Hello, and welcome to the first post of 2020! If you’d like to check out the podcast episode, you can do that here.
I’ve had the idea of seasons on my mind lately. I hate change. So in any phase in my life, I tend to dig in my heels and find permanence. Or try to.
Thank God I haven’t been allowed to stay in some of my seasons.
Even when life is hard, and knocks me and my family down, and I crave change like lemonade after mowing the yard, the prospect of change sends me into a panic.
But nothing stays the same. Not the phase of school, not jobs, not families, not friends. Not really.
Maybe I keep the same job for several years, but my responsibilities there change.
Maybe I stay close to my family, but my relationship with them isn’t the same it was when I was eight.
And that hurts.
But it’s good.
Because we’ve grown.
This time of year may not be the prettiest, but there are things I love about it. I lose my breath when fog lifts up between the mountains and when frost swaddles the clover. I feel stillness under a blanket with hot chocolate watching the fire.
But I want spring to come.
To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven: A time to be born, And a time to die; A time to plant, And a time to pluck what is planted; A time to kill, And a time to heal; A time to break down, And a time to build up; A time to weep, And a time to laugh; A time to mourn, And a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, And a time to gather stones; A time to embrace, And a time to refrain from embracing; A time to gain, And a time to lose; A time to keep, And a time to throw away; A time to tear, And a time to sew; A time to keep silence, And a time to speak; A time to love, And a time to hate; A time of war, and a time of peace. – Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
I’m trying desperately to acknowledge the seasons I’m in with my family, friends, and faith and revel in them while I have them. Because I know they’ll change. Some I’ll lose, because that’s how life is. Some I’ll keep, but they’ll never be just like they are now.
I lost my father almost 11 years ago, and it’s only been in the last year I feel myself thawing. For a long time I was numb. Then I started to feel emotions again, but not deeply and to my core the way I did before. Now I tear up at commercials and watching elderly couples holding hands when I hadn’t for a long time. And it’s not because I didn’t care, but emotions take a long time to recover.
I feel closer to myself this way, but I’m having to get reacquainted with my voice choking up when I start recording posts like this. And that’s okay. It hurts, and it’s new and familiar at the same time. I had to learn patience with myself then, and now I’m learning to be soft again.
Our experiences do change us, but we can choose how we are molded. Loss can make you surrender and grow bitter. It can make you grit your teeth and find strength in the One who is stronger than we are. It’s all in how we use the season.
Sometimes we have seasons with dreams and goals. I write fiction, for fun now, but I hope to someday publish. It sounds preposterous coming from me, but it’s my dream. I write to show that faith isn’t stuffy and irrelevant, and that even the dark times of the heart can be shared. Faith struggles don’t make us bad people. They make us people. And I want to find the extraordinary goodness in everyday lives.
The thing is, letting someone know they aren’t alone through your writing is only possible if you can share your writing. There’s a lot that goes into having a book published, not least of which is making sure it’s good enough to be published.
I’m in a writing season now where I’ve been working on it long enough that I feel like to justify continuing, I need something to happen to make it worth it. Some sign that it’s beneficial. And writing comes with a lot of rejection by nature, which is okay. But eventually, you need a yes. So at this time in this dream of mine, I have some decisions to make. Because seasons are good, but they don’t last forever. And I want the next season for my writing to start.
So I pray for opportunities to be opened and for me not to make something happen that isn’t God’s will just because I’m impatient. But it’s hard, isn’t it?
I know we can’t just sit back and wait on God to do everything. We have to make an effort. But just exactly where the line is between working as for the Lord and trying to do the work of the Lord gets a little fuzzy, at least for me.
I try to remember one of my longtime favorite verses:
Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth! – Psalms 46:10
Sometimes we just need to stop, take a breath, and soak in the knowledge that God is God. He’s got all this under control. What we need to do is search for what His will for our lives is and then embrace it.
He does have a plan for each one of us, and it’s beautiful. Sometimes it’s hard, and painful, and it’ll bring us to our knees. But that’s where we learn how to be strong through His strength. No matter what season of life we find ourselves, God has the future ready for us.Tweet
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. – Jeremiah 29:11
So now, in this moment, I want to make the most of this whole big, messy, gorgeous, disastrous, unique life I have.
Chat with me! What’s special about the season you’re in now? How do you make the most of it? How do you handle when you want one season to change to the next?
I’d also love to hear from you about anything you’d like to see covered on the blog and podcast this year, whether it’s general themes or specific suggestions. Comment down below. And while you’re here, how about subscribing here to the newsletter? If you’d like to get an email when new posts are up, how about signing up for notifications here?
See you next time and wishing you blessings until then,