Can you smell that pumpkin flavored latte’ from Starbucks? That salted caramel scented candle? Are you digging out your sweats and hoodies in the mornings only to be a hot mess by lunchtime? By late afternoon, you’re back in flip flops, shorts and tanks! You’re working up a sweat while you’re cooking dinner, but bring on the sunset! The temperatures fall, you’re slipping back on your sweats or yoga pants and breathing in those cool breezes that are settling in for the night. I. Love. It.
I love that the seasons change. That’s my favorite part each year…the fact that they change. It seems that they last just long enough. When I’m over the cold or over the heat, BAM!! The forecast starts projecting the subtle changes that are the precursor to the next season. While the seasons change, I am reminded of God’s design of the seasons. How they come and go as expected. No surprises. Just a season, transition, season, transition and so on and so forth. Life can be the same, just not quite as predictable.
“There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens”
Ecclesiastes 3: 1 (NIV)
Ever felt like you were living in a winter season? No color. No new growth. Alone in your thoughts. Dormant. Lethargic (figuratively or literally). Going through the motions of what is expected of you, but grey inside.
I just emerged from a winter season. My thought life was like a pin ball machine in constant motion. But, no one would ever know that from the outside. Work was taking place under the surface. In my heart. In my head. In my private times of prayer.
Something has been missing in my life. I’ve felt for a while, I either needed to give something up or add something new. In my desperation to stay on the path God marked out for me, I begged for months for answers. A sign. A dream. A word from a friend. ANYTHING!!
Patience…self control…those are things I’m typically good at. But, God pushed me to the brink on this. On my own, I can exercise self control. It’s a skill I’ve mastered well over time. I can bite my tongue. I can wait my turn. I can trust God to avenge my enemies.
I’ve learned that some things will fix themselves if I step back and let time pass. But this…this winter season…I was losing my mind over it. Like staring at the ground, waiting for grass to grow in December. Like the gears on a bicycle that just would not come together correctly. I was stuck.
Now, I’m old enough that I knew this was just “a season”. I knew from having walked through a few winters in my past and knowing what God’s word says, this would pass too. Remember, seasons change. But to walk through winter alone…I was feeling a little wind burnt. A little runny nosed. My eyes were stinging. I was worn down in my mind.
Out of nowhere, in a 12 hour period, my sweet Heavenly Father brought the sunshine back into my life. It began with an early morning thought that just “happened” to pop into my head. Throughout the course of that day, He used His word, His people and a peace that only He can give to pull this tired mama back together.
He is so sweet. He is so faithful. He knows how much we can take. He knows what it will take for us to respond to Him. To sit at His feet. To want to tell others what He has done. He knows. We don’t have to. He asks us to simply trust.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.”
Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)
I didn’t always do it well, but He knows my heart. He knew I was trying.
It doesn’t matter what He added or took from me. What matters is that He has walked me into a new season. I literally woke up the next morning with a new pep in my step! My purpose for this new season is now clear. My focus is sharp again. The gears are aligned. I am clicking along!
My patience and self control carried me through most of that winter. But, I only boast that they were a gift from Him. He stretched me past those attributes. I was worn thin the day he brought me to my spring. He knew it. He is compassionate. He knew my every thought during those months. He saw every tear. He heard every request I made of Him.
I was weepy for the next few days, so thankful to Him. His character. His faithfulness to me. He is trustworthy. We can trust Him.
If you are in winter right now, hang tight. You may not see it, but He is working it out. Under the hard, cold ground. He is doing a work. And whatever “it” is, it will be for His glory, and your good. Tighten your grip. Lift up your eyes to Him. Tell Him you trust Him. Stay the course. Spring is coming! Remember, seasons change. Springtime is coming.