A Season for Everything
I am eagerly anticipating the advent of fall in Indiana. Anyone else? We’ve had an unusual stretch of 80-90 degree weather and all I want to do is unpack my sweatshirts from storage! Fall is absolutely my favorite season.
For as much as I love when summer turns to fall, the changing seasons of life are a different story. I like change, but I like to know what that change will look and feel like. I want to anticipate and plan for it. I want to be ready. Unfortunately, not every season of life is a predictable one. Sometimes seasons turn on a dime. Sometimes even when you know what’s coming, you can’t plan for it. Sometimes the season you’ve long anticipated is just plain hard and not at all what you bargained for.
Exhibit A: the last year of life for my husband and I.
- This time last year, we walked through a difficult and unexpected season due to an ectopic pregnancy.
- The end of 2016 brought difficult news for dear friends as what appeared to be a successful surgery to remove a tumor also fed new cancer in other parts of the body. A season we all anticipated would bring much joy turned into a season of mourning as the new cancer took our friend’s life on March 1.
- Death left our friend as a single mother with three little girls to manage and in God’s providence, my husband and I moved in with her to be an extra set of hands as she navigated an entirely-unexpected and heartbreaking season.
- Life with three littles has certainly been a new season for us! We’ve learned a lot from this family that we love so dearly.
- About a month after moving in, my husband and I learned that we were expecting again, this time with a healthy pregnancy. Pregnancy has been far from what I thought it would be. I always imagined myself enjoying being pregnant… but I haven’t. It’s been really hard.
- And, for all of the planning and thinking and preparing I’m doing in anticipation of a baby joining our family in early January, I have a strong sense that the next season probably won’t go according to any plan I might make (And all the moms reading said, “Amen,” right?).
So where’s the hope in changing seasons, especially when it doesn’t bring joy like the crunching of leaves, sweatshirts, and cooler weather? How can we thrive in the midst of change? There are two passages of Scripture that I continue to come back to, especially when things aren’t happening like I thought they would: Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 and Lamentations 3:21-24.
“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up 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 together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast 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 for war, and a time for peace.” Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
For everything there is a season. Everything. The entire gamut of joy, pain, heartbreak, and laughter–they’ve all been planned, allowed, and ordained by my Creator. And they all last for just a season. Nothing lasts forever–good or bad, easy or difficult–each circumstance is only for a season.
But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.” Lamentations 3:21-24
This passage reminds me that the Lord is the opposite of seasons... His mercies never end. They are new every morning. He is steadfast and eternal. He is the One to hold fast to as seasons come and go. Regardless of whether I feel prepared, whether I anticipated it correctly, or whether it’s enjoyable, His love never ceases and His mercies are fresh every single day.
So hang on, friend! And remember that whatever season you’re in today, is only for a time. Anchor yourself to today’s mercies… and pass me that extra hot, two-pump pumpkin spice soy latte while you’re at it
Photo by Jakob Owens