Embracing Times Of Transition

 

Finding this swing at a yard sale was another one of my projects that summer. I brought it home, painted it red and Carl helped me hang it in the tree.  It has become in my favorite “personal vacation” spot.

Embracing Times of Transition

By Leann Albrecht

Learning to adjust our mindset, attitude and lifestyle in times of transition, is one of the biggest challenges I’ve ever had to face. God never changes, however, our journey with the Him requires that we are always changing. As we grow, we continually move from one season to the next.

In years past, I was frequently unsettled by those seasons of change because I was comfortable and liked what I was doing. I didn’t want to change. Each time there was a shift, I struggled with depression and confusion which sometimes took days or weeks to shake.  So what was the Lord trying to accomplish in me?

I didn’t know then but now I realize what He was going after. He wanted me to discover and settle the issue of “who I am?”  It’s easy for our identity to become misplaced or attached to the “thing we do.”  As a recording artist, writer and speaker, I was naïve to place my worth in those titles.  Those are the things I do, they are not who I am. This is the story of when Jesus lovingly took away all the props that held up my worth to show me who I really am.

2009 was a very difficult year for Carl and me. The recession had a profound impact on us  and our work was “off”…. due to cancelled concerts, tours and speaking engagements. In fact, I wondered how we would ever pay our bills. However, the Lord had never failed us before so I was counting on His flawless track record. Having walked with Him since I was three years old, I knew He would somehow provide for us…and miraculously He did.

Summer came, and thankfully, Carl’s schedule got busy… touring and playing drums with other artists. I was happy for him because he was doing what he loved to do. I, on the other hand, was miserable! I only had one event scheduled for the entire summer. As a freelance artist, you would have thought I would have been used to a fluctuating schedule by that point in my life, but I wasn’t. I once again felt lost and confused.

I knew there was only one place to find comfort, hope and direction. In my puzzlement, I sat down for a long talk with the Lord. I said, “Lord, I don’t understand what you’re doing in my life? Every door has been shut and it seems like the world has forgotten about me. I need your help because I don’t know what to do with myself.”  He quickly replied, “What’s in your hand?” Surprised not only by His quick response but also by what He said. “My hand”, I questioned?  He continued, “That’s right. What are the things you can do while you’re at home; things that have needed your attention?”  As I considered His words, it wasn’t long before I remembered a world of tasks that I had been putting off for a long time.

I squeamishly replied, “Well, there’s the book you wanted me to write that I haven’t finished yet.” “Yes…and what else”, He inquired?  Then I thought about our farmhouse that had been neglected for nearly fifteen years due to our busy travel schedule. So I made a list of all the things that were in desperate need of attention or repair…. like the broken down steps on the back porch, the moss covered side walks that needed power washing, the decks and front porch that needed scraping and repainting. The landscaping timbers were one season away from being dust and needed replacing. Still standing, were eight dead trees in our yard that never survived the drought three years ago. They needed to be cut down and stacked for firewood and the shrubs that were turning into a jungle, needed pruning. The list was long.

My initial response was not that I didn’t “want to” embrace those tasks, but I didn’t know “how” to do them or if I had the strength for them. Frankly, they seemed more like “guy projects” rather than “girl projects”, but I was willing. Then the Lord encouraged me by saying, “Just take the first step. I will supply “what” you need “when” you need it.” I felt His energy and anticipation rush through my veins as a surge of hope lifted my spirit. I had a plan and some direction.

My “first step” that day was getting out of my chair! When I got to the garage, I found dusty, cobweb covered boxes filled with power tools and a plethora of building supplies, including old paint that was still good. I also found a table saw, a chain saw and a power drill. I didn’t know how to use any of them, but the Holy Spirit was about to teach me. Soon the smell of gasoline, oil and paint became the smell of success as I forged ahead, one project at a time.

For nearly three months, I worked in the non-air-conditioned garage. Except for the few days when Carl was home, the majority of my time was spent talking to the Lord, my two dogs, Teddy and Charlie and our cat, Emma. I laughed, cried, and sang as loud as I could. I also listened to teaching CDs and drank lots of southern iced tea. And took breaks now and again, to write on my book, “Screaming On The Inside”. Every day, my cut offs and tank top were drenched with sweat and I was covered with dirt or paint from head to toe. Every night, I collapsed into bed with my new friend, “happy exhaustion”. My aching body, blisters and broken fingernails soon gave way to toned muscles and a great tan…not a bad trade off!

Thinking back to the beginning of that season, I had a choice to make. I could have pouted, complained and been mad at God because He closed the door to “ministry” (as I knew it) or I could inquire of Him to see what else He wanted me to do. Even though I struggled with laying down the “world” that accompanied my titles to embrace what seemed like menial tasks, I was glad I did.   I threw myself into manual labor, knowing all along the Lord was up to something good…even though I couldn’t see what it was. Soon,  He opened my eyes to a greater ministry…ministry to Him. That unforgettable balmy summer is when I fell deeper in love with Jesus as we got to know each other in the unsophisticated garage.

Here’s the ironic part to the story. Within a day of completing most of the projects on my list, and nearly finishing the book, the phone rang. It was an invitation for me to come and minister. As I hung up the phone, I  smiled to myself and acknowledged the sovereignty of God’s ways. The “winter season” was over and the rain clouds of ministry opportunities were once again on the horizon.

I believe the Lord had several things in mind when He looked at Leann Albrecht’s calendar for the summer of 2009. First of all, I think He wanted and longed for a deeper relationship with me; which was difficult to accomplish on a busy travel schedule. He wanted me all to Himself and He had some things to teach me. It was time I learn my true identity.

