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Jaime Hlavin joins us again today to wrap up her two part series on transition. Being in “the middle” is one of the more uncomfortable places to be in life. In today’s post, Jaime once more poignantly unpacks a major transition she and her family are living through right now, while at the same time dropping some serious truth bombs on us. Enjoy ~ John

Last week, I wrote a little bit about transitions. Our family has undergone some pretty big ones as of late, and I’m spending a couple of blog posts writing about what we’ve learned with the hope that it encourages you in the middle of any changes you’re experiencing in your life, work, or ministry!

Our church sent us off with grand gestures and we were immensely blessed. And we hit the ground running in our new role the very the next day. We attended camps and conferences and visited churches all over the state. During the summer months, our poor dog saw more of our house sitter than she did us. We were everywhere all the time. My husband’s schedule changed dramatically complete with a commute to the office that was two and a half times longer than our drive to the church. Our routine was dramatically different and had to find a new way really quickly.

During a major transition, it can be easy to settle into the path of least resistance and settle for relationships an inch deep. Understand this, and resist the temptation! I’m an introvert and I love a nice routine and sense of security. The past few months have ripped the rug out from all my introverted, secure routine-loving ways. So, it can be really easy to isolate quickly. My biggest lesson-learned has been to be flexible and uncomfortable. Plans change quickly so I needed to learn to adapt.

I was around a lot of new people for a lot of time. That’s an extrovert’s dream—so many people to have so many “drive-by” conversations with! But if you’re an introvert, you know that the “getting to know you” stuff IS. SO. HARD. But I’m diving in and busting through my comfort zone to really learn the stories of the people I’m meeting and connecting with.

Life will be hard, but God can be trusted.

A couple of curveballs were thrown at us in the middle of this transitional period of our lives.

At the end of June, my mother-in-law was diagnosed with cancer and we’ve all jumped on the roller coaster of surgeries, hospital stays, chemotherapy, doctor appointments, and the good news/bad news cycle. I’ve been here before and it’s not a great place. We have been sad and felt all of the ugly feels. However, there have been beautiful moments of family bonding at deep levels. God has used so many situations to open opportunities to talk to others about His goodness and faithfulness. My mother-in-law is a bright, shining light on a hill for all to see during this time and I couldn’t be prouder of her.

In addition to this, I also stepped away from a job I have fiercely loved since 2014. For the bulk of my adult life, I have worked outside of the home in capacities unrelated to my church ministry. It’s been a strange and sometimes difficult adjustment. But, again, I see God’s timing and hand in this. I have more flexibility to help out with my mother-in-law as needed and to be more present for my daughter during her senior year of high school (which I won’t even touch on and “advise” for this subject – because I got nothing here other than a huge ball of used tissues and swollen eyes. Check back in a few years from now and we’ll see what happens).

When it comes to transition, there is nothing more liberating than relinquishing our control and placing our trust in Him. As we said last time, if you’ve found yourself considering a transition—or maybe you’re in the middle of one—transitions can be uncomfortable, painful, and maybe even confusing. But I assure you, a life transition can also be something we learn and grow through.

In either case, please know we’re rooting and praying for you to learn and grow during your time of transition.


John Opalewski

Author John Opalewski

John Opalewski is a graduate of Oral Roberts University. He served as a pastor for fifteen years. He has worked in the business world for nearly two decades, serving in multiple leadership roles. John's experience as a leader in both the church and business arenas has made him a sought-after international speaker, coach and mentor.

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