Transitions: the good, the bad, the gunk, & the glory

Hello there! Do we need to introduce ourselves again because it’s been so long?? We are Hayes and Elizabeth Howell and we are back and more excited than ever to share with you what the Lord is teaching us. Writing is my creative outlet and a way for me to process. I have also always loved the thought of ministering with my husband and our unique He Said/She Said perspective. We would love for you to subscribe to our blog (enter your email address below) and follow us on Instagram and Facebook.

We hope you enjoy our time together!

Sometime around June last year we felt like God was calling us to a new season. To be completely honest it seemed completely crazy.  We loved where we were, ministry was hard but thriving and we were surrounded by people that we love. So as you can imagine, and possibly felt at some point in your life too, we were both asking God if this was really what He wanted for us. We felt like God had dialed the wrong number with this call. But as we worked through the next months and ultimately a major transition in life we realized God (as he always does) had dialed the exact number he meant to.

We just recently welcomed our 3rd baby girl into our family. She practically came out an infant, all 10 lbs and 22 inches of her. In an instant (or somewhat close to an instant) she went from her warm comfortable, dark and muffled environment to a completely new, cold, bright and noisy whole new world! At that moment, as it does with every human being, the many different transitions in life started.

Transitions are normal in life, from being born to transitioning from milk to solid foods. We go from crawling to walking. We transition from Junior High to High School. And let’s face it, that’s not always a pretty season. I mean, there’s a whole other blog series! Pimples, awkward changing bodies, trying to figure out the opposite sex, pimples. Just a lot of awkwardness. Just like from the child to teenager transition, a lot of the transitions we face in life are completely out of our control. As a 6th grader we simply cannot take a stand and say we refuse to transition to Junior High, we simply do it. However, as we get older we face many transitions that we actively play a role in the decision making process. After High School we could transition to college, or a trade school, or the workforce, or the military. All are viable options and the transition out of High School is inevitable but we have to decide what is next, and hopefully we are seeking the will of God as we try to decide.

Then we get older. Start families. Raise kids, then teenagers. We transition our families to new houses, new jobs, new schools, new communities. Or maybe we just transition how we equip and disciple our children, or we transition our priorities. Kids grow up, graduate from high school and move to college. They get married and move out of the house. They might even (clearing my throat) take on a new state with your grandbabies! Then all of a sudden we are faced with a potential transition (again) and we have to decide what God is calling us to do. While I don’t know the statistics I know many marital arguments and even major struggles probably happen in the wake of transitions. So how do we navigate them? How do we seek the will of God while also keeping our marriage and our family a priority?

The hope is that over the next few weeks as we share our experiences with you that God will equip all of us to be able to weather these seasons of transition better.

We are not experts nor do we claim to have all the answers, but we do know that we worship a Lord who has weathered the ultimate season of transition:

“Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will , but yours be done. An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.” Luke 22:42-44

Let me be clear, I am by no means trying to compare the transitions we have faced over the last year to what Jesus was experiencing. However, we have found hope in knowing that our Lord felt the stress of facing a transition. As Jesus was facing the transition of ending his earthly ministry and having the full cup of God’s wrath poured out he was sweating drops of blood in anguish.

Transitions happen. Always have. Always will. What God calls us to do is to trust him through them. But that isn’t easy and God knows that. But He is faithful to walk through them with us. He has been so faithful to walk through them with us over the last year. Actually the last 14 years of our marriage.

So we invite you join along with us on this journey as we share the different things that God has taught us through this transition. Our hope is that by sharing our experiences you will be able to keep focus on your marriage and your family through any transition you face.

Spend some time alone and process these questions. Or, spend some quality time with your spouse discussing these questions. Begin to pray about what you want to the Lord to teach you through this blog series. And know, as always, that we are praying with you.

 

  • Thus far in life what transition has made the biggest impact on your life and relationships?
  • What happened and how did you navigate it?
  • Would you say it was a successful transition or an unsuccessful one?
  • What future transition has you the most worried?

 

 

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  1. Hayes and Elizabeth, Glad to see you are back at it. Looking forward to this series.

    In faith, Jack

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