It was once I moved to the Upper Midwest that I first experienced the seasons. A bitter cold winter turns into spring with life bulging out of the ground and flowers budding. A hot summer day giving way to the death of fall. I saw the physical change of the season and thought that was all it is – the beautiful result of temperature and daylight changes.
But seasons really are so much more. Time Markers.
I saw it right in front of me for the first time – time passing – physically, day by day. Seasons come and go and time ticks only to be marked by these changes.
Our lives have seasons too – time markers. Some of us name them.
The summer I lost my mom. The year I was diagnosed with cancer. The winter I miscarried. That year we went to Europe. The month we got engaged.
Our seasons might be marked with new life, new hope like spring. But others are more like fall – watching time pass and life wither. Our season can be long, and dark, and cold. It can take so much longer to get through it than we bargained for. We can be ill-prepared – like trudging through thick snow in a bathing suit, arguing that life is unfair and cruel and bodies are weak. Or it can be sweet and joyful – breezing by with hope and contentment, distracting us with its sweet elixir until the day we wake up and realize its gone – wishing we could do it again, not take it for granted.
I marked the beginning of a new season today. A season marked by a decision I didn’t want to make with an outcome I wouldn’t choose, but has to be nonetheless. Sometimes seasons come when we don’t want them to. And I know in the big picture this season will not last long, and will not be as painful as it feels right now, but from today – the first step, the journey seems long and my heart aches. Is there any other way? I have been on this journey before and I am already aware of the answer. I must accept the season. And not just endure – as if I was new life crouching, hidden in the bark or a bulb in frozen ground awaiting warmer days – oh no! I must spring forth with life like crocus popping through a fresh layer of snow in the spring knowing that the thaw is coming.
The vibrant purple flowers mark the bold emergence of first life.
I must show joy and hope in the midst of the season trusting that this too, is for my good – to prepare me for the next season God brings me to – easy or difficult, short or long – a season picked for me by the One who heaps blessings on His children.
“Yet he has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy.”
In this season too, I will praise His name.
What season are you in?