“Answer me when I call to you, O my righteous God. Give me relief from my distress; be merciful to me and hear my prayer.”
Psalm 4:1 NIV
5 years into my transition if you would have told me I would have encountered car repossession, the loss of my apartment, loss of time with my children, loss of my peace of mind, being displaced from my position due to budget cuts and being forced to return to the classroom after being out for 10 years, I probably would not have believed you. I mention this, because a recent conversation with someone experiencing the transition for the first time mentioned to me that they did not foresee not having custody of their child.
Patiently and gently I explained to them that though it was unforeseen, in order to respond properly to what is now a reality, there needs to be a moment of pause. I explained that the necessity of the pause is to allow God to help them with what was unforeseen to avoid relying upon their emotions to resolve what is out of their control. I mentioned to her that though her reality was unforeseen, God knows, sees and understands and will help her through prayer. Since the courts will make the deciding factor, focus must now be placed on accepting and preparing for the reality of seeing your child less, instead of investing intense emotional energy to what’s out of their control. How hard it must have been for Moses’ mother to place him in the basket and release him to the Nile. Faith caused her to do that, because keeping him close to her surely would have meant his untimely death due to Pharaoh’s edict to kill every male child. Reflecting on this helps me better accept the reality of releasing the internal desire to hold tightly to losses out of my control.
The intensity of emotion felt during a transition can be difficult to bear and as the losses mount up, including time with your children, lashing out is an immediate temporary relief that could result in long term consequences. Remaining calm, focused, hopeful and prayerful keeps me from internalizing the stress and distress of the duress felt in the misfortune, injustice and loss of a transition. Taking the posture of acceptance and contentment also positions me to rely upon the grace of God and receive strength from His Spirit, through prayer, that empowers me quieting my soul to receive wisdom on how to effectively progress through the challenges of the transition. Acceptance does not mean I like or agree with what’s happening, it simply means what is happening is happening and I will learn to deal with it positively and properly. The only other option is to forfeit your peace, mental and emotional well-being with no guarantee it will help you with what you seek to accomplish.
Faith says, ‘God, I have no idea where I am headed in this transition or how everything will work out, but You work everything together for good. Grant me wisdom, peace and grace to operate within this transition in a way that glorifies You accepting the changes and challenges that come and working with the child’s other parent in a way that is in the best interest of the children. Defend me against injustice and deliver me from my misfortune and losses. You promise to give back to me the years the locust have eaten, so I will wait patiently for Your promise to be fulfilled as You journey with me through this transition.’
May God grant you peace, hope and strength and impart wisdom that will help you be successful as you transition towards resiliency.