What do you do when you feel like you are stuck in a season?
In my case, I feel like I have been stuck in a season for quite a few years now. A season of sicknesses, excruciating back pain, a much needed surgery, marriage break down and divorce, financial struggles, family issues, and a pandemic.
As much as I wanted to hit the fast forward button, there was no getting out of it. At times I had a full blown pity party, and cried, wanted to faint, curl up in a ball, and at other times I was thankful and cognizant that God was carrying me through the long days. There are many people that are dealing with lifelong disabilities, and sicknesses, and when I saw people that were worse off than me I was ashamed of myself. Life is hard, but how do we deal with things when life is tough?
What does God’s word say about times and seasons?
To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven: 2 A time to be born, And a time to die; A time to plant, And a time to pluck what is planted; 3 A time to kill, And a time to heal; A time to break down, And a time to build up; 4 A time to weep, And a time to laugh; A time to mourn, And a time to dance; 5 A time to cast away stones, And a time to gather stones; A time to embrace, And a time to refrain from embracing; 6 A time to gain, And a time to lose; A time to keep, And a time to throw away; 7 A time to tear, And a time to sew; A time to keep silence, And a time to speak; 8 A time to love, And a time to hate; A time of war, And a time of peace.
Galatians 6:9 ESV
And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.
As nice as I think it would have been it not to go through these challenges, where would I be, spiritually, had I not faced these obstacles? Will you still stand, and believe in God when things get rough? Or, do you only love Him when times are good?
I know what has carried me through these difficult times is being in a prayer group. Praying with other believers, and having them pray for you. Exercising, taking a walk, or sitting outside with a book. Other things that helped me was rearranging my furniture, getting a mani/pedi, and simply trying new things. I recently took an overnight trip, and drove a couple hours away, which doesn’t sound like a big deal, but it was scary for me without my husband there to do the navigating. I recently wrote a short children’s story which is something I have always wanted to do. As soon as I self-publish it, I will let you guys know.
Even though I can tell the tide is shifting (after all, nothing ever stays the same) I have to consciously practice self-care, and take control of my thoughts. What would life be like if everything was good, without its challenges? How would we be able to help and encourage others if we couldn’t empathize and know what their pain feels like? After all, one of life’s purposes is to help others.
No matter what, God will use every bit of bad that we have gone through for His purpose and glory. So wipe your tears away, take a deep breath, and thank God for all the good things you have and that are coming your way.
Throughout my marriage my in laws, although “nice” on the surface were a thorn in my side.
I have a memory of my mother in law telling my soon to be ex husband as we were leaving on our honeymoon “Make sure you call me as soon as you get there.”
They acted more like wayward children than my idea of how in laws should act.
Well, fast forward 15 years later and my ex was gone. The first month that he was gone I was wondering how I was going to support myself and my three kids, and keep us in the same place we were living. I remember my stepdad telling me we would have to move in with he and my mom.
My sweet cousin offered a room in her house where my kids and I could stay. Unfortunately, it was a bit of a ways away from my job and the kids’ schools.
One day my mother in law came to visit me and we were having a conversation and got into an argument. She blamed me for a lot of things that had happened in the marriage, and for the reason that he was gone. Shortly after that she wrote me an apology letter. I remember reading it, and holding unforgiveness in my heart. I decided things wouldn’t be the same with us EVER AGAIN.
I still can remember coming home after a busy day at work on that day and finding an envelope with cash under my doormat.
One thousand dollars in cash. Enough for me to buy food, pay my monthly bills, and pay my rent. The money showed up under my mat for 20 months, always in a blank envelope, always on the last day of the month.
But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.
Wow, did you read that scripture? Pray for those who persecute you? Not tell them off, or blow them off, or try and get even with them. Pray for them. I was always pretty good at ignoring or not dealing with people after they upset me, and definitely not forgiving them. I can still remember offenses from 30 plus years ago. My motto was “Don’t ever forget how they treated you.”
Recently, while going over the divorce papers, my ex and I were having a heated discussion about bills. He blurted out “My parents gave you money to pay for things.”
Umm, what? I asked him if his parents were the ones who had given me all that money when he was gone.
I was able to find out the men’s group that my ex had been a part of had taken up a monthly donation for me and my kids, and it was my in laws idea.
Even after his mom and I had gotten into that argument, and even though I held unforgiveness in my heart and she apologized to me. Even though 10 years had gone by and I vowed to myself I wouldn’t forget that argument we had gotten into.
I was humbled. I was ashamed of myself. I had wasted ten years of my life holding unforgiveness and bitterness and a grudge.
“But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9. Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through Him! For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to Him thorough the death of His son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through His life!”
I am a sinner, and God forgave me for my sins. Yet, I was holding unforgiveness against others, and not accepting a genuine apology.
I am forever grateful to that men’s group for their support and I often think of the people that anonymously gave to us. I hope one day I will get to say thank you in person.
And I will never forget God’s provisions for my children and I. He had a plan before I even knew what was ahead of me.
Looking back now I am ashamed I let the enemy get the better part of me for all those years. The things that were said and done to me is in the past and I wish my prior in laws nothing but the best. I even miss them.
“Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your anger.
The other day my ex-husband and I had to talk to each other. It was strained at best. Gone were the days where we used to laugh together. I hardly know him anymore. He has different tastes in foods, a different style of dressing.
Later on I was reflecting on how we were married for over two decades, and had shared a life together. I called him my best friend, or, at least in my mind and heart he was.
I wonder if God feels that way about us. You know the feeling you have when you are newly baptized, and make the decision to give your heart and life to the Lord. Then life comes at you and you think “Where is God now? Does he not see what I am going through? Why isn’t He here for me? Does He not see what is happening in my life?”
At least those are the thoughts that have run through my head at difficult times. When life is tough you start to slip up. You are too tired to get up early and read the Bible, or maybe you’re too busy to pray, or go to church. Little by little you start slipping away.
Does God look at us and think how much he misses us? How He can’t wait for us to reach out to Him? Does He miss our voice and our talks that we had with Him?
13 Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. 14 You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. 15 No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.
Jesus calls us His friends IF we do whatever He commands us. Because we are His friends He shares His secrets with us through the Word of God.
8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you doubleminded.
The definition of doubleminded from The Century Dictionary means “Wavering, unstable, unsettled, undetermined.”
For so long I lived my life as a doubleminded person. I didn’t realize whose I was, or how valued I was. I let others dictate how I should feel about myself. I felt like my world was gray, and other people’s world had vivid colors, something I lacked in my world. I didn’t realize that my self-worth doesn’t come from my husband, my friends, or my employer.
I had to renew my mind by reading God’s word.
And be not conformed to this world: but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
It has been a long road for me with of lots of mistakes, and many ups and downs. I have learned that even though friends, family and even spouses may turn on you, the Lord never will.
Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
Don’t let time slip away. Your eternal best friend is waiting to hear from you.