Sticking Out Discomfort in Transition
By: Lisa Logan
In August 2016, I packed up my suitcases and moved to my husband's hometown in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. For reasons only known to us, we knew that this was the right move for this time. It would be hard to leave what I called home for 26 years, along with my best friends, my family, and so much more, but none of those changes seemed like too much to handle. I said my goodbyes to Toronto traffic and said hello to my new home in the valley.
About two months into my new life, I started to feel that I had said yes to something that scared me. I had stepped into the unknown and had removed the comfort and "the normal" that I was accustomed to. I knew what coffee shops I loved in Toronto. I liked what my day to day life looked like there — it was rare that things changed. I said hello to the same coworkers in the morning, I went to the same Starbucks every day and I knew how long it would take to commute home. My parents were there when I needed them, I saw my best friends every weekend and I attended the same prayer meetings on Saturdays. I knew who to call when life was rocky and I had who to celebrate with when life was merry. And here I was, in a completely different country, a city that only two years ago was unknown to me, in an incredibly different circumstance as a married woman, unsure of everything. I am living my dream since I was a little girl, except without a life map.
What if I never make friends like the ones I had? What if I never find a new job? What if life never feels normal again? If I miss my life in Toronto, does that mean moving was the wrong decision? I asked myself questions upon questions and it felt like fog was drifting in front of my eyes. Only several months back this felt like the right decision, when all of a sudden it didn't feel so anymore. I didn’t want to flee from the situation because it was difficult but I was asking myself if hard meant that it was wrong. But what if this was exactly what I needed to do? To stick out the hard?
I'm learning that sometimes, discomfort is exactly what we need. In our humanity, we don't like change. We prefer comfort and normal. We can be quick to say no to situations that call for transition. I am becoming convinced more than ever that hard is part of the process. That this is one of the many ways God calls us to grow. To show us that earth is not our home.
I'm not having a bad time fitting in, but feeling like I belong immediately isn't realistic (nor is finding a "bosom" friend in two months). I was so busy putting unrealistic expectations on myself to feel at home and get all my cards in a row that I was missing out on the best experience life has to offer, growing and learning. I didn’t need to make friends like the ones I had, because I had never lost those friends in the first place. Over time, as wise and loving people in my life told me, I know that in the midst of change, transition and discomfort, life will take on a new normal. Milk no longer comes in bags like back home, but cartons might just not be so bad!
My wise mother once told me, perspective is everything, and if we can learn to look at the unknown and trials as a chance to grow it will become so! Sometimes difficulty or challenges may warrant a shift, or going back. But going back calls for just as much courage as it does to stay. Only time in prayer, discernment, and listening to your heart are the best ways to tell. And of course, if you are married, conversations with your spouse.
The reality here is, that change is hard. In Isaiah it says, "I will give you treasures in darkness, riches hidden away." Here lies a worthy truth, there are riches in discomfort. If you can say yes to discomfort, if you can say yes to change, then you will come out wiser and stronger and ready for anything!