Transition: (noun)

  1. a) a change or shift from one state, subject, place, etc. to another
  1. b) a period or phase in which such a change or shift is happening

Change is inevitable. Everything changes. Some changes are easier to weather than others. We change when we age but most years just blend one into another. There are only a few that are truly significant and impact our lives in important ways. Change is a constant fact of life. If we aren’t changing, we aren’t growing, and if we aren’t growing, we’re dying.

The process of change is the difficult part. It isn’t a quick progression from point A to point B. That transition period is affected by many factors. How easily I embrace the process. How quickly I am willing to trust that this season of change is for my good. I have been finding my ability to do both of those to be easier the past few years, which speaks tremendously to the work I’ve done in learning how to trust Father in small things so that the big things become less daunting. However, I still have not reached the point where I don’t initially balk at the prospect. He knows me. And I can’t count the number of times He has graciously given me a heads up about change coming so that I would be prepared when I stared it in the face. I wish I could say that I embraced those warnings and bravely launched into the transition. That would be a lie. I still balk when it is before me, just for a (slightly) shorter time than I once did.

When my boy was 16, Father spoke to my heart and told me it was time to begin transitioning from parent/teacher to counselor/advisor. I needed to let him start making some of his own, more serious, decisions and allow him to do so while still safe under our care. As a codependent, that was hard enough, but I did recognize from my own experience how important it was for him to have the freedom to make mistakes while he was still within the shelter of home. With a plan in place of how I would manage this, I proceeded to do exactly that. I stepped back and let him begin to make big decisions. If he asked for my advice (and even sometimes when he didn’t), I would give it, but other than that, I was learning to let him be responsible for himself. That was especially hardest to do when I knew his decision would cause him pain, but I also knew my head-strong boy needed to learn some lessons on his own. This was the hardest when it came to letting him learn the hard way about not taking his anti-seizure meds. It took a few years, and a couple of seizures, for him to learn those lessons but learn them he did. In our state, the law is that an epileptic must be seizure-free for an entire year before they can get their driver’s license. That year was over the end of 2022, and after jumping through some bureaucratic hoops, he finally got his license last week. I am simultaneously thrilled and terrified by this prospect. I am so happy he will finally be able to experience some of the freedom and independence he has longed for (for three years longer than his peers). He has gained a great deal of wisdom, and he has some very wise people speaking into his life, so I am not overly concerned about really bad decisions being made. My main concern will always be the specter of epilepsy. This is the hardest to let go of. Will he remember to take his medicine? What if he has a seizure, and I’m not there? What if he has a seizure while driving? So many things I cannot control. Things I have already been letting him manage for quite some time, but it was easier to do that when I was his sole source of transportation. Even when he was with his friends, they knew and were extra cautious. Now, it is time to cut the strings and let my baby fly. And though I have been preparing for this season for almost four years, now that it is here, I am having a really hard time just letting go. I know what this means. I know the changes that are immediately before my family. He will get a job. Eventually, he will move out. And I know these are all good things and necessary for HIS continued growth (and mine, I know). But I’m struggling with the fact that this will change our family dynamic. He won’t be there at home with me for much longer. With very brief exceptions, he has been with me every day for the last almost 20 years. Soon, all those things I’ve been so used to, that time I was able to spend with him, will fade as he pursues the future Father has for him. And I know this is good, and I am thankful he has such a good relationship with the One who made him. At the same time, I am left trying to figure out what this means for me moving forward.

Which brings me to the next big change. I have spent the past few years preparing for this time. I’ve learned to pursue my own interests and have sought the path Father has laid before me. I’ve had some stops and starts along the way. Fear of failure is a beast to overcome. But He has been patient with me and has lovingly pushed me to take small steps of faith, one at a time. My first sponsor once told me that it is normal to be afraid to embark on something new, but that the more I grow in competence, the more I will grow in confidence. I have found this to be a true statement. I am still overcoming the damaging core beliefs of unworthiness and incapability, and most things I’m faced with trying, those are the leading beliefs, and I have to allow Father to talk me through each one, to speak truth to me in the moment so that I can keep replacing those lies I’ve believed with TRUTH. Unlearning is probably the hardest part of recovery, and I have a lot to relearn. He led me to take a step of faith in accepting a position with more responsibility than I have ever had before. I confess, I am terrified of messing up, of failing at this. I recognize that it is a great opportunity to learn more in preparation for the next big change coming later this year, and I also know I’m not alone. There are others I can rely on and turn to for help. And I am thankful, both for the opportunity to learn and also for the faith others have put in me. It’s just a lot of change all at once.

