I have been through many seasons in my life: growing up, college at Baylor, running at Baylor, college at Texas Tech, living in Dallas, running, advertising, living in Boston, marriage, counseling, living in North Carolina, living in San Francisco, running, etc. These are just a few of them. The list could go on much longer. Many of these seasons come full circle. I would never have predicted how these seasons would shape me, but looking back I can see that each season has helped form the person I am today, the good and the bad. Some seasons are easier than others, however, my goal with each season is not to fear or worry about the next one, but embrace each season for what it brings into my life. I must admit, I do not always embrace the rough patches, and when circumstances are uncertain, I panic.
I started this blog post a few weeks ago, and part of my hesitancy in finishing this entry centers on not wanting to sugarcoat struggles and portray following God during each season as an easy decision to make. Some seasons are joyous and others are tough. We may embrace these tough seasons with more of a fistfight than a hug. In Shauna Niequist’s book Bittersweet, she discusses different times in life, and very accurately articulates what I think many women WANT to feel when she said, “Bittersweet is the practice of believing that we really do need both the bitter and the sweet, and the life of nothing but sweetness rots both your teeth and soul. Bitter is what makes us strong, what forces us to push through…” (Niequist, 11).
We never know what the next season will throw at us and that is scary. When seasons are happy, we sing praises to God, and thank him for giving us such glorious times. This is a good thing however, when we enter a season that is full of fear and uncertainty; many times fear holds us back from enjoying our current season or events in our lives. For example, many people know I’m scared of needles. VERY scared of them. The first time I went to Ethiopia I had to get 8 shots. At times, I thought my fear of needles might stop me from going on this trip. Thanks to a good friend who went with me to get the shots, I did get them, and went to Ethiopia. This is a very surface example of fear impacting my life, but illustrated how fear can creep into our lives and stop us from embracing an opportunity or a season in life. (Ironic that I’m scared of needles because I’ve had my belly button pierced twice and now get acupuncture.)
My hope and prayer for my life, and the lives of all the women reading this blog, is that we let ourselves enjoy each season and give our best to that season. My hope is also that we let others walk through the seasons of life with us. God gives us community to celebrate the good times and cry with us during the difficult times.
We can call out to God in all season, and know that the God who created the heavens and the earth is an unchanging God, who is always available to his children. Jesus experienced both sadness and happiness, yet, amidst all His emotions, He knew God was there for Him, and He trusted his Father’s plan. God sent His only son to give us hope in all seasons of life. In Matthew 28:20 Jesus said the following, “And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Holy Bible, ESV). Embrace each season, both the bitter and sweet, and know that God has already written each of our stories as we walk through these seasons. He stands ready to embrace us, and gives us friends and family to physically embrace us during the many seasons in life.