*Let me introduce Lori Beard. I have invited her to be a guest blogger on this site from time to time. Lori serves the church I pastor as a Biblical Counselor and Women’s Ministry Leader. I know God will bless and challenge you through her blog entries. So, enjoy this first “entry” from my Sister in Christ.
Ecclesiastes 3: To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven. A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant and a time to pluck what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn and ; a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones. A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing. A time to gain and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to throw away; a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence and a time to speak. A time to love and a time to hate; a time of war and a time of peace.
To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under the heavens. I have always lived my life believing this passage in the Bible and thinking that I truly understood it; recently that faith has been tested. If we believe the Bible then we must believe that every single thing in life is God-given; God ordained; he gives life and death; joy and sorrow; rich and poor; everything comes from him and it all serves his eternal purpose.
I can look back and see the seasons in my life so clearly. I see my childhood as a season that was full of joy, sorrow, dancing, mourning, laughter, and tears. I see my marriage as a season that is still continuing; early marriage that was rocky and stupid, many times, to middle marriage that has emulated God somewhat closer, for sure, while still being so far from what the Bible has called me to in the area of marriage. The situation that has made me most aware of seasons in my life is that of being a momma. I see my daughters from the very beginning; tiny, helpless, lost without me and daddy; and then I see them grow and the season of full helplessness begins to change. They become a little more independent and sure of themselves. They begin to notice the world and people around them and to ask questions apart from me and daddy. That season continues until they become grown women who love the Lord and begin to live their lives apart from daddy and I.
This season came full circle for us this past weekend when our precious Amy married the man God had made just for her. Over the last few months, there has been a rending,a tearing away from her dad and I that we have been aware of with tears and joy. How hard it has been to see Amy begin to turn to her precious David in place of daddy for advice and comfort; to ask him first as opposed to speaking with us first; and we are just in the beginning stages of this new season. We are praying peace and joy as we walk through this new time in our lives and the life of our daughter. We need wisdom and guidance, grace and patience as we learn how to let go. But, I was so reminded of this passage in Ecclesiastes 3 during this time, God clearly tells us that nothing lasts forever; everything comes to an end but him and his reign.
Ecc. 3:14 says, “I know whatever God does, it shall be forever. Nothing can be added to it, and nothing taken from it.” So, I am looking back to the seasons in my girls’ lives. Did I live them in the moment or worry about the future and miss out on the moment? Did I live them with passion and joy, understanding what a gift and privilege it is to parent them? Did I spend time with them; real time, talking and listening and caring about what they said, thought, wondered, desired? Did I laugh and cry with them? Did I grow with them? Did I apologize to them? Did I seek their forgiveness when I needed to? Did I cherish them in words and deeds so that they knew they were cherished?
Cliff and I are starting a new season with Amy; we are mourning the loss of the old but only for a short time because we do not want to miss one minute of this new one. Life is about seasons; they come and they go; they do not last forever. If you are hating the wintertime and just waiting for spring; spring will come but all that God intended you to enjoy and learn and love in the winter has passed. You cannot get it back; you cannot ever regain that particular season. Matthew 6 says not to worry about tomorrow…live today. His grace is sufficient for today. God give me grace to live today; this new day; this new season in my life with joy and passion and in such a way that it bring great glory to you.
Parents; do not spend time wondering about when you will get time for yourself or when you will have a moment to do just what you wanted. Do not fret about what is coming when you have to kiss your children goodbye as they walk down the aisle to start their own family; do not think about anything but this particular season. Live it with joy, commitment, passion and dedication. Whatever season you are in at this particular time in your life will come to an end: ask yourself these questions:
1. What is God teaching me during this season of my life?
2. What have I gained during this time; what do I know today that I did not know when it started?
3. Am I living this season or longing for the next?
Seasons come and seasons go; love them because they are a precious gift from God. They are not our “right”; they are our privilege. God bless you as you live out your seasons with Jesus as your pilot. I pray you do so with joy and abundant life.