Maya Angelou once said, “We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.” I think of the caterpillar, ensconced in its cocoon, its body dissolving into slime and wonder that somehow, that formless goo comes back together to become something truly beautiful. I guess I feel like I’m in the cocoon again. I wonder if the caterpillar knows what it will become? I am so thankful that the One who designed it to form that chrysalis knew exactly what that larva was destined to become and built into it the insatiable desire to fulfill its destiny. No fear of change for the butterfly. I seek to trust the One who created me for a unique purpose, one that He alone sees, and continue to work on surrendering completely to that vision.

Recovery During a Season of Grief

Recovery is hard. I’m not going to sugar coat it as anything other than hard work and tenacity. There are seasons of rest and joy and celebration when the work pays off, but there’s also a need to be honest with myself about the pain that has driven me to do the things I do and make the choices I make and a willingness to work through the pain I’ve spent decades avoiding because the only real way out is through. But those times I get that victory, and those hurts get healed…it makes every step of the journey worth it.

And then, I suddenly find myself an orphan. And the one person who had been there from my first memory isn’t there anymore. Suddenly, recovery becomes like trying to drag a 50-lb. boulder tied around my waist up a steep mountain on a path I can barely see anymore. It takes concerted effort just to put one foot in front of another. It takes a lot of setting aside time just to sob uncontrollably in a safe environment so I don’t lose it in a public place. It takes relapsing and running back to food to find some comfort when there’s none to be had. And then it’s shame because I feel like I failed, and I’m right back to step one…again and again and again. Recovery is hard. Recovery in the midst of grief is a battle. I lost a few skirmishes along the way. But I kept fighting. I’ve been bloody and bone-weary and felt like giving up. But I kept fighting. I’m still so very sad, and I miss my mom so much sometimes it is a palpable pain. But I keep fighting. I keep taking one step at a time, even if it is just an inch, because I know the fight is worth it. I know there is still hope and healing in honesty. I keep trusting the process. And I put my hand into the hand of the only Parent I have left because I KNOW He cares for me, and He will never leave me. And the journey continues.

Recovery is hard. Grief is hard. But I do not walk through either one alone. I have a team. I have encouragers. I have those who just sit with me and let me cry. I have people who pray. I have a coach who tells me the truth even when I don’t want to hear it and never gets upset when I say I’m not ready to talk about something. I have mentors who have walked the path before me. I have those who reach out when they haven’t heard from me in awhile because they know my tendency to isolate and shut down when I’m hurting. And I have a few friends that stick closer than sisters. I am not alone. Because I know I’m not alone, I know I can keep fighting. I can do the hard, “one day at a time, one moment at a time”.


Firsts. There are happy firsts and difficult firsts. My son’s first smile, the first time my husband told me he loved me, the first time I realized I was no longer depressed; those were all great firsts that brought an immensity of joy. The first time my son had a seizure, the first time I was rejected by someone I loved dearly, the first time I realized I was repeating unhealthy parenting patterns; those are incredibly painful memories. Those firsts, the ones I wish had never occurred, those are embedded. The pain associated with them makes their memory rise to the surface so much easier than the happy ones, as if they are permanently tattooed on my brain so I can NEVER forget, no matter how much I might want to.

Grief is a little different. I remember that first Christmas, just three weeks after Daddy died. It was hard, but there’s a film over it, like I’m looking at the memory through a clouded window. I was still numb. I feel the same way about the dinner we had for Mom’s birthday just one month after she’d gone. I remember it, but it’s hazy. And maybe that’s a blessing of grief. It causes the one experiencing the loss to be numb enough to not feel the full weight of all those firsts. They are hard enough.

This is my first Mother’s Day without my mom. In looking through some pictures to share with a family member, I found a Mother’s Day card from Mom and realized I would never receive another one. I would never again receive a card from her telling me all the things she found it hard to verbalize. So, there are also lasts. But we don’t recognize the importance of those until after they have passed and those firsts bring them to our awareness.

I am thinking anew of what it means to live each moment as if it were my last.