During that time, this scripture became a reality. Psalm 31:14-15 But I trust in you, O LORD; I say, “You are my God.  My times are in your hands.” I can be confident that whatever I do, does not change or alter who I am. I am soley His, very loved… daughter. And I rest secure in my Daddy, that He only provides the best for me. As His daughter, there are no boundaries to what I can accomplish in life. If I label myself by what I do, I limit my possibilities. His plans are far grander than I could ever imagine. Now, my confidence is not shaken when changes come because my singular identity is seated in Him..and Him alone. He can freely move me from one assignment or season to the next and I am unwavering…I am at peace. As His cherished daughter, I am now content whether I’m leading worship for thousands, writing a book, painting a porch rail…or taking a nap in the midst of chaos.

The difference came when I placed my eyes on Him instead of  what I didn’t understand about my life. Most times, I can’t see the future but I know as I diligently take care of my responsibilities of the day, He will take care of my tomorrows.

Again, establishing your singular identity as His son or daughter changes the way you look at everything. When that truth settles deep into our being, you can be confident and bold, unshaken by the changing times, occupations or relationships. Psalm 131:2 But I have stilled and quieted my soul; like a weaned child with its mother, like a weaned child is my soul within me. He will provide for every need and desire of your heart, in His time and in His way. As your loving Father, He will take care of you…perfectly! Everything is going to be OK.

 

 

 

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Comments

  1. sheila horton says

    thank you for writing this. just what I needed to hear.

  2. LaShawn McCrary says

    Love it! Thank you for sharing.

  3. Cory Clay says

    Great reminder that everything is unfolding as it should be.
    God’s grace is sufficient for us in every circumstance.
    We are here only to learn that we are Love and that we must express that Love in the world. We can’t do that when we don’t connect to the Source!

  4. Beautiful, entertaining, encouraging, and challenging…great article, Leann. I am so comforted by the phrase, “everything is going to be o.k.” It’s like a big sigh! Thank you!

    • Lisa Rich says

      Wow.. This helps me see what God is doing in my life. I just need to truely know who I am to God and not man…… Selah

      • angeline says

        Dear Leann,

        Thank you for your timely note…….. it just encouraged me! what is so beautiful is that I was able to encourage a friend to read your notes, as she, too was going thru’ a season of change in her life. Thanks so much. Keep those notes coming……

        • I’ll keep the notes coming….you just keep holding fast to the Lord and we’ll keep each other encouraged.
          Blessing to you!

  5. Exactly what I needed to hear today, Leann. Thank you for sharing your heart as I too am in transition right now, and the best place to be is definitely with Him when everything else seems to be in motion. God can always be trusted. Blessings to you and Carl!

  6. I love, love, LOVE this blog!! Your words of resting fully as a daughter/son of God and not being so caught up in what you do rings so true in many levels and seasons of life. God loves engaging us in the journey of life! If we really believed that the end is already written, and He is more interested in our journey through it instead of the destination, we can relax in WHO we are and not just WHAT we do. He intends for us to find joy in this journey!! Thank you for posting this. I’m encouraged!!

    • Hi Marcia,
      Yes and Amen to your thoughts as well!
      As we continue to rest in our TRUE identity, we enjoy life a whole lot more, don’t we!!
      Thanks for your post.

  7. Luis Cabral says

    Hi Leann,
    I don’t know if you remember but I once invited you to come to New Zealand.
    We’re now based in Melbourne, Australia. Maybe we could organise something for 2012…
    Thanks for your article. I look forward to the book.
    God bless.
    Luis

    • Hi Luis,
      Yes, I remember our e-mail conversations. I would love to bring a tour to Australia in 2012. Let’s put legs to that desire.
      You can contact me at LMAlbrecht@aol.com. I look forward to chatting with you soon.
      Thanks for your note.
      Blessings to you.

  8. Thanks Leann, for your timely message to my soul. I especially like the way it started: “God never changes, however, our journey with the Him requires that we are always changing.” So true!

  9. Thank you Leann for sharing this lovestory and testimony. God always knows when it’s time to get our attention and turn our hearts to Him. I’m so thankful that He always watches over us and guides our ways. Thank you and Carl for sharing your talents with us. May God bless your ministries, and lives.

    • Thank you, Mike. Yes, He is faithful to watch over our every step to keep us and carry us through every situation.
      Many blessings to you.

  10. Aunt Leanne, i dont know what to say but in everything, God knows best. I believe it was God that directed me to visit your site this morning and ur words of encouragement in this your articles are what i needed at this time. Seriously, i’m truly depressed and know it that im not happy within myself bcos i felt like my forgotten but i know for sure that God is doing something in my life. I am really glad that i visited your site and neglect my music as usual this morning. Please, i needed you to reply all my post comments. You are a strong woman who had been through trial of life and yet triumph in all, though it not by your might but bu His grace and thank God for His UNFAILING LOVE FOR ALL. I know God will complete what is left for HIM TO DO IN YOUR LIFE, JUST BELIEVE . i love you and your hubby faith in God and i know HE never changes but remain the same I AM THAT I AM. I love you so much Aunt Leanne and i pray that God will give me strength to endure this my present situation. I am feeling much better now that before, i just want know you more because you are a great influence to me now. Believe i peaking from the deepest part of my mind to you in this mail. You are my role MODEL and i have always love you and now you just like my half, i thank God for your life. Remain Bless and thank you once again for this article.

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