A Humble Transition

A Humble Transition

by Leah Lively

Humility, a character quality lacking in our world today, has repeatedly been a challenge for me, as well. Moving ...to the area last August required me to fully lay down all prideful control, anxiety, and fear, humbly allowing God to come to the forefront.

Humility, a character quality lacking in our world today, has repeatedly been a challenge for me, as well. Moving ...to the area last August required me to fully lay down all prideful control, anxiety, and fear, humbly allowing God to come to the forefront.

On August 3, 2016, our family of six arrived in Baton Rouge. Born and raised in Virginia, my husband and I brought our four children to the bayou as a result of a promising job offer. Despite an appealing new adventure, I was content in our hometown surrounded by a loving church, close friends and family a few hours away. Knowing I had to release my desire to remain in Virginia, God began the process of stripping me of pride and the need to be in control, having no choice but to fully and humbly rely on his plan.

I knew nothing about Baton Rouge. All was unknown and uncomfortable, a challenge for this girl who likes everything planned and prepared. Recent news had overtaken my internet search of the region. Three weeks prior to arriving, police officers were ambushed by a shooter, wounding three and killing three in the wake of a summer of racial unrest. Angst crept in as I wondered, “God, why would you have us move to such a scary place?” Although my head was anxious, my heart was serene as the puzzle pieces for our move fell into place.

After rapidly securing a house, our road trip was uneventful. When the moving truck arrived with local movers to help unload, I was faced with the aftermath of the recent tragedy. One of our moving men was the father of a young officer killed, Montrell Jackson. He willingly spoke of his brave son, his passion for the community and the legacy he left for their family. The encounter was more than random. God used it to erase my uneasiness and replace it with compassion, connecting me to a hurting people. Once filled with fear, my heart now ached for the pain from which local residents were trying to recover.

Less than a week later, worry resurfaced as the floodwaters began to rise. Attempting to manage my own “disaster relief” at home with unpacking, I couldn’t help but feel empathy for those around me. A region already in anguish now faced catastrophic flooding. Yet again, God pushed overwhelming anxiety aside as our family became involved in serving local flood victims. Our older daughters distributed needed items at a nearby church. While I remained home with my younger two children, I began collecting and organizing shipments of household necessities from all over the country. Keeping information flowing on social media brought an outpouring of enthusiastic support from family, friends and acquaintances. Among the hundreds of items I received was a 250-lb. pallet of school supplies and book sacks from a church in North Carolina, along with numerous monetary donations and boxes of supplies from collection drives in Virginia and Pennsylvania. Through conversations with local residents (now friends), I was able to network to get supplies to area communities in need.

Upon moving here our family had few connections, but we had God. He wanted our pride and fears to subside and fully trust that we were here for His purpose. Whatever the reason may be, God placed us in circumstances that have required us to rely fully on Him and not on our own understanding. Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV) states, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Do not depend on your own understanding. In all your ways obey Him and he will make your paths smooth and straight.” Trust requires humility, knowing that God placed you in your circumstance and will see you through it. Our understanding isn’t necessary, but humbly trusting and obeying God brings you to a closer relationship with Him while smoothing out His path before you.

                In nine short months, I feel more connected to this new community than I ever thought possible. Having no one else to rely on, I had to trust God to move aside my controlling pride and humbly open my eyes to His plan. With God at the forefront, I was able to encounter and serve the beautiful people of Baton Rouge. In the absence of fear, I saw a people devoted to carrying one another through pain and supporting one another in brotherly love. I am honored to call this place my home. 

 

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Leah Lively is a writer and blogger with a passion for encouraging women in day-to-day ministry to their families. She documents her journey from southwest Virginia to the Baton Rouge area in her blog Bayou Blessings at bayoublessingsblog.wordpress.com. Leah loves being a wife to her hardworking husband and mom to her three daughters, son and 4-year-old boxer, clinging to God every step of the way.

Baton Rouge Christian Life MAGAZINE

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