Out of sorts
Happy Labor Day!
When you live in the midwest you get to experience the change of seasons at least every few months. But never expect the seasons to stay on track and for it to be consistent because you can always be surprised by a random 70 degree day in January or a flimsy snowfall in May.
I have grown to really love and appreciate the change of seasons we get to experience. Just when I feel like I am getting tired of one season I know I don't have to wait much longer because the next season is right around the corner.
As I think of the seasons changing, I find such a parallel to the way we live life.
Summer seems like a blur. It was fun, adventurous, new, balanced and unbalanced, full of hope, opportunities and change. I was catching up with my Mentor a few weeks ago and when we were talking about life and everything that can happen in just a short couple of months, I realized through conversation I had mentioned how much I have cried this summer.
Not a bad cry. As a mom I cry more now than I ever have in my life, but I am so ridiculously complex. I love change and yet, I want to plan and have time to embrace the change. Deep down I want to prepare my heart and my emotions for the change that is about to take place, but that is not at all how it works in life.
Good change and bad change happens whether we are ready or not.
In nearly 10 years of marriage I have learned a great deal on what it looks like to truly love and to sacrifice and put your feelings aside if it means allowing your husband to lead the family as God has called a husband to do. I fought this issue for a long time, but when I trust my husband's lead, regardless of how I feel, I see God move and bless our family in ways I know He would not be able to do if I insisted on staying set in my own ways to please my fleshly desires or to appease my insecurities. This summer I saw God leading Josh on two big decisions for our family (I will clue you all in shortly) and even though I was super hesitant and it was change, and it made me feel not ready or uncomfortable we prayed (I cried) and we felt peace over the situation as I chose to trust my husband with leading our family.
This summer I also found myself questioning God for the first time in 13 years since I discovered a true relationship with Christ. I fought and prayed for my sister and brother-in-laws niece who was only 2, who beat cancer and suffered from an infection. I stood on God's word and believed in a miracle for her. I believed with unwavering, supernatural faith that she would be healed and made whole. I cried and cried and it was one of the hardest funerals I have ever been too. Life is seen so differently as a parent. Even though it has been a month I still cry when I see the sunset or hear a song that was played at her funeral or simply think about how her family is making it through each day. Honestly, it frustrates me that I have struggled, but I know that it is because I am human. I have fleshly desires and thoughts but at the end of the day I know that His ways are higher than my ways and even though I do not have all the answers, I do have peace in knowing that I don't have to have all the answers.
On top of being in the middle of 2 big changes in our lives, my husband also moved his company into a larger space and it has required a lot of work and time and I became a tutor in our co-op for the first time which has also taken a lot of work and time. All wonderful things. Change may never be easy, but if you are listening to the Spirit of God and following Him where he wants you to go, it is always worth it. It is worth feeling uncomfortable, it is worth the tears, it is worth the lack of sleep— it is only a season. I believe it is important to keep that perspective and to be conscience of making sure the season does not turn into a lifestyle.
Change can make me feel so out of sorts. When I have walked through the big and little changes in my life, there are two things that get me through.
1. Stay the course.
Continue to seek Christ, even when you don't feel like it. Remind yourself of His truth and love, even if it does not make sense. When change is imminent and you feel out of sorts, scripture tells us that God NEVER changes. I can assure you this is not easy, but it is necessary.
"He doesn't change like shifting shadows." —James 1:17
"Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever." —Hebrews 13:8
2. Don't focus on your perspective.
When you let your mind and heart stay focused on yourself, and the things that are happening to you, it becomes a dangerous downward spiral. When we put our focus on Christ and try to accept his perspective, we know that we have a greater hope and that we can walk through the change. I absolutely think you have to take the time to process whatever big or little change you are going through, but do not stay so focused on your circumstance so that the enemy can use it to distract or derail you from the purpose and plan God has for your life.
"'Ever since the time of your ancestors you have turned away from my decrees and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you' says the Lord Almighty. 'But you ask, 'How are we to return?'...Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. 'Test me in this', says the Lord Almighty, and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of Heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.'" —Malachi 3:7-10
"For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." —Luke 12:34
Return to Christ, and let your treasure be found in Him, and he will bless you and blow your mind by opening the floodgates in ways that you can not imagine. Test Him in this as the scripture says, and I can promise you won't regret it.
The other day I looked at my husband and I said, "You know, it is a funny place to be in with all these unknowns and changes, but I am excited because I know in a year from now we will get to look back and say, wow, look what God did in this last year."
In a season where I feel out of sorts and discontent with change, I believe this is what it means to be content. It doesn't mean that you have to be stagnant or ok with your circumstance. It means you can be ok knowing that there is a God who you can entrust your circumstance to and that He is enough. It means to be content simply by being in His presence and knowing that you are not capable of receiving all the answers right now, but we have a God who we can be sure will reveal just enough to give our hearts peace and just enough to keep us longing for him and the chance to ask all our unknowns for all of eternity. But will it even matter then?
I am excited to walk through this season of change, now more than I was a couple months ago. Enjoy your season and find ways to be thankful and content so you can keep your perspective healthy. Again, I have been searching my heart for a way to process and encourage myself, but perhaps you can find some encouragement as well.
Have a wonderful and safe Labor Day friends!