As you read the following scripture, think about it in the context of your life…
“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 (NKJV)
This scripture has become reality to me over the past four months. There really IS a season for every single thing. Before the Thanksgiving holiday we moved out of our home of eleven years. It was the house we brought our youngest two babies home from the hospital to. At the time we moved in we had just two children; our two oldest girls, Molly and Sydney were three and six years old. What a rollercoaster of emotion it was to sell and move! The day we said goodbye to our house I felt as though my heart was being ripped out of my chest, I wasn’t prepared for the raw emotion that came. I wasn’t ready to let that season become a memory. But yet there was a season, a time set a part for me to walk through that transition. Then the holidays were upon us and everything felt so strange and out of sorts for me. I was in a different house and things were just…well, different. I was adjusting to a new season and it was uncomfortable and new.
Last night I placed an order for Molly’s (our firstborn) cap & gown for her high school graduation. Yet again, my heart ached. I mean, I’m so proud of her and seeing her become the incredible young woman that she is has been one of the most humbling joys of my motherhood journey. I guess I just don’t want to think of this season as coming to a close. But things ARE changing, the season of yesterday is over and I’m not so sure I want the new season.
Did I do everything I could have done in the last season? Did I miss opportunities?
Do I have regrets? Sure I do.
But did I grow? Sure I did.
Am I transformed from where I began? Sure I am.
Sometimes I’m convinced we aren’t sure what we want. We yearn for the new season, the hope of new beginnings and the beautiful surrender of the unknown but still desire the comfortable ease of what is familiar. But thing is, to enter that new place we must exit the current season. We can set ourselves up to believe a lie that has circulated in our Christian circles for decades and that being when a season is sent from the Lord it’s seamless and something that flows without pain or apprehension. But actually, speaking as someone that has walked many final curtain calls of previous seasons, I think a more accurate description of “season” would be growth.
Growth can be exhilarating. Standing on the edge of what could be. But let’s be honest, growth is mostly a whole lot of hard work. And the reward for that hard work? Another new season. The Lord takes us into a place where we have another opportunity to partner with Him for upgrade in our lives. That upgrade doesn’t come without lessons, pain and breakthrough. But our new wineskin must expand and be stretched to house the new wine. And once again, there we are, a brand new trail of growth being pioneered in our life.
I’ve been challenged these past few days to change my outlook on His seasons. I’m choosing to see the exiting season as one I’m full of gratitude for, even the places where the growth felt as though it was killing me. Even the areas where I fell short. When the difficult seasons end, what if we didn’t have the ‘I can’t get out of this season fast enough’ attitude, but instead we recalled the lessons learned, battles won, and ground taken?
Let’s remember, all of what happened back there was a prerequisite to our new season.
My prayer is that you will embrace your current season and respond to it in freedom and love. Because you are His, you don’t have to fear the unfamiliar, your life overflows with courage and thankfulness for what has been and for what is to come. Lean in and respond.