Thursday, December 4, 2008

Now What?

So, I think I warned you that I was still thinking about the idea of seasons and how they affect us. Over the last day and a half, thoughts have kept popping in and I've been mulling and pondering. So, lets dive in :)

Okay, so we each find ourselves in a season. No matter the season, God never intends for us to stay in that season forever. We weren't created to simply BE one way or EXPERIENCE one kind of season. I think the passage in Ecclesiastes was pretty obvious about that! ( Granted, some seasons can last a LONG time, just ask the Israelites as they wandered the desert for 40 years! )

For the sake of ease, lets choose a difficult season in life. I won't pick a specific "situation" as i REALLY don't want anyone reading this to feel it's in any way directed at them! I have friends in all kinds of seasons.. and regardless of YOUR season, the same thoughts apply that I want to share. So, there's my disclaimer!

When I enter a particularly difficult season, my first instinct is usually panic, fear, guilt... and usually if not always CRYING.... and then I got about preparing myself mentally for the worst to come.

I play the what if game, I play out various scenario's of how to remove myself from the uncomfortable season. I start to wallow. I start to talk to my friends. I start to feel alone. I start to FEEL far from God. (notice all the EMOTIONAL responses!!! ack!)

My attitude goes to pot, my children start wondering why I am so snippy, why I'm so short, and why my joy is lacking. They don't say it in as many words as they're young, but they'll say things like, "Mommy, are you still angry?".... Talk about a blow to the gutt!

Communication at this point with my husband is hit and miss. I start making assumptions of this thoughts, I put upon him, in my mind, what i am guessing his intentions or meaning is behind what he says or does... And I can tell you, almost every time, i'm FAR from accurate. I start using my emotions to interpret his actions! Boy, is that dangerous!

After my initial self centered pity party, a friend will smack me up side the head (in a LOVING way of course!) and remind me that God's in control. Remind me that God is good, and point me to the WORD. So, that's where I go. I wish I could say I go there first. Though i CAN say, that in the last year, God has been pointing back to his Word more and more frequently at the beginning of a season than ever before. I think this comes more and more w/ me surrendering control and realizing, "Hello, i CAN not fix this on my own!"

So, what DOES the word say we're to do when trouble comes our way?!

Here's what James 1 says... (Message)
Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides.
Pardon me?! A gift? Aren't those wrapped in bright colored paper and meant to be offerings of love and affection? Aren't gifts meant to bring joy and satisfaction? I'm supposed to look at my tests and challenges and EMBRACE it? Be grateful for it? Notice too, it says FROM ALL sides! Sometimes seasons start to feel like they are piling and multiplying... and even THEN I should welcome them?

You know that under pressure, your faith-life if forced into the open and shows its true colors.
Ahh... yes... where DO i turn when i'm feeling that pressure? how do my actions show God where my trust lies? How do my words and actions reflect my heart?

So, don't try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do it's work so you become mature and well developed, not deficient in any way.
Um, isn't our first reaction when in a crummy season, to think of the FASTEST way to get out of it?! How can we fix it? What can we do with the set of circumstances we are in to eliminate the discomfort and simply RUN AWAY from it? Not to mention how we often act like if we don't acknowledge the situation it'll just magically discenegrate and we'll be left NOT having to deal with it. But, no, God is actually saying.. DON'T try to get out so quickly. I don't think He's asking us to settle in for the LONG haul.. But I think HE wants us to embrace our hardships, being fully confident in HIS ability to carry us through it and then being aware and open READY and WILLING to be shaped and molded how He would desire.

I think we've all been through rough times and when we come out the other side, we all say, we're so much strong, we're closer to God, and we feel better equipped for the next storm.... we have been tested and found faithful... The fire never "feels" good. it's not "pleasant" but the end result is beauty!

So, you're in a season. Make the most of it. Pray continually, seek the wisdom of godly people, reach and and ACCEPT help, don't hide your season, be vulnerable, and be asking God to prepare you for each new step along the way. Embrace the hard times as you KNOW God is faithful. Rejoice in the good times, as you marvel and TELL of his great love for you and continue to GROW in HIS love, so that when the next season comes that is difficult; you'll be prepared and ready and confident in HIM.

James 1:12 says: Anyone who meets a testing challenge head-on and manages to stick it out is mighty fortunate. For such persons loyally in love with God, the reward is LIFE and MORE LIFE.

That's who I want to be.


The Kinsey Family said...

This is me commenting! :)

But I'm not exactly sure what to say, probably because I'm in a season where I don't like myself very well . . . and I know it's because of my own doing.

But thank you for your willingness to share what's on your heart.

just me said...

((Kinseygirl)) So, how is it that others can encourage you? What are you doing to investigate what God could be using this season for? For me, and my season.. it's all about the struggles of motherhood. it's about enjoying my children and gaining patience and grace for them... examples of what i'm trying to do is to have accountability from friends...reading more of the word, being in deliberate prayer seeking more of HIS Love for me to pour out to them. it continues to amaze me and bring me to tears how I will speak to my family - when i'd never dare speaking to a friend that way. i'm sorry that your season is one of not liking yourself...i promise to pray! i love you!!

The Kinsey Family said...


I'm trying very hard to be more deliberate about my praying. I'm trying to be in God's word. But I even just finished Beth Moore's "Stepping Up" study, and did not "feel" anything. I just feel empty and numb about everything. I've built up the walls around my heart to most people. Oh, I can fake it pretty well and gush out the stuff other people need to hear to be encouraged. I can find it in me to get in my Bible and find verses that pop out for others and the season their in. But it seems to be a one way street, I don't know how to let anything nice gush back into me. KWIM?

So yeah . . . I don't know what I need is the point of that I guess! :)

Connie said...

Oh Charity ... sniff sniff ... thank you. You are truley a blessing.

just me said...

YEAH, i love to come here and see your thoughts!! Kinseygirl... I am praying that you can feel safe enough to find yourself chipping away at the those walls. I understand the need to feel like you need to protect your heart... after all, if others have hurt you, why would you put yourself back out there? Here's a thought though... maybe put your heart in HIS hands. Do you trust him to protect your heart? You know he already holds it dear to His!! I love you girl... I too, understand about being able to pour into others, and yet feeling "blah" on my own. It's like that pep talk that we can spout off .. and yet aren't willing to believe ourselves. :( satan's ploy to keep us trapped; eyes on self and timid to step forward. Later on, i want to come back and write about that a bit. where satan has gotten a foothold in my life... but for now, i've gotta get to the bank, PO, and Joann Fabrics! But i'll be back!!

And Connie... you BLESS my heart and your friendship is dear to me. I Love you!