Thursday, July 12, 2012
Seasons or as some would refer to them as either being in the valley or on the mountain top. No matter what your age, race, or gender, we all go through seasons. Things are either really good, or really bad, or going in either direction quickly. We have seasons in our career, in marriage, raising children, or health. But I have found that it’s what I learn in a season that is important. I believe that God allows us to go through seasons in our life to grow. I believe that in every season there is something that we can learn, and then take that nugget of wisdom and use it for His kingdom to help someone else. How long you stay in a season depends on how long you take to listen and learn. Sometimes we have to learn from our mistakes. Sometimes we need to learn to forgive. Sometimes we need to learn how to suffer, and suffer well. I remember having little babies that completely relied on me. I remember sleepless nights, crying and whining, potty training, temper tantrums, food battles. But I also remember the sweetness of when a child wakes in the morning and the first thing they want is a long tight hug from mom. I remember making a decision to not focus on what needed to be done in the house or the laundry that needed to be washed and only focus on my baby. My baby who would only be little once. I thought everything always needed to be cleaned and organized, that things needed to be done before I could enjoy my time with my child. I was wrong. Instead God showed me how to be selfless. How to put others before me. How to love without expecting anything in return. How to stay the course and be strong & courageous even in the ‘terrible twos’. Growing children is about putting someone else’s needs before yours. It’s a season in life that reaps immeasurable benefits. My kids are older now and just spent a week with family out of town. I received a phone call one day from my sister in law. The kids had spent the night with her and she called first thing the next morning and her question was, “how did you do it?”. She went on to say that she had the best time having the kids over and she wanted to know what we did to raise such great kids. In that moment, I didn’t think about all the battles we had over trying new food. I didn’t think about the gazillion nights we had trying to keep my oldest in his bed. I didn’t think about the falling out, screaming over not getting a toy in the store. Instead my heart was full of joy that maybe we did something right along the way. We stayed consistent. It was a season, and we made it through. Marriage seasons have been written about before being compared to the seasons of weather. Spring, Summer, Winter, Fall. Everyone is in one season or transitioning into another. I remember early in our marriage feeling like we were in the Fall. We didn’t know how to communicate with each other. We both wanted the other to make the move and that meant that neither of us were moving. We slowly crept into Winter. I remember thinking that this was not the marriage I had dreamed about having. I wanted more. He wanted more. We began to talk about our differences. We worked on our marriage. There were hard times. Times of listening, not speaking. Times of dealing with past hurts. Times of letting go of unrealistic expectations. Learning how to speak each other’s love language. Seasons. Each season now meant growing together and learning more and more about the man I loved. We celebrate 21 years of marriage this week and it has completely, honestly, wholeheartedly been the best years of my life. But if we had never learned how to recognize and grow in our seasons, I would not have the best friend in my life that I get to enjoy waking up to everyday. Learn to embrace your season. I see it like riding a roller coaster. I’m sitting in the front seat, buckled up with my hair blowing and my hands straight in the air. I’m climbing high. The view is beautiful. I can see the greatness of life with God. I reach the top and immediately see how everything has been worth it. Then BAM!!! My smile is gone, my hair is a mess and I’m holding on for dear life as I begin the downward spiral that seems will never end. It’s bumpy and uncomfortable, dark and lonely. I can’t control it. But then I quickly am reminded that it’s just a ride. It is what you make of it. God is with me and He will never leave me. In every dark place, may you find God’s strength. In every mountaintop, may you be thankful and joyous and help someone in need. In every season may you find God’s will.