Seasons of Change

 

seasonsChange. It’s apart of life. Change comes whether we desire it or not. There are times we long for it, and yet other times we beg for things to stay the same.

Change can bring heartache, but it can also bring joy.

As I reflect over the last 50 plus years I recount all the seasons of change in my life.

There have been times of Spring when my life seemed to be a time of awakening. A sense of newness. Freshness. I love spring when things that once seemed dead begin to come to life again.

Times of Summer when there was much joy, sunshine and laughter. A time of soaking in all the blessing in my life. The blessings of creating memories with family and friends.

Then there have been times things seemed to begin to die. In the dying I could see such beautiful colors of my life. I think the seasons of autumn are times of great change. Hard changes. Beautiful changes. Those changes that need to be in order to grow.

Nothing though is as hard as the seasons in my life that were dead, cold and bitter. Winter is always the hardest. With very little sunshine, warmth or visible signs of life. These are the times I have felt I would just die. Times when it seemed I was forgotten, alone and left for dead inside.

But what I didn’t know during much of the time spent in winter is that inside, deep inside, everything was growing, changing and preparing to break forth into something new. Something beautiful.

The seasons of our lives come and go. Each one brings changes. As I look back I realize I have survived many changes. I have endured many seasons.

As I sit before the Lord today and reflect over my life I am fully aware that change is coming. Again. The beauty of it is that every season before hand has prepared me for the season I am about to enter. God never takes us through a change without preparing us before hand.

I feel it, God is working and the season is about to change. I wonder, what season we are about to enter? I wonder where we are going? What is God doing?

I have been living through winter and unlike the seasons of the earth life seasons do not always follow a certain order. So I don’t know what season is coming but it matters not, for as I look back I KNOW, that God is always there working in me, changing me, molding me, refining me to be more like Him.

What about you? Think back over the seasons of your life. Do you see God in each of them? Do you see the changes He created? Can you rejoice in each season of change? Even the winters?

Our God is good in all things. He is good to us, His children. When we look for the blessings in each season we also find great joy.

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You Are Not Alone

Each path in motherhood life has it’s ups and downs. We journey through mountains, over deserts, along the ocean and through open fields. We journey through the darkest nights, rain storms, sunshine, fog, and seasons of Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter.

Regardless of where we find ourselves in the journey we are often unsure of the next step. We have not come this way before. Each road is new, it’s different, and does not always look just like the path others have walked. Sometimes we feel so alone. Its seems no one else is with us on the path. We have lost sight of those who are ahead or those who are walking behind. And we wonder, “does anyone understand?”

A young bride is fearful and unsure how to be a good wife. She looks around and so many seem to have it together. The marriages of her friends seems…dare she think it? “Perfect?” Yet she feels hers is falling apart. She feels afraid and alone.

A young mom hasn’t been able to leave her home for weeks. She doesn’t understand how all her friends are able to attend Bible Studies, get together for lunch and stay sane. She is overwhelmed with motherhood. She feels as if she is walking this journey alone.

A mother of a prodigal is desperate for understanding, but she feels as if she is being judged. She spends her day crying and praying. Her heart is breaking. Does anyone see?

A mother says goodbye to her last child and wonders, “what now?” As she looks around it seems that others along this path know where they are going. They are pursuing careers, going back to school for degrees, they are DOING something. She wonders to herself how did they know what to do? She feels alone.

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All of us have found, or will find, ourselves in one of the above scenarios. Some may find that they are in more than one. I have walked them all. I have found that each path there has been one constant, regardless of how we feel we are never alone. Our God walks with us through each stage. With each step we take He is preparing us for the next pathway of our journey.

We must remember that it may LOOK or FEEL like we are alone but others are with us. There are other women on the same path. We only need to look, speak out and be willing to be transparent. Be willing to share your story, as you do you will find other women who have felt the same. They have walked a similar path.

To often the enemy preys on our mind during these times of aloneness and whispers lies. He convinces us that no one would understand, and that other’s lives are perfect. He tells us we  are alone in our struggle. He wants to keep us alone and silent.

But we must speak out. We must speak truth. Once we begin sharing our struggles along the journey we WILL find that other’s are struggling too. We WILL find that we are not alone, other women are just like us.

So dear one, where ever you find yourself today I pray that you know you do not have to walk alone. I would love to hear your story. I pray you will allow me to walk with you.

Lies

Lies easily believed, easily spoken.

We hear them through various media, friends, family and strangers.

We hear them at church and in our own minds.

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Lies spoken tell us we are worthless, unloved, and alone.

They speak words that tell us we are not enough.

Lies fill our minds rendering us useless over their power.

 

Lies make us fearful.

Afraid to believe in hope, faith and the power that sets us free.

Afraid to try again after another failure.

 

Lies are spoken by our enemy.

An enemy who desires to discourage and destroy.

An enemy who desires to keep us from truth.

 

Truth sets us free.

Jesus is the truth that sets us free.

Jesus came that you might have abundant life.

 

Freedom is knowing truth.

The truth of who you are in Christ because of the cross.

The truth that His written word speaks truth.

 

Jesus calls you friend.

All who believe on Him are pure, holy, righteous and beloved.

Jesus says all that believe upon Him is saved.

 

Lies of the enemy who seeks to destroy you.

Truth of the One who came to set you free.

Who will you believe? The choice is yours.

Hope in the Midst of the Storm

“Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.” James 1:2-3

Trials, tribulations, suffering, pain, sorrow. These are circumstances no one especially considers a joy to walk through. Even if we know that it’s a time of testing our faith or building endurance who wants to face suffering? I don’t know too many who would raise their hands, jump up and down and shout, “I DO!”

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Yet the reality is it will come to each of us. Perhaps you find yourself in the midst of a storm today. Perhaps you feel that you are about to be drowned in your circumstances and you are wondering, “how am I suppose to consider it all joy”?

Today I saw something new in God’s word. Well it was new to me. I am reading through, and studying Romans and this morning I was struck by Romans 4:16 through 5:5. I must have read it ten times before I saw it, but there it was in 5:3, “we also exult in our tribulations,.”

Exult means to “show or feel elation or jubilation”. Seriously? Is it even possible to be jubilate over our tribulations? But how?

I believe our answer is seen in the surrounding verses, but I am still fleshing this out so walk with me through this. Romans 4 speaks of Abraham, his trial, his sorrow was that his wife was barren. But Abraham had hope. His hope came in the promise of God who promised that he would be the father of many nations. Abraham didn’t understand how God was going to do it since he and Sarah were old and beyond child bearing years. Abraham even tried taking matters into his own hands by producing an heir through Sarah’s servant, but that was not God’s plan. (see Gen 16 & 17)

So Abraham came to the point where he put His hope in God. Abraham’s faith grew to the point that he was “fully assured that what God had promised, He was able also to perform.” (Rom 4:21)

Abrahams place of suffering, his sorrow grew his faith to where he could hope in what God would do. Abraham didn’t see the end results or even the next step and yet he could give God the glory because he had faith that the God who promised would also deliver that which He promised.

Abraham came to the place in his suffering where he could exult because he trusted in the One who would fulfill the promise.

So what about us? What do we hope in when the storm threatens to overwhelm us? Our hope is in our Lord Jesus Christ. We can exult in the hope of the glory of God knowing that He will deliver us through the storm. But in the mean time Christ will use the storm to build your endurance, and strengthen your character.

When we place our hope in Christ Jesus He will not disappoint. This same Jesus who died for us, while we were helpless sinners and His enemy, saving us from the wrath of God. This Jesus reconciled us to God and left us with the Holy Spirit who now pours out Gods love upon us so that we might have hope in the midst of suffering. (Rom 5:6-11)

So let us remember when we are facing trials to put our hope in the One who does not disappoint. Know that God will give you grace to stand, He will strength your faith, He will build your endurance and your character.

I know this is often easier said than done. When the waves wash over us and we are choking on the water about to go under for what feels like the last time and all we can think about is “I am going to die” it’s hard to have hope. But sweet sister can I encourage you to throw your hand out and cry out to Jesus. Stop thrashing around trying to save yourself. Stop trying to find a way out of the storm and just place your faith in the One who will not let you drown.

Whatever your storms might be I pray that you are able to reach out in unwavering faith and rest assured that the God who has promised to deliver you is also able to perform it.

Photo courtesy of Evgeni Dinev at http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/