We’ve had a lot of changes in our lives in the last year and a half. My mom passed away, and we moved from the "Bible Belt" and the only home my children can remember to start again at the Jersey Shore, um . . . a little bit different than the Bible Belt, by the way. My husband started a new job that brings a good bit of pressure, and we both left ministry positions in a church we helped to start. We have written four offers on houses, considered living in a camping trailer (with a dog, two cats, and a turtle), found a last-minute rental above our budget, and weathered a historic hurricane followed by a snowstorm. We have purchased a house only to have it cost us thousands of dollars in unexpected repair expenses, and we still are looking for a church. In many ways, I want the warmth of the season that was before.
As I started writing this blog, I remembered that I had blogged several years back, while I was still in the ministry position in my church. I reread some of those posts and wondered who that person was. I had such excitement and hope for the future. I was passionate about the thoughts and ideas I wanted to communicate about the Lord, family, and ministry. I felt purpose in my life and could see God moving in such exciting ways. My life was full, and my days were busy . . . too busy, really. But, as I sat thinking about that season of life, I found myself wanting to cling to it, to go back there and walk again the sunny paths that inspired me.
Still, as I remember more clearly those days gone by, I am reminded that each season has its bright and dark moments. Summer is filled with days of fun and sunshine, but it also brings rain, humidity, sunburn, and storms. So, too, we often see only the happy parts of the seasons of our lives as we look back, afraid the good days are gone. We often fail to see the difficulties of those days or the faithfulness of God in growing us through them. And we fail to see the hope of the coming days, autumn’s colors, cool breezes, beautiful sunsets, and fresh smells.
As I reconsider this new season of my life, I can see that although my mom’s passing was harder than I could’ve imagined, I know she is with her Savior and is joyful and pain-free. My children and I have met wonderful friends we never would have met had we stayed in Georgia. We’ve also learned a lot about the world outside of the Bible Belt and the widespread need for the Gospel of Jesus Christ to go beyond our comfort zones. My husband’s job has given him new opportunities and has provided for all of our financial needs, even the unexpected ones. We’ve had more time to just be a family without fitting our lives around all of our ministry responsibilities. We have a house that has comfortably welcomed family and large groups of friends for a day and up to a week. We weathered our first hurricane and a snowstorm together and gained fond memories that we’ll have forever. We have grown spiritually as a family as we are united in seeking to find a church where we can each grow and serve again.
As I ponder the current season of my life, I’m persuaded that looking back and cherishing the joys of past seasons is good, but if we cling to those times, we will not see clearly to embrace the joys of the days ahead. Whatever season you’re in, I hope you’ll embrace it! Remember and cherish God's graces in the past, but don’t look back longing for those seasons. Let’s look forward to the colors changing, breathe in the cool air, and enjoy the graces God wants us to know in this coming season of our lives.
Remembering . . . and anticipating,