Then came my friend, Dana. Dana and I had a pretty good friendship right from the beginning. There was one problem. Dana was an orthodontist. And not just any orthodontist. He was the kind that never saw a smile he couldn't make better. He didn't gently introduce the idea of braces to me. He pretty much told me when and where to show up to get those teeth fixed. So, I did, much to his amusement and my family's delight.
I remember the first meal. Just the feeling of soup sliding across my teeth hurt. It would set me on edge to hear someone crunching on an apple or a piece of ice. I didn't think it would ever end. Then the second hour came and it got worse. Dana had warned me. He had told me it would be that way. Then he offered me this hope, "The teeth will settle into their new place. When they do, the pain will subside and you'll like what you see."
I thought about that moment this morning as our staff was talking about transitions. For those of you who haven't heard, I recently stepped aside as pastor at Ridgeview Church to pursue Ridley Barron Ministries with a full-time focus. My family and I will continue to worship and serve alongside our faith family at RCC. But God had made it very clear that this was the next step for us. Lisa and I have a passion to continue using our stories to offer hope and encouragement to others. God is choosing to use it through this ministry.
Transitions are hard, no matter what they look like or when they occur. They take on many forms--children starting school, starting to drive, graduation, marriage, a new job, a new school or a new hometown. Each transition comes with its own set of challenges and concerns. I'm thankful that God has promised not to leave us through any of those times.
My family faces its own unsettled feelings as we make this move of faith. I'm not sure what God wants to do with this. I'm not sure how long it will last. I'm not sure where it will take us. I'm not sure....but God is. And, in those moments when fear starts to creep in and my flesh takes control, I hear him saying, "Hang on. You will settle into your new place if you just trust me. When you do, the pain will subside and I promise you will like what you see." So, just like with Dana (although he isn't quite God), I keep trusting. I keep looking in the mirror watching the changes. I keep holding onto the promise that He is a professional...He knows just what He is doing.