March 14, 2023
Your New Now
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"When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you." Isaiah 43:2 (ESV)
It was the most alone I've ever felt.
Standing in a room in the intensive care unit, overlooking the city of Seattle, Washington, I watched my only brother die right before my very eyes.
The cruel irony of this moment was that I had dropped everything to fly as quickly as possible from Charlotte to Seattle so he wouldn't be alone.
My tear-filled eyes and aching soul were drawn to the window and the rare appearance of the autumn sun setting across the city. Among the shadows of the buildings, beams from the sun's streams of light poured through. And two white birds circled again and again in front of the window.
It was too obvious not to believe that God was trying to get my attention. Isaiah 43:2 came to my mind. This verse reminds us that when it comes to trials in life, it's not if they come but rather when they come. During these trials, God may not be all we want, but He is all we need.
Still, learning to manage the tension of what we want and need during seasons of change is challenging. What I wanted at that moment was for my brother to live. But what I needed was the comforting presence of the Holy Spirit.
Grief is often one of the unkindest things that can lead us into a season of transition. But there are other things, both positive and negative, that can lead us into transition: job changes, a move to a new city, children being born and growing up, relationship statuses, and a dozen other scenarios.
No matter what spurs it, a transition is filled with a space of time between what was and what is still to come. The place I like to call "your new now."
Isaiah 43:2, which came to mind the day my brother died, was God's encouragement to Israel during their exile in Babylon. It harkens back to Israel's exodus from Egypt, (Exodus 14:21-22) a journey led by Moses - a man who has a lot to teach us about transitions in life. The way we go from "here" to "there" matters. And Moses was a man who often fought against moving from season to season of his life. He wrestled with feelings of inadequacy, fear and loneliness. God reminded Moses, the same way He reminds us today, that no matter what you go through, God is with you.
"When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you." (Isaiah 43:2)
Feeling alone is often one of the strongest emotions we face during any significant transition in life. But on the road between what was and what will be, you still belong somewhere: with God.
Seasons come, and seasons go, but God's presence never leaves you.
His presence doesn't eliminate what is hard, but it does illuminate what is holy. And through the gradual, slow shaping of our souls, God's holy presence allows every season of our lives to bring growth and confidence in who He is.
God always stays and is so present in the midst of change. Look up with me and see that He's there.
Lord, thank You for always being present with me. Thank You for Your kindness and mercy as I go from one season of my life to the next. Help me to look up and see Your presence today. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
OUR FAVORITE THINGS
Today Nicki Koziarz's newest book and Bible study releases! In Your New Now: Finding Strength and Wisdom When You Feel Stuck Where You Are, readers will study Moses’ life through the perspective of four transition seasons he experienced: development, separation, cultivation and finishing. With practical advice, relatable stories and biblical wisdom, this book will help you discern which transition season you're in and how to overcome its challenges, stop feeling lost in life by discovering where you belong, and protect your future by learning to utilize Scripture to fight fears of the unknown. Pick up your copy today!
Nicki Koziarz has a great free assessment for you to take to find out what type of transition season you are in. Head to her website to take the assessment!
To celebrate the release of Your New Now, Nicki is hosting a book giveaway on her Instagram! Go here to enter the giveaway.
FOR DEEPER STUDY
Psalm 23:4, "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me." (ESV)
What is a transition you are going through in your life? How have you fought loneliness during this season? Share your experience in the comments.
© 2023 by Nicki Koziarz. All rights reserved.