Jonah ran away from God’s assignment – figuratively and literally – thinking he could hide from God and evade the call. Imagine! Trying to hide from God! Believing that if he ran hard enough and far enough God would not find him and eventually give up. But after many trials, Jonah finally obeyed and ended up doing exactly what he had so resolutely tried to avoid.
I think we can all be like Jonah. I totally admit that when some new possibility has arisen in my life – I can begin to question and analyze it. And talk myself out of seriously considering it.
So like Jonah, we try to hide by keeping busy, running away, or using distraction. We waste so much time and energy using avoidance strategies rather than just boldly turning to face the new direction.
Where we go wrong is how we tend to think about doing something new or different. We tend to focus on the whole task, in its entirety. Focusing on the big picture just makes it far too intimidating.
Rather, we just need to focus on the initial step and begin the journey. Trusting that things will unfold as we walk. We don’t always need to know everything about every step of the journey. We just need to take step one.
And after we take the first step – the second step becomes easier. Then the third and the fourth steps unfold and we begin to have the confidence to continue. And before we realize it – we have started! Taking small steps with big faith allows us to courageously embrace new adventures.
I profoundly believe each of us has far greater capacity than we believe. We struggle to see ourselves the way God sees us. We need to trust that if He puts something on our heart He knows we have the capacity to achieve it.
God pictures so much more for us than we can ever imagine. He created us and He is intimately aware of our capabilities and giftings. He has a purpose and a plan for each of us. He knows all that lies ahead.
Our responsibility is to simply take the first step with big faith. Being confidant that God will guide and protect us, and abundantly provide all we need for the journey.