Sunday, August 15, 2010

A Time for Everything

Let's talk seasons.   This is a good time for that because most people I know are about sick of this 110 degree heat index.  In fact, most people I know are ready for fall. 
Fall is, hands down, my favorite time of year, with May / June being a distant second.  There is some relief about the fall, there is no more of the intense heat and humidity that leaves you breathless as you walk outside.  Routine has set back in, apples come into season, pumpkins are due for carving, sweaters are washed for wearing, and best of all, Christmas is just around the corner.  Have I mentioned that I love fall?  I love fall. 

I hate winter, after December 31st.  I know, I know, but seriously, get me through Christmas and give me 70 degrees.  So really, I don't just hate winter, but I kind of hate spring too.  (Yeah, I said it.)  I don't mind the last sunny, not so rainy, not so allergy ridden kind of spring, I basically hate southern Illinois weather that lies between January 1st and about mid April, and when you hate it, well, that's about 4 months to hate.  It makes for a very long season. 
Such are seasons in life sometimes.  There are seasons that I have just hated... we've called those the desert experiences in the past, but for the sake of this blog we'll refer to those as the after Christmas winter, rainy, nasty, bleh experiences... or my January through April season. 
I can look back in my life and see several of those, but some of those stand out more than others. 

For example: 
- HS sophomore year was hard... lots of family changes and seeming rejections left me hurt and confused.
- HS senior year was harder yet... finally loving Jesus for the first time like I should have been for a long time and facing some major loneliness.  I can honestly say I've never felt more alone in my life than I did during that season.
- And the hardest, the road.  Newlywed loneliness and difficult experience physically, mentally, and more importantly, spiritually, left Aaron and I both very very tired and hurt. 

But January through April have proven two things to me:
1.  The sun always comes and the cold always goes if you can stick it out.  Sticking it out to May may seem hard and pointless, but May brings flowers and green grass, and the warmest sun you ever did feel, at least for the last 8 months or more.  During those cold dark seasons in life, rest always comes somewhere down the line.  Sometimes the season seems long and unbearable, but God promises those seasons are just that, seasons.  Eventually the desert becomes the mountaintop, and the mountaintop will again become the desert.  The deserts, or the January through Aprils, make us appreciate the Mays and Junes.
2.  God always carries us through those seasons and we are stronger than ever before.  God really displayed his love for me through my sophomore year circumstances, I learned more about God, and believe I was closer to God than I've ever been during my senior year circumstances, and God used the road to grow each of us spiritually, pointing out our own sin and allowing our marriage to grow by leaps and bounds, though it was by far the most difficult time I've endured personally, and the most difficult time our marriage has probably endured.  But May came in all of those situations.

And you know, I'd be lying if I said I wouldn't mind experiencing bits and pieces of those seasons over again.  Aaron and I had the unique season of the road to allow us experiences many other couples will never get.  If anyone knows hotels, we do.  (And I love hotels)  We've seen a lot of country together.  (And I love traveling)  We met a lot of great people.  (And I love people)  The season existed for a reason, but during it I literally said, 'I will never miss this,' and though I wouldn't change our lives now for anything, I do miss it some.  Not the ministry part, the relational part and the experience part. 

Ecclesiastes says there's a time for everything, for every season under the sun.  Some will make us miserable, some will bring us joy, and one cannot exist without the other.  With the absence of pain we can not fully experience joy, with the absence of joy we cannot endure the pain.  There is a reason for every season.  What season are you in right now?


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