“For everything, there is a season and a time for every matter under heaven….”
I am a summer soul, through and through. Within me there is a love for all things summer. I love the sunshine, the blue sky, the lazy days by the lake. Never have there been too many road trips to the ocean and the desert, and how I love the mountain air. I love the time spent with my children uninterrupted by the demands of a daily school schedule. Summer is a happy state of being; the season in which I feel completely unencumbered by my need to achieve whatever I put on my to-do list.
Summer Gives Way
When the leaves begin to turn shades of reds and oranges and the morning air becomes crisp and cool deep in my core; I know the days of my carefree summer season are drawing to a close. And this is okay because I love the season of autumn too. I love the chilly nights and the crunch of fallen leaves. Adore the cozy mornings sipping on my tea by my fireplace. I love to see my children snuggled up on the couch watching an old movie. Few would blame me for my love of the smell of burning candles and laughter by a bonfire under a starlit night sky.
Autumn has so much beauty that I forget the changing of the seasons can also cause great tension in me. I adore the autumn days because the routine of the season ticks like a clock set just for me. The rhythm of my family schedule lulls me into a sort of contentment. Another change is approaching, however, and anxiety builds.
Fall into Winter
As winter approaches, I become a bit anxious. The long drawn out season of winter is difficult for me. The shortness of daylight, the lack of seeing the blue sky makes me long for the brightness of summer. And yet, winter has such a stillness to it. Winter has a quietness and a song to it that enriches me. Wintertime ushers in a season of anticipation and celebration. Winter brings with it traditions and laughter. And Winter is like a comfy and cozy blanket which has a softness to it that brings up precious memories from days gone by.
I enjoy the season of winter with its starkness blended with a kind of softness of rest and respite. By the time the long winter draws to a close, I am almost sad to see it go.
Let Us Spring Ahead
Spring peeks around the corner of my calendar with such subtlety. Every Spring arrives with its dainty raindrops and crocuses and daffodils emerging from the dark earth. Spring comes with all the Lord’s birds and blooms creating a mural of rebirth. Reminding me of Matthew 6:
“Therefore, I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[e]?28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these…” (Matthew 6:25-29)
God speaks to me in a way in which my heart recognizes HIS paintbrush across the sky filled with pastel sunsets and shades of blue skies filled with rainbows. He whispers for me to trust in His creation and plan for me. Jeremiah 29:11 tells me that God has a hope and a future for me. In that Biblical truth, I can rest in the fact that God both gives and takes away.
As He Designed It
God created the heavens and the earth, and He created the route the earth makes around the sun in a year. In the course of a year, we face hardships, losses, and tragedies. Throughout the course of a year, we celebrate triumphs and accomplishments. In the course of a year, we can know that there is a time for everything. The blessings as well as the hardships we can be sure that through it all God is good, He is Just, and He is righteous. No matter what our year brings us we are wise to know that God is with us and provides us opportunities to grow in our Christian walk, no matter the season in which we find ourselves in.
In the course of a year, AC3 we cannot just hope for a growth in our Christian journey. We must actively exercise our faith like a muscle. If we do not daily put on the full armor of God apathy can set in. The world is constantly trying to distract us from the beauty of the Gospel. Life can be challenging and heartbreaking. We as, humans tend to fall back into the patterns we had before handing our lives over to Christ. For some, it may be pornography others overeating or overspending. Whatever vices and poor habits we surrendered when we became Christians, we must be diligent to not fall prey to those chains again.
Finding Gladness In All Seasons
I am not sure how many of you know that I suffer from depression and anxiety. I have had challenges with my mental health for many years. One of my favorite books in the Bible is Philippians. I completely understand why we call it the Glad letter. We find hope and rejoicing filled within the writing of the four chapters. Because the sad seasons of my life tend to creep up on me like a stealthy lion who hunts her prey. I need to not only read Philippians but arm myself with memorizing the scripture. Being able to recite God’s word in times of stress and anxiety keeps me from spiraling into patterns of a poor mindset.
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus…” (Philippians 4:6-7)
The losses I have faced are no greater than the losses of anyone else. The struggle I have is the ability to handle my losses. For me, it just takes a bit more time to process and heal from. At the beginning of Paul’s letter to the Philippians, he states, “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” Because of my faith, I know that in HIS divine mercy God is always drawing me closer to HIM. God is always pursuing me and urging me to grow in my Christian walk no matter the season I find myself even when I find myself immersed in my sad seasons of this life.
Resonate With Me?
If any of this resonates with you, I have outlined a few things that I consciously do to combat seasons of distress.
- Seek God. Carve out daily time to sit with HIM. I find when I start my day with scripture it helps me stay centered on HIS prompting. Then, I fill my day with uplifting music, inspiring podcasts, and am mindful of how much of the world I am consuming. I look diligently for His leading and lean into him.
- Next, I surround myself with people who want the best for me. I limit my social media consumption and reach out to those that encourage and motivate me. I look for opportunities to be a blessing to someone else. Bringing dinner to a hurting friend or flowers to an ailing friend reflects Jesus.
- Offering myself grace and freely forgiving others limits the enemy opportunities to manipulate me into believing I am not enough.
- Reading the word of God prepares me for battles I do not see coming. Reading my Bible daily helps me to stay centered on God’s truth not what the world would have me believe about myself. Romans 12:2 “ Do not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is- His good, pleasing and perfect will.”
Season by Season
I by no means have all the answers to this Christian life. What I do have is my life before I accepted Christ as my savior and the life I lead today. The days I am a better wife and mother are the days where I surrender completely to the Holy Spirit. I am open to God’s purposes for me I strive to give HIM all the glory by reflecting Jesus in my daily life. No matter the season I find myself in I can be sure that there is a season and time for every matter under heaven.