Transition. Merriam – Webster defines it as “a change from one state or condition to another.” Synonyms include: changeover, evolution, growth, progress, shift, upheaval, flux and realignment. What stirs in your heart when you hear the word “transition?” Is it positive or negative? Does it elicit good memories or bad memories?
In my heart transition has always been something of a negative. Upheaval would be the synonym I would use to describe it. I can name several points of transition in my life. The earliest coming when my sexual abuse began. Then there was the transition of moving and switching schools. Next came the transition to death over life, living to die, wanting to die. Other transitions were graduating high school, then college, then being fired, then illness in my family, then death. Transition still happens as my heart moves to places that have been hidden.
Easter Sunday was the seventh anniversary of my mom’s death. There was another transition. I progressed to actually grieving.
It is interesting that the seventh anniversary fell on Easter Sunday. The number seven in the Bible is significant. Seven is the number of completeness and perfection (both physical and spiritual). It derives much of its meaning from being tied directly to God’s creation of all things.
Easter Sunday represents a day of joy and newness. Grief over the death of Jesus was replaced by joy and awe in the miracle of His resurrection. Easter Sunday is a day of transition.
Instead of upheaval this year, I made the choice to evolve, grow and shift in my grief. I made the choice to enter the pain I held locked in my heart. I walked into replaying the week prior to my mom’s death and then her death with open arms. I allowed emotions to overtake. Shame, blame, guilt, anger and resentment were some of the emotions uncovered. I also uncovered some relief and freedom. Chains that kept me enslaved were being broken.
This was a year of transition. I felt for the first time as though God created me for something more. I felt free to place blame where it belonged and not carry it in my heart. I was free to grieve. I was free to be angry and to be happy. The upheaval of my heart transitioned to peace.
Yes, transition. I was reminded through truth and love about the goodness transition can bring. I was reminded it is acceptable to experience swinging emotions. I was reminded of who I am. You see, it is through this transition, the loss of my mom, that I was able to gain myself. In her death, I found life – my life.
Becky Schulthess is a small town girl at heart. She treasures the true friendships developed throughout her years journeying on the healing path. Growth and change are things she has embraced, and she is beginning to fully live. This October she will begin Graduate School for a Master’s of Arts in Biblical Studies.