It has been 15 years since I graduated from Loyola University New Orleans. I remember the excitement, anxiety, joy, and feeling of loss that I felt during graduation. For the next 3 months, I established my new normal in the marketplace. When I left my office on Friday, August 26th, 2005, I had no idea that I would leave my city the next day, and only return as a visitor for the rest of my life due to the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. My life changed completely in a matter of days.
Sometimes our seasons shift with expectation, celebration and closure. Sometimes the seasons shift so suddenly that it is jarring and painful.
All of us have dealt with a jarring season shift due to COVID-19 in varying degrees. Graduates had a very different ending to their college experience. Others had sudden change to their career or financial situation. With sorrow, others experienced health challenges or lost loved ones. All of us experienced a loss of normalcy and disappointment from missed experiences.
I am reminded of the Israelites after they left Egypt. They were released from slavery and left suddenly for the Promised Land. They went through a sudden season shift. Exodus 13 documents this event. The Lord intentionally led the Israelites to the wilderness. Even though it was the longer path, He had purpose. He guided them by cloud and by fire. Imagine having the visible presence of God’s leadership all day and all night! Even still, the joy of leaving Egypt quickly leveled as they faced challenges in the wilderness. The Egyptians pursued the Israelites, and it looked like God’s deliverance was for nothing. Many said they wished they would have never left Egypt. I love what Moses said in Exodus 14:13-14(NKJV) “Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever. The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.” Ultimately, the Lord did the impossible, and rescued them from those who wished them harm.
I realized a few things in this passage.
- Transitions, whether positive or negative, have challenges.
- During transition challenges, I might wish to go back to my former normal.
- The Lord is my leader. I don’t need to figure everything out. I do need to seek His guidance and follow His leadership, trusting He will make provision for every challenge.
In your season shift, I encourage you to embrace the guidance of the Lord, even if you don’t understand it at the time. I pray that He will make His guidance clear to you, just as He did for the Israelites. The challenges may seem overwhelming at best and impossible at worst, but you can hold your peace, because the Lord will go before you and be ever with you.
Chi Alpha Alumni Ambassador – New Orleans