Have you ever been surprised at how quickly the seasons change?
Quickly, sometimes surprisingly. A bright, brutally hot summer abruptly turns to a chilly, gray fall. Fall to winter. Frozen winter to a blooming spring.
It’s a bit the same with the seasons in our lives. Our seasons change, but not always with our consent. We want to stay in the sunshine forever, and keep the cold far away. Some seasons are longer than others. There are seasons that we long to change. Seasons at a certain job may seem to drag out, or a rut-filled season within a relationship.
No matter what, we are called to faithfulness in every season. It’s our Creator’s decision when a season will change. Only the Lord knows exactly why the door closes quickly on a beautiful season, and a dark season seems to stretch on endlessly. It’s our job to trust our Heavenly Father. Trust, and be faithful.
Seasons are a gift. May we practice presence and embrace the beauty and lessons in each one.
“He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.”~Ecclesiastes 3:11
(Happy Autumn! I always find this to be such a season of change and hope. Autumn is a season that brings much shifting. May you find refreshment, hope, and healing in this season of transformations!)
Just over a year ago, I posted this.The gist of the article was about my fears surrounding taking a huge life leap–a leap that would disrupt the stability of everything in my life. Believe me, it was a turbulent time.
A year later, here I am. I’m still standing. I’m not in the same place, geographically, or in any other area of my life. (For that, I am thankful.) I have moved from fear to faith. Of course, this will be a never-ending process. Throughout our lives, we’ll continually be presented with opportunities to choose faith over fear.
A lot sure has changed in one year! Here’s my testimony:
I left the full-time job I had been clinging to, but which no longer brought me life. I knew my Father would provide for me, but I had no idea how. God granted me a job that pays the bills and also allows the perfect amount of flexibility I need at this time in my life. It’s not easy to find that kind of gig–but of course, with God, all things are possible.
God has granted me a sound mind in order to continue my studies and to excel in them. I’m so grateful to be in school, studying a subject which interests me and will allow me to be an instrument of healing for others. I’m about halfway to graduation!
The clock was ticking, and I had a short time to move to a new home. In the nick of time, God came through with a safe and positive living environment. This also isn’t necessarily easy to find, but God knew what He was doing and opened the door to the place He wanted me to live.
I’ve discovered my true friends. The ones that will stick with you even when you (or they) move away. The friends that have seen you through thick and thin and show no sign of stepping out of your life. In this season, I’ve also met new friends that inspire me to grow deeper with the Lord and to discover new aspects of my life. (I pray that I am that kind of friend for them, too!)
Now I know the truth about fear. It’s stagnancy. Fear gives power to meaningless doubts instead of power to an UNLIMITED God! Fear leaves you a shell of the person that you truly are, and that God wants to transform you to be.
Fear is a lie and keeps you from experiencing the wonders that God has for you.
Now I know the truth about faith. Faith brings growth. Faith brings life. Faith brings joy and open doors that you could never have imagined. Decisions of faith mean learning to rely on God above all, and realizing that He truly does care about our lives and care about us!
Faith is the scariest step you can ever take, but it brings blessing and joy.
If you’re struggling to step out in faith, I pray that you will be strengthened today by the Author and Perfecter of our faith! I pray that your spiritual eyes will be opened to whatever He has for you! I pray that He will release you from the spirit of fear, and pour down the spirit of faith and hope into your life! Thank You, Lord Jesus, for Your faithfulness!
“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”–Hebrews 11:1
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.~Ephesians 2:10
I celebrated my birthday recently. I’m not going to tell you how old I am…Most people are shocked at my age anyway, since youthful genes run in my family. Additionally, I’m quite petite. Put simply, the number doesn’t matter. These days, I’m pondering life and the lessons I’ve gained more than before.
I no longer put societal expectations about age and the timeline for God’s plan for my life together. God has given us each a different story to write. It’s refreshing that none of us is exactly the same. We can always learn from one another and the different ways that God works in each our lives. It can be difficult to understand why the Father gifts one person in a certain way and not another person, but He is sovereign. Only He knows why, as tough as that can be for us to swallow.
In the past year, I had many opportunities to actually “walk in faith.” By the world’s standards, I went about a lot of things in a way that isn’t normally recommended. I think some people think I’m crazy for the peace I’ve gained from Christ about certain areas of my life. But you know what? We serve a faithful, all-powerful God. He has never let me down, and I know that same faithfulness will continue this year and forever.
