Everyone experiences different seasons in their life. This is inevitable. Some seasons warmer, brighter, more enjoyable; others cold, dark, dry, and lonely. We all prefer the warm summer seasons in life but the cold, dead winter seasons, though unavoidable, are where we experience the most growth… I know this because I just finished battling a harsh and scary winter myself.
Winter is Coming.
Yes, that was a Game of Thrones reference. Off topic but who else is completely STOKED for season 8??!!!! (**Disclaimer: I could journey through the seven kingdoms of Westeros and defeat Cersei myself for the Iron Throne in the time that I have been waiting for this new season to air. 2019 WHERE YA @!?)
Where was I going with this post? Oh, right!
The winter seasons in life.
It is not fun. It is frustrating, disheartening, gut wrenching, and right when you feel like everything is about to change, another curveball comes into play. Countless breakdowns over the phone to friends, countless arguments with God, countless nights spent crying myself to sleep (I’m an emotional person ok). I went through so many hardships, freak accidents, and working through a few personal issues that were out of my control.
It is hard to explain a few things I was battling unless you’ve dealt with them personally. (A few MAJOR girl probs for lack of better, more eloquent words… something I might actually write about for all my gal pals in a later post… still haven’t decided yet). I think this was the worst. It caused the most damage in this last season and affected my self esteem and relationships with people in my life.
So. Many. Curveballs.
I was looking back through my prayer journal and found an entry from a couple of months ago where I felt like I was stuck in a rut, everything was foggy and I had virtually no clarity of the path I was on. I wrote about how frustrated I was and asked for reassurance, and a clear path. Halfway through my prayer I realized that maybe what I was lacking wasn’t clarity, but lacking trust in God. So instead, I began to pray for more trust.
And the good Lord does not disappoint!
Each day I began to gain more trust. Though curveballs were still being thrown at me, my trust was strengthening.
Sometimes, some damaged things can be repaired, which requires a lot of focus, trust and hard work. Other times, some things have to just burn up completely for something better to rise from the ashes. You never really know which will be the outcome until what is meant to burn, completely explodes.
Everything in my life burned up and exploded.
Any other time in my life, I would have let this fire consume me, but this time I had something different holding me together…
I trusted. Completely. Whole heartedly. With every single ounce of my being. I knew things would be okay. And in fact, I am okay.
“By your spirit I will rise from the ashes of defeat, the resurrected King is resurrecting me.”
Sometimes you just have to watch it all burn up as a helpless bystander. Then when the flames die out and the embers cool down, start over new. Rebuild something bigger, better, and indestructible. Rise from the ashes a graceful fighter.
That is where I am at. And that is what I am doing.
I am not defined by a rough winter season. But I do allow it to shape me, and contribute to my personal growth. I am in pursuit of eternal life and my own unique version of Proverbs 31.
And that is how I am defined. By my resilience, by my grace, and most importantly by my trust in and dedication to His purpose for my life.
I am not on the path that I planned out for myself. I think that is very important to note. I find so much more rest in the fact that the plan I had for myself is buried in the ashes and I am on the path that God designed specifically for me. And I am sealed in His spirit.
So many new things are happening around me. So many changes are taking place. I can feel the good works God has set before me approaching in this new season of my life. And I can honestly say that man, summer has never felt SO GOOD!! (a summer season that is, but also pretty ironic that it is actually summer now).
So out with the old and in with the new right?
A few things I am implementing in my life to ensure that this season is the most fulfilling season yet:
- FIRST AND FOREMOST social media is outta here.
- Snapchat- I love you but you’ve gotta go. I’m an adult and taking selfies of myself to send to other people is getting to be kind of narcissistic, it was cool in high school when I was 18, but all good things must come to an end. (Hopefully I’ll stick to this)
- Instagram– although I’m not completely giving this up, I’m definitely limiting my use. I temporarily disabled my account for a couple of weeks just to see if I could live without it and SURPRISE I CAN AND I DID AND I FEEL AMAZING. It’s actually pretty disturbing how much time I spent making comparisons of my body, my social life, my professional life, etc. through pictures that probably had 85 other rejected takes from slightly different angles. Plot twist: none of us actually have it all together!
- Twitter– We said sayonara a while ago and it definitely was a good riddance. You were one of those ex’s as much as I knew you were bad for me, I couldn’t seem to stay away from until Alas! I saw the light!
- Facebook– unfortunately I have to keep you around but don’t expect as much love from me as you received back in 2009 when MySpace finally died.
- I’m taking up a new hobby. Not sure what that is yet but we’ll try a few things out. Maybe ill get into painting, it seems extremely therapeutic. Or maybe I’ll learn an instrument, music has always been a coping mechanism for me so this could be a winner!
- Worry less. I am already an extremely level headed person as it is, and lately I just haven’t been as worrisome. What is meant to be will be, and the Lord knows the desires in my heart and will bless them, so what do I really have to worry about? Just go with the flow. Focus on one task at a time. Focus on the future. It is good to reminisce but life is right now. Not yesterday, not tomorrow, but right this second. Live in it, be present in the now, and look forward to the future.
- Last but not least digging deeper into the word. Being fed spiritually is so important to me so I vow to start every day waking up earlier so I can have that precious time in the mornings with my Savior and friend. Not just reading my bible but really studying the word and applying it to my day ahead. What better way to start your day than with Jesus and a cup of coffee? (or three cups, I’m not addicted or anything)
This season is all about a new beginning and I dedicate this season to falling back in love with my life and most importantly my God. He loves us so passionately, so fiercely, so jealously, and He deserves that same love to be reciprocated. Do you understand that He actually DIED because He loves us so much????
The flames are now dormant, the embers have cooled. Nothing left but beautiful ashes to rise from.