Beautifully Difficult

Mick Silvers, Partnership Coordinator

Transition is a beautiful thing. Now, if you would have asked me a few weeks ago how I liked my current state of changing from one season of life to a completely new one, I would have used other words to describe this transition. Maybe a better way to describe transition is- it’s a beautifully difficult time in life.

During this season of personal transition from Arkansas to Los Angeles, I have heavily focused on the difficulties of transitions. Some days I have even allowed the difficulties to consume me. I went from an amazing community that I had built over the last six years to very little community. I had a job that I was confident and comfortable in, and started a new job where I knew little, and had to learn new skills. I have also moved from one of the easiest places to navigate in the United States, to one of the most difficult cities to try and get around. The biggest and most difficult transition for me has been switching from one culture to a drastically different way of life. At the beginning of my transition I thought that I went from being an “insider” of a small town to an “outsider” of one of the biggest cities in the United States. I was focusing on how I was suffering, how I was not happy, how things were different.

A few weeks ago, while I was home for the holidays, I read Deuteronomy 31:8- “The Lord himself will lead you and be with you. He will not fail you or abandon you, so do not lose courage or be afraid.”

Because I grew up in the church, I have read this verse and many others like it, and it did not influence me in any way. Most of the time I would classify this verse as one of those “cheesy Christian encouragement verses”. Since I was in a very uncomfortable season of life, this verse took on a whole new meaning. I realized that I was trying to blame my discomfort on Christ. I was trying to focus on how Christ was failing me. But as this verse states, “He will not fail you or abandon you, so do not lose courage or be afraid.” When I was on my flight back to L.A., I made a decision to try and focus on all the ways Christ has provided for me. I want to have the mindset that Christ provided this new culture/way of life for me to enjoy, love, and grow from.

Since having this mindset, I have come to some fulfilling realizations: I may have a new community, but the community of Skid row is one of the most open and vulnerable communities to join. Because of this, the few people I have had the privilege of getting to know have transformed into genuine friendships. Yes, my job is new, but it is amazing to work for a faith based organization. In many ways I view those that I work with as a part of my community. Our jobs are not about getting a task done, but living life together and supporting each other towards a common goal. The fact that I, one of the most directionally challenged humans, have moved to one of the most difficult places to navigate won’t change. But what is so amazing about Los Angeles is that there is so much to see whether it’s the beautiful nature around, or some of the amazing man-made structures. There are still days where I feel like an outsider, but the beauty of working and living on Skid Row is that this whole community is made up of outsiders – those that society has chosen to ignore. So, they understand my pain better than I even do, and know how to love and sit in that pain with me.

Yes, transition is painful, but the beauty is that Christ is amongst it all.