I am convinced that there is going to be an increasing intensity of difficulties that we must face.  As times get more difficult and events become more intense, it is increasingly important that we prepare ourselves mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically.

In the last several years of my life, it seems that I have been (and continue to be) led through a “purging process”.  This process has been painful, especially as I tried to hold onto many things that I had accumulated along the journey. Now I realize, the purging is helping to lighten the load I am carrying so that I can better maneuver during the times ahead.

One of the areas that has been impressed upon me to purge, is the emotional baggage that has often been a weighty distraction.  Hurts from broken or failed relationships, insecurities, and guilt from personal failures have all been obstacles to my movement forward.  I have spent far too much time struggling under heavy emotional burdens that are completely unnecessary and are hindering me from being tightly focused on preparation for the path ahead.

Preparation is not as easy as I once imagined. Certainly, it can be easy to put a few things in storage and to learn some new skills, but the more difficult part of the journey is the process of transitioning. Habits that have been accumulated and comforts that have become a part of life – are now being altered. It is a necessity, because the journey ahead will not allow for the status quo.

Some of the greatest challenges that I am facing in my preparation call, occurs because my family circumstances are changing and we are forced to deal with discomforts. It has been difficult, but also quite enlightening as I realize the training is a valuable part of the preparation process. I welcome the training now, so that we can be firm when things around us may be wavering.

Tragically, too often family relationships are altered or broken simply because individuals could not handle transitions that emerged suddenly. For example, a lost income may force multiple changes in a lifestyle which may result in friction, anger, and blame – that ultimately impacts a relationship. If the relationship has been built on certain comforts or perhaps expectations, a sudden change in circumstances may unfortunately bring disharmony. Conversely, relationships that are God-anchored and nurtured on unconditional love can withstand difficult changes.

It is vital in the preparation process that individuals strengthen the foundation of their relationships and begin the process of growth through transitions. If we fail to purge ourselves of some emotional baggage now, when stressful times appear – we will not be adequately prepared to weather the storm.  We need to quit looking back, quit feeling entitled to certain comforts, quit expecting others to supply our needs, and begin preparing for the beautiful journey ahead.  Ask God to begin preparing you for the times ahead and rest assured… He will prepare you.

But be warned…from my experience, preparation will not look like what you expect.