“The blessedness of waiting is lost on those who cannot wait, and the fulfillment of promise is never theirs. They want quick answers to the deepest questions of life and miss the value of those times of anxious waiting, seeking with patient uncertainties until the answers come. They lose the moment when the answers are revealed in dazzling clarity.” — Dietrich Bonhoeffer
I’m coming out of a really hard life season. And, it’s still pretty fresh. The clouds are just beginning to let small rays of light peak through. In some ways, it feels like the hard part is over. The light of excitement and opportunity has shown just enough of its presence to know that there are good things ahead. And I’m extremely grateful for it. It feels fresh and new and reminds me that God is good through all things. But yet, at the same time, it’s so easy once the hard things are over to jump right back into “normal” life. The life where we can go a whole day (or more!) without thinking about talking to God or without picking up our Bible, because things are good. We are good.
So, as a way to call myself out of slipping back into a life where God takes the sidelines, I’m going to use this space to briefly share a few lessons I’ve learned (and am still learning!) during a hard season, in hopes that it will keep me grounded on God’s truths, but also in hopes that it might help anyone who might be going through a hard season.
God is faithful. As someone who has experienced enough trials in my life to know this is true, it is so easy to forget when I’m in the midst of a dark place. It’s easy for me to let anxiety and worry and doubt cover up the promise that God is always there. God pulls through. He’s got you and He’s got me. Nothing is too big for Him. This is something I’m still learning and leaning into. While I know it is true, actually living like He is faithful is something I always need to work on. As this new season begins for me, I’m choosing to keep this at the forefront of my mind by remembering how He has molded and shaped me in the last five months. He’s shown up, even if I didn’t recognize Him at first; He’s been there. He’s been faithful.
God shows up through people. There are things that have happened in the last few months that I think only God could have orchestrated. Phone calls were made. I was in the right place at the right time. Or having the confidence to trust my gut when nothing else seemed to make sense. But I also have learned just how much God shows up through people. Friends who sent texts of encouragement on my darkest days, City Chapel family members who would give glances from across the room that said, “I understand” or, “I’m here for you,” without actually saying anything at all, and people who I could cry with and celebrate with all within a matter of weeks.
I believe that God reveals Himself through all of creation, and that includes His image bearers. I have learned so much about Him through the people He has put in my path this last year. People say you learn who some of your closest, truest friends are during trials and tribulations. I believe that is true. But, I also believe we can learn so much about God by the way He puts people in our path during some of the most difficult and most joyous times. I think I’m only beginning to understand all that He was up to during this last season, and I’m excited to continue to understand and uncover what more He wants me to learn as I process and grow with the people He’s placed in my life.
New does not equal easy. In 2 Corinthians 5:17, Paul talks about how when we choose to live in Christ the old is gone and the new is here. But the newness doesn’t mean things will magically be simpler or easier. That’s probably quite far from what he was getting at. Instead, newness is hard. Newness means stretching, adjusting, learning . . . newness takes work. You can’t just slide into a new season without some growing pains. And that’s okay. It’s even healthy. Someone once told me that they saw me thrive whenever I was forced to stretch and grow. I became a glimpse of my best self when I was forced out of my comfort zone. Because if it was easy, I wouldn’t have to try. I wouldn’t have to lean on others or be reminded that the One who makes all things new is on my side through it all (coming back full circle to lesson number one =) ).
These three lessons are nothing new. Instead, these three lessons remind me of where I’ve been, how God has brought me through, and help me refocus on who God is through this new season. Whatever season you’re in, I pray that you will clearly see God’s faithfulness, see Him revealed through the people He’s placed in your life right now, and never be afraid to dive into the hardness of new things. Cheers to new seasons, wherever you are and whatever you are experiencing.
“He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man's heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.” Ecclesiastes 3:11
Written by Kelli Gilmore