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The Theme of Transition

Posted by Paulette Williams on

Transition seems to be a theme at this time in the life of our church. Many of you have been asking me how I feel about the changes Wayne and I are anticipating, the three-month Sabbatical and then Wayne assuming a part-time role when we return. To answer your questions, I would have to say that I am cautiously excited. I am excited for this new stage in our lives.  I call it semi-retirement but Wayne says, “I’m just slowing down a bit.” He can’t use the “R” word quite yet. I am excited to see what adventure God has for us in the future; both as a couple and in ministry. I am excited to get to know Jay and Katie and to partner in ministry with them.
 
I am cautious because there are unknowns in a transition. The definition of a transition is “the process of changing from one state or condition to another.” It’s the process we go through as we internalize and come to terms with the details of our new “condition” on the other side of the transition. I know what life is like on this side of the coming transition. I don’t know for sure what it will be like on the other side.
 
In Ecclesiastes 3, God says, “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance…”
 
Basically, this Scripture tells us that everything in life, the normal and the dramatic, the routine and the extraordinary are to be expected. This is what our lives consist of. The transition Wayne and I are entering is not extraordinary, it is actually quite normal for our time in life.
 
But every transition, no matter how normal, includes an ending and a new beginning. Every ending involves losses and every new beginning involves some unknowns and the time between the two involves some uncertainties. So, I am cautiously excited.
 
As we are in our 70s, we have noticed other changes in our lives that are difficult: change in health, change in capacity, changes in family.  Some of these have been difficult to accept, and need to be navigated.

I also know, however, that some important things do NOT change in our ministry transition: my God does not change. He is the one constant in my life, regardless of any other changes; His character and work in and through me continues.

My purpose does not change. Wayne and I committed early in our marriage to follow Jesus together, partnering together to do His will for His Kingdom. That commitment remains.

My love does not change. Early in our ministry years, someone told us that to be effective in ministry, you need to do three things: love God, love His Word, and love His people. Regardless of the role Wayne or I have played or will play in our community, those three loves will continue to grow and express themselves as we are able. You are all family to us, we love you and hope to continue to serve God through ministering to you and our community in the coming years. 

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