Becoming a Trapeze Artist: How to Embrace Transition
I walked to the front of the room, my heart beating a little faster than normal. Okay, a lot faster–like it was going to beat out of my chest. I usually held back from asking for prayer at these kinds of events. Surely there were people who needed it more than me. But something that day propelled me to the front. I had just made a major decision that would steer my life in an entirely new and unknown direction. I was terrified, confused, and in desperate need of some prayer. Even if it was from a complete stranger.
Finally it was my turn and I stepped forward to receive prayer from a woman who looked kind and caring. Immediately my nerves melted away as I saw the love and compassion of Christ in her bright blue eyes staring directly into mine. I expected her to ask what I needed prayer for. But she didn’t. She just smiled, put her soft hands over mine and began to pray:
“I see you swinging on a trapeze.” She said. “You just let go of the bar…and you are flying through the air…waiting for the next bar to come.”
Admittedly, the imagery seemed a little far-fetched at first, a little ‘out there.’ But never before had a person so accurately described how I felt in that moment: swinging on a trapeze…flying through the air… waiting for the next bar. The words danced around in my head like an elegant ballerina gliding across the stage. I stood there in awe and wonder of how the Holy Spirit was moving through this woman I had never even met.
When she was finished, she opened her eyes and told me to go home and do some research on what trapeze artists do in the ‘hang time’ of going from one bar to the next. Fully aware of how silly and random this whole circus metaphor seemed, I somehow felt moved to follow through. Interestingly enough, what I discovered was that there were three key things that kept trapeze artists from falling flat on their faces:
3. Holding their position.
Wow. Immediately I knew there were some spiritual insights from which to draw here. God seemed to be speaking directly to me through the visual imagery of circus acrobatics. As strange as it may sound, something about it was powerful and it pierced somewhere deep in my heart and soul. It was as if God was saying, “I see you Ali, I know you feel as if you are flying and flailing through the air like an out-of-control acrobat…you are uncertain of what is next and wondering if that next bar will ever come…but I have you right where you are…just stay there and trust Me and know My timing is perfect…the bar will come.”
This may be a Word from the Lord for you too. Maybe you just left a job… made a career change… moved churches… left a ministry position… walked away from a relationship. Whatever it was, you did it because you felt it was what God was calling you to do. And when you finally took the step of faith, when you officially let go of that bar, you found yourself flailing through the air, unsure of exactly where God was leading you. You thought the other bar would be there, visible and ready for a smooth transition to the next thing. But the bar didn’t show up right away. Suddenly you wondered if there even was another bar or if you might have missed it all together. Maybe, you wonder, I should have never left the old bar. At least it was safe. Secure. Comfortable…
If this describes you–in transition–right now, take heed my friend. You are not alone. Embrace the ‘hang time’ and become the master trapeze artist that God is calling you to be. It’s all about trust… it’s all about timing…and it’s all about holding your position until God chooses to reveal that next bar for the taking. But be encouraged, it is this transition time that will lead to transformation.
A friend of mine shared with me a quote she heard from Andy Stanley at the Catalyst Conference a few weeks ago. He said,
“Sometimes we are tempted to stay somewhere because it would be easy. But if we are willing to step out in faith and leave, God can do something He’s been longing to do in our lives.”
God is longing to do something in your life. Something new, something great, something that will lead you to the next phase of your destiny in Him. But He needs you to let go of one bar before you can grab onto the next…
Are you willing?
Food for Thought:
1. Are you doing what you are doing out of comfort or calling?
2. When’s the last time you stepped out of your comfort zone and tried something new?
3. Prayerfully ask God what steps of faith you can take to bring about the fullness of His purposes in and through your life.