In her book, “Avoiding the 12 Relationship Mistakes Women Make,” Georgia Shaffer reminds us that many of us carry around a distorted viewpoint of seasons. We focus on the natural seasons of spring, summer, fall and winter – but we may not realize other more abstract seasons of life.
Shaffer gives us several points to help us be more receptive to the seasons of life.
1. Understand Life’s Seasons
Think of seasons more in terms of the verses in Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, “There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven – a time to give birth, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to uproot what is planted. A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to tear 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 throw stones, and a time to gather stones; a time to embrace, and a time to shun embracing. A time to search, and a time to give up as lost; a time to keep, and a time to throw away. A time to tear apart, and a time to sew together; a time to be silent, and a time to speak. A time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace” (New American Standard Version).
Shaffer even suggests other seasons – one for searching how to fix a problem and one for accepting what has happened.
2. Identify the Current Season’s Benefits and Limitations
We can find something good in every day if we just look for it. Even if we’re walking through a difficult season, do we still have hot showers and food in the fridge? Do we have a roof over our heads and a few bucks in our purses? Then we have some benefits.
This is where a gratitude journal is helpful. List the benefits or the special “gifts” you see around you, even during a particularly trying season.
We also might consider the limitations of a season as a time to slow down, stop trying to fix everything, trust in God, wait for the answer and accept where we are in life.
3. Accept the Current Season
It’s important to grieve when seasons bring us pain, but at some point – we can learn to accept where we are and what is happening to us. Sometimes we need to work hard to move out of a particular situation, but other times – we just need to accept it as our current season and be content.
Some seasons are fun and exciting. We feel energized by them and want to move forward in life. Other seasons are more disappointing – times of deep learning or even extreme longing.
When we learn to accept the current season we’re in, then God can do some of his best work in us – to help us receive what he wants us to have and to prepare us for the next season that comes our way.
2014 GateWay of Hope – The Helping Place for Hurting Women