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Posted by on February 4, 2016


Our daughter Gabby crossed a big milestone this week. By the recommendation of her teacher, she was promoted to a regular 1st grade class from her German Second Language class. The morning of the switch, she was a little nervous and a little weepy. I went into school with her. We were met at the door by her former teacher who kindly walked us to Gabby’s new classroom. We exchanged greetings with the new teacher and then tears formed in Gabby’s eyes. Not wanting to show her emotions, she became red in the face and went in. I could see through the window she was trying her best and trying to hold it together.

How often do we do this in transitional situations? We keep the face on and bare the weight of well, every difficult thing in life, to remain whole-looking. This isn’t a reaction we openly teach our children but perhaps it is human instinct. Either way, we don’t have to hold it all in, keep our composure, or always be on point. We can be who God created us to be…people with the ability to experience and express every range of emotion from elation and joy to frustration and grief. If today we find ourselves to be a blubbering mess or the exact opposite of that — so be it! It is healthy to be real and be present to each moment as it comes. Gabby was grieving, in her own way, that first day of school. Grief is a necessary and healthy way to process loss. While she is gaining a wonderful new teacher, friends, and experiences, she is losing Frau Thiel — a teacher whom she adored and bonded with for the last 5 months. And she is losing the experience of learning and playing at school with some of her best friends.

When we asked Gabrielle to explain how everything went on her first day, she said, “It was hard at first. I wanted to cry but didn’t want to feel embarrassed. Then we made cat masks for Carnival (aka Mardi Gras) and I forgot about being sad and liked my new class.” The human spirit is an amazing thing. Something as simple as a cat mask can make a child happy and change the outcome of an entire day. We see that mask as a tangible sign of God’s grace working in Gabby’s life. What are the signs of His grace in the midst of your transitions?

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