I am astounded when I think upon the gift of life. Earthly life is definitely not perfect and there are always struggles of various types. Yet when I ponder that this life is a gift, and I could have never existed at all, or even not been given the chance to live…It puts it into a whole new perspective! What a tremendous gift, to live, learn, and love.
I was an idea of the God of the universe! So were you, and every other person in existence at any time. I don’t think our minds can fully comprehend it. What is also profound is that each of us were created for a specific & unique purpose!
I can’t wait to grow closer to Jesus Christ during this next year of my life and to see how He leads me further into the purpose I was created for…
“For the vision is yet for the appointed time; It hastens toward the goal and it will not fail. Though it tarries, wait for it; For it will certainly come, it will not delay.”~Habakkuk 2:3
So many times I have attempted to plan the timeline of my life. It is fruitless because life has never happened according to my timeline. I know that my God knows the timing of each detail of my life. Other translations of this verse, instead of saying “it will not delay,” say it “will not be late.” The timing of the Lord is perfect! Many times I’ve been tempted to think I am “late” in certain regards, but that thinking is not according to my Lord. Again, the Father’s timing is rarely, if ever, our timing! Remember that He has plans for your welfare and not for woe (Jeremiah 29:11). It is difficult to trust in the moments when we can’t see. Even though we can’t see one step in front of us, He has a vision. Every detail is working together. And He has given us a vision, too. But we must wait. We must continue to work in His vineyard faithfully, as we await the proper time and the fullness of the revelation. It will not delay-it will not be late.
On Sunday mornings, I get in my car and drive to attend Mass, to worship the Lord with my brothers and sisters. It’s the highlight of my week. Though I know the times are perilous and anything can happen, I know that my church in a suburb in the U.S.A. is much safer than many of the places my brothers and sisters worship. I always have a thought for my brothers and sisters all over the world who are persecuted for their faith. They realize that any public act of worship may well be their last. They step into a church that they know could be a target, or crowd into homes or secret places where someone may have followed them.
Today I arrived home and read the sad news of the bombing of a cathedral in Egypt, where more than 20 people lost their lives. Then I read about Pope Francis praying for the victims of terrorism from this weekend. Egypt was not the only place where people lost their lives the past 2 days. Persecution and terrorism are widespread in this world. This map gives an idea of the places where Christians are persecuted and the severity of the persecution.
Don’t forget to pray for our brothers and sisters throughout the world. And remember that religious freedom is not something to take for granted. So many of our Christian brothers and sisters live daily with persecution, and we need to be prepared for the same. Today we mourn and remember the victims and their families, as well as pray for the conversion of those who carry out attacks.
“In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.”~2 Timothy 3:12
“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”~Hebrews 10:23-25
The huge theme of this passage is encouragement. The author encourages the reader (you!) to hold fast to your hope in Jesus without wavering. This means that our hope protects from doubt. We are reminded of the Lord’s faithfulness. Even in difficult times, our God is faithful to us and upholding us. We are exhorted to encourage others and stir them up to good works. Christian community and its necessity is mentioned. We cannot neglect a faith community, and must hold strongly to it. Community strengthens all of the individuals within it, thus strengthening the Church as a whole. The book of Hebrews gives strong advice to us about running our race and enduring even in difficulty.
(It’s been a long time since I did one of The Word on Wednesday posts. I will try to be more consistent about this! Thanks for reading!)
This week was one of the most trying I have had in a long time. I was in survival mode, at work and at home. I felt out of my element and exhausted, emotionally and physically. The cold and rainy, dark weather did not help my energy level or my mood.
Then came the long-awaited Friday. I made it through the workday, where once again nothing seemed to go successfully. I looked forward to finally going home and take care of personal business that needed to be done, and to unpacking my new place and making it feel like home. I was so drained and questioning many things. Then, I noticed this sight.
I felt clearly the presence of my Father, and His love. The sight of that rainbow, a sign of His promises, gave me so much strength. We think we can’t do it on our own, and it’s true: we can’t! But leaning on God’s grace, we can do it. We can trust His faithfulness and that He is working even through the storms and rain. One day, when you think you simply can’t walk another step, you just might yourself walking into a rainbow.
“I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth.”~Genesis 9:13
“The LORD’S loving kindnesses indeed never cease, For His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.”~Lamentations 3:22-23
Together journeying toward the Creator and becoming the creations we were meant to be.