Classes taken prior to childbirth assist couples as they prepare for delivery. They are a stark reminder of the complexities of childbirth, including the time, pain and extraneous effort the mother must put in, in having the baby. Having taken several hours, perhaps, to reach half the cervix dilation required for the baby’s head to fit through, the mother is flummoxed in realising—through the midwife—that the majority of the hard work is still ahead of her. She is exhausted already. But she must kick on; there is no other option.
It is clear, here, that reserves of tenacity—of mental and emotional strength, notwithstanding the physical—must be tapped into. At the point of giving up, there is no option to give up, and the only option open is to continue; to get over the fatigued frustration and move courageously on to the more painful and most severe contractions ahead.
A few to several hours later, when the baby is finally born, the mother has been pushed to her physical and emotional limits. She is spent. Her ideas of her limits have now changed. She understands, now, that the limits of pain and endurance are higher than she imagined.
So it is with transitions in life.
They are like the birthing of a baby; only we are birthing a significant change, and pain and fatigue and frustration all bear themselves along varying points throughout that journey.
The Tumultuous Journey of Transition
Perhaps if we knew what was ahead of us, we may give up before we started.
God seems very crafty, in that we don’t get all the information ahead of time. And just as well! If we knew how hard the entire journey of transition would be we probably wouldn’t start. We are given just enough information, enough for the proverbial day, in order that the sustenance of our efforts remains healthy; viable.
We never expect the mountain range climb to steepen. No, we think the longer we go the closer we are. But transitions in life so often don’t work that way.
Just when we are confident of a breakthrough, a setback confounds us. And when we are about to break, despairing in anguish, then oftentimes swings open a door we were hardly cognisant of.
Rollercoaster rides like this build our spiritual stamina, for we have no choice but to keep on going.
When the pain of keeping on going is less than the pain of reverting we keep plunging faithfully and courageously forward, breaking through each frontier, in spite of how weak we might feel.
Life transitions test our fortitude and our tenacity to keep going. But we must keep going, for the choice of reverting back to where we came from often vanishes. We may be further from our goal than we think we are, but we are also further from our starting point than we were yesterday. We must keep going, slowly forward. We will make it.
© 2013 S. J. Wickham.