What do you do when you feel like you are stuck in a season?
In my case, I feel like I have been stuck in a season for quite a few years now. A season of sicknesses, excruciating back pain, a much needed surgery, marriage break down and divorce, financial struggles, family issues, and a pandemic.
As much as I wanted to hit the fast forward button, there was no getting out of it. At times I had a full blown pity party, and cried, wanted to faint, curl up in a ball, and at other times I was thankful and cognizant that God was carrying me through the long days. There are many people that are dealing with lifelong disabilities, and sicknesses, and when I saw people that were worse off than me I was ashamed of myself. Life is hard, but how do we deal with things when life is tough?
What does God’s word say about times and seasons?
To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven: 2 A time to be born, And a time to die; A time to plant, And a time to pluck what is planted; 3 A time to kill, And a time to heal; A time to break down, And a time to build up; 4 A time to weep, And a time to laugh; A time to mourn, And a time to dance; 5 A time to cast away stones, And a time to gather stones; A time to embrace, And a time to refrain from embracing; 6 A time to gain, And a time to lose; A time to keep, And a time to throw away; 7 A time to tear, And a time to sew; A time to keep silence, And a time to speak; 8 A time to love, And a time to hate; A time of war, And a time of peace.
Galatians 6:9 ESV
And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.
As nice as I think it would have been it not to go through these challenges, where would I be, spiritually, had I not faced these obstacles? Will you still stand, and believe in God when things get rough? Or, do you only love Him when times are good?
I know what has carried me through these difficult times is being in a prayer group. Praying with other believers, and having them pray for you. Exercising, taking a walk, or sitting outside with a book. Other things that helped me was rearranging my furniture, getting a mani/pedi, and simply trying new things. I recently took an overnight trip, and drove a couple hours away, which doesn’t sound like a big deal, but it was scary for me without my husband there to do the navigating. I recently wrote a short children’s story which is something I have always wanted to do. As soon as I self-publish it, I will let you guys know.
Even though I can tell the tide is shifting (after all, nothing ever stays the same) I have to consciously practice self-care, and take control of my thoughts. What would life be like if everything was good, without its challenges? How would we be able to help and encourage others if we couldn’t empathize and know what their pain feels like? After all, one of life’s purposes is to help others.
No matter what, God will use every bit of bad that we have gone through for His purpose and glory. So wipe your tears away, take a deep breath, and thank God for all the good things you have and that are coming your way.
Who do you say you are?
If someone were to ask you that what would you say? Would you say “I’m an attorney, or “I’m a basketball player” or “I’m a musician.” If someone were to ask me before, I would say “I’m a wife and mom.”
After my husband and I separated, I didn’t know who I was. I was a wife for so long. I remember walking down the aisle at the grocery store, reaching out to grab my husband’s favorite foods, and then remembering we were no longer together and putting his favorite food back, reluctantly.
I remember when I was younger all I wanted to be was a wife and mom. I felt since I was not really someone’s wife anymore that my identity was stripped away. It was depressing and lonely. People would tell me “Just focus on yourself.” And, “What do you like to do?” Well, that sounded like great ideas, but I didn’t know what to focus on, or what I liked to do.
For so long all I would do was go to my husband’s sport games, or watch whatever he was watched on TV. (I know this sounds pathetic.) But looking back, I put so little effort into myself. I put all my energy into my husband that I neglected myself and that is unhealthy.
Before you are a daughter, or a son, or a sister, brother or husband, or an entrepreneur, you are a child of God. You know what God says about your identity?
Psalm 139:13-16 (NIV)
13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be
I had to learn that after what I thought was my identity was stripped away from me that “wife” was just one facet of who I was. My whole self was wrapped up in that word, wife.
You know what I discovered? I am a daughter of the one true King. That is who I am foremost. Yes, I am a secretary, yes, I am a mom, but that is not my identity. I had to go to God’s word and read what He says I am. Only then could I come to terms that even though wife may not be relevant to me anymore, I am still beloved by the greatest Father of all time.
In fact, He sent his son to die for you. That’s how much He loves you. I will leave you with one last scripture to think about.
Isa 49:16 “Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.”
If your identity rests in your career, or your “title” I urge you to read what The Lord says about you. He loves you so much, even without that Ph.D.