Ice breakers can be so awkward.
“How much does a polar bear weigh?”
“Enough to break the ice! I’m Katy”
Or the whole “I’m Katy, my hobbies are _______, I am from Georgia, and here’s one interesting fact about me.” I am usually tempted to make up a hobby because recovering from ankle surgery (more on that later) just doesn’t spark interest.
Last week, I joined a few other ladies for a new Bible Study, and instead of the generic “tell us about yourself”, our facilitator had us go around the room and tell what season of life we are in. I loved hearing about each of their lives – and none of them were the same – and there were no categories to fall into! We just had the freedom to say where we are in life and that was our “season”. I have been thinking lately about all of the seasons that I have been in – just in the past few years. Some have lasted longer than others. Some have been painful, and some have been overflowing with joy! But one thing is certain about both: they don’t last forever. The dark nights of the soul will soon be replaced with the light you’ve been longing for. And the mountaintop experiences seem but a moment. Let’s talk about a few…
Loneliness: No one around you is in the same stage of life as you. Maybe you’ve just moved to a new city and there’s not a single human being that you can call a friend. You look at your phone and there are no notifications. Dinner is usually a party of one. Weekends are weird and you don’t know where to go to find friends. Or maybe you live with a house FULL of people and you still feel alone…which can be the worst kind of loneliness. Because deep within us, we are meant for real and authentic community.
Grief: Loss. Heartache. Sleepless nights. You think you are having a good day, but BAM – the tears come when you least expect it. The loss you’re feeling is too much to handle. But you put one foot in front of the other..and you keep moving forward.
Regret: Choices were made and consequences have caught up with you. You knew you shouldn’t have compromised everything, but you did…and now you wish you could have a totally different reality.
Isolation: There is a distance between you and the rest of the world. Seeing and interacting with people is more than you can handle right now. Your safe place is wherever the crowd isn’t.
Surviving: Doing.what.it.takes. You wake up when the alarm clock has gone off and you’ve hit snooze 12 times. Dry shampoo is your very best friend. You make it to work on time. You come home. You eat. You shower. And you do whatever is necessary to survive…but nothing else. You are treading water.
Realizing: For the first time, things are starting to sink in. You are seeing things that have been there all along, but for some reason or another, it’s finally making sense.
Acceptance: It is what it is. You are doing what you can with what you have…and that is a step forward. Life may not look the way you had it planned out, but everything’s gonna be ok.
Introspection: You listen to every thought, observe every action, and try to figure out what is going on inside of you. You are getting to know you. There is some serious soul searching going on. Maybe you like what you see, maybe not.
Quiet and rest: There is a peace that passes all understanding, despite the events that are going around you that could turn your world upside down. You are sitting at the feet of Jesus, and you are still. The world is passing by, but your heart is at rest.
Restoration: Finally, those shattered pieces are being picked up. You are not trying to rebuild what once was…instead you are moving ahead making a life for yourself.
Busyness: There are not enough hours in the day. It’s a major accomplishment if your kids eat a healthy meal once a week and make it to tee ball practice on time. Your schedule has no room for unexpected events because you are at max capacity!
Joy: Deep within you, there is a sense of trust. Even though your circumstances aren’t ideal, there is still joy…and that can only come from our Creator.
Connection: You are seen. You are known. You are loved. People are in your life that understand and “get you”. Your friends can pick up on what’s going on in your heart just by the tone of your voice…you have no doubt that you are cared for.
Thriving: You are sleeping well, exercising daily, eating balanced meals, finances are looking good, and you have a job that gives you purpose and you are passionate about it. The stars are aligned perfectly and life couldn’t be better!
Healing: You’ve been hurt. People’s words and actions have cut you to the core…but you are starting to move on. You’ve experienced deep emotional pain or chronic physical pain, and there is finally a break through. You are making progress!
Transition: You know these things won’t last…but you’re ready for consistency. You’re looking for a new house to settle into. At your new job, the learning curve seems way too sharp. You are church hopping and community just hasn’t happened yet. Your view of life is different, and things aren’t necessarily bad, but they sure aren’t the same.
Parenting: Going to the bathroom without an audience would be a luxury right now. You are meeting the needs of your children, but surely not your own! Hang on, Mama…these days pass by way too quickly.
Empty Nester: Finally those teenagers are out of the house and although sending them to college is breaking the bank, your time is your own again, and you have a few free bedrooms in the house!
Grandparenting: Spoil ’em, and send ’em home. Or for whatever reason, you could be raising your grandchildren…and although you could’n’t love them more, you surely didn’t expect this!
Caregiving: You are taking care of your own home, while making sure your elderly parents are taken care of and have their needs met. Time with them won’t last forever, so you do everything you can to take care of the people who have given their life to you.
One thing I have learned about myself is that once a “season” in my life is over, I am chomping at the bit, just ready to move on to the next best thing. In my mind, the next season will always be better. But then I catch myself wishing I could re-visit one of those seasons that were oh-so-much-better. But the truth is, every season is good. And every season has its own trials.
Friends, we were made for so much more than all of these seasons we are in. No matter if you are on top of the world or at the lowest point of the scorching desert remember this – seasons always change. There will be a day on this side of heaven that changes everything. Seasons come. They go. Let it be a reminder that we are made for so much more than this world. We are created for a City that is eternal where there will be no changing of seasons. No need to wish the day away. No need to long for the next best thing…because we will worship at the feet of Jesus forever, and He is what our hearts are longing for.
Let’s focus on this today: He never changes. He is sovereign in our joy and in our grief. In drought and in abundance. In the good and the bad. God, help us keep our eyes on you…and may we never look away. Give us hearts that long for eternity and for the day that our eyes finally see you.
I would love to engage with you about this! What season do you find yourself in? What have you been learning in this particular season?
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever”