Fall weather is finally among us here in South Carolina. I really thought it would never come with all of the heat and humidity we experienced over the summer and well into October. I woke up to sun shining through my window and a chilly breeze in the air, and I realized the change I had been waiting for for so long was here! I impatiently forged ahead with fall fashion wearing sneakers, booties, and jeans well before the temperature dropped. All things pumpkin made their way into my pantry and I even got my first PSL at Starbucks before September!
Although none of those things are a direct reflection of my faith or relationship with Christ, my lack of patience and desire of waiting is telling of who I am. As a mom and teacher, my life is fast-paced with not a lot of downtime. Days and weeks fly by because of busy days, and I find myself always planning ahead for weeks in advance. While planning and being intentional with my time is important, the Lord has quickly impressed on my heart that my desires and wants and looking ahead may lead to missing out on the season I’m currently in.
In the past 3 years, I’ve learned more about myself, my faith, and relationships than I ever knew possible. I’ve had to rely on others more than I want to admit, sought strength and power greater than my own, and have been persistent in not giving up. I’ve also learned that grief is a tricky emotion that creeps in at the most unexpected times. Just when I think I have it “under control” or have dealt with all of my emotions, self-doubt and questioning overrule. I’ve coped in many different ways, but distracting myself from my feelings is an easy way out that I resort to much too often. Becoming “busy”, constantly having my mind on something, or planning our days to be full is Satan’s way of making me think that I’m okay on my own. That I don’t need the grace and strength of my Father.
Lies. Those are lies and I know it. The only one true way to overcome is through the one true Savior who wants nothing more than for me to give it to him and stop trying to be in control of every moment of every day. Just like I anxiously awaited for the seasons to change, I keep waiting on my season of life to change. I wonder what is next for me? What’s next in my life and in Baylor’s life? Now what’s God’s purpose in all of this pain? We are 3 years down the road, and I thought my life would look different than it does now. I’m impatiently wanting the “next” without slowing down to focus on the “now”. I could look back over specific days and moments in my life that have led me to where I am now or who I am now. I know God is faithful. I know He has a greater plan than I could ever imagine. I know He is good. I know He is gentle and kind. I know He’s a Father that only wants the best for His child. I know all of these things, but the waiting is hard. It is painful. It makes me lose sight of what is to come. It makes me forget how God’s hand has been with me and His sovereign plan is still being played out in my life.
What if I’m missing out on what God wants to teach me in this season because I’m only wanting the next season to hurry up and get here? What if God is teaching me patience in waiting? What if He’s teaching me to fully rely on Him instead of myself for a change? I need to slow down. I need to stop and enjoy where I am right now, not in five minutes or five days or five years. I could be missing out on important lessons He needs me to learn before He can bring me into the next season. As a mom, I miss out on the moments that matter the most. The unplanned moments like having a picnic lunch because the weather is so beautiful outside or reading a book and snuggling on the couch because it’s been a long day. I’m living my life as if a schedule dictates our life instead of a Savior who loves and wants the best for us. Talk about convicting!
I’ve had to take a step back to really think about how my life should look as a Christ-follower. God has brought me through a tragedy not because I deserved it but because He will be glorified and He needed me in a position of full reliance. I needed to be needy so that I could see just how generous He is. I was too weak to walk alone. I needed His sovereignty of handling all the little details of my life. When I am at my weakest, His power is perfect.
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
2 Corinthians 12:9
It’s okay to admit that I’m weak and that I can’t do it alone. That’s my chance to give God the glory He deserves. God wants me to rely on Him because He didn’t create me to do it alone or go through life alone. He’s given me a helper in the Holy Spirit, a church body of believers, and friends and family that have helped and continue to help carry me. When I feel overwhelmed and not enough. I’m reminded that I’m not without God. When I’m in the valley, I can lift my eyes up to the Lord who is my Helper in times of need.
I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
So as the seasons change, some quick, others lingering, I can rest in knowing that the season has purpose. I need to be patient in waiting, faithful in prayer, and willing to listen to the Lord during the slow seasons that seem to never end. Just as a seed needs time and care to grow and flourish, maybe I do too. Maybe, just maybe, God is continuing to make something beautiful from the ashes of my past. Am I willing to be patient in the season of waiting knowing that God’s hand is at work for my good? Can I live in the moment instead of five years ahead? Can I trust that what God has put right in front of me is more important than what I could plan for myself years from now?
Pray. Trust. Know. That He is good no matter the season.