I walk into church a stranger. We're a few minutes late. I stand at the back of the sanctuary and look across the backs of unfamiliar heads to find an empty pew. I make a break for it, strolling down the aisle quickly and somewhat self-consciously, hoping I'm not accidently taking someone else's seat. And if I have, maybe the person will forgive me because I am, after all, a stranger.
I'm a stranger in a new church and a stranger in a new town I now call "home." I have that weird feeling we get in the midst of transitions, de-contextualized and destabilized. While transitions may result in some sort of gain, initially they also involve loss—loss of identity, loss of community, loss of relationship, loss of a loved one, loss of what once was, maybe the death of a dream. Whether a transition is welcomed or unwelcomed, we experience varying degrees of disorientation and loneliness. We grieve.
My family found itself in transition after my husband landed ...1