Killing “Just a Season You’re In” Mentality

Do you ever resign yourself to the thought “Well, this is just the season I am in,” and just wallow in it? It’s a difficult season, or a quiet one, and you just find yourself giving in and wallowing a bit? Does that sound familiar? Or that it’s just so busy and crowded with things, that you think this is the way it will always be?

Recently I was skimming a couple of social media accounts I follow and seeing their “Hang on (fill in the blank situation) person, this is only a season” and it gave me pause. The reason why I wouldn’t understand until this weekend. I truly believe it’s because I was putting my very own excuse on a “season” I have been in and have thus grown to disdain it. I labeled it simply to get out of owning the fact I was uncomfortable with the wrestling, with the work of it, the tension and the change of schedule.

I kept being asked about my book, my writing, how it was going, by dear friends who were checking in on my life but I felt I had to label as a season of no writing. A season of quiet and contemplation. When in reality, I was quite willing to let this portion of my life die. I was putting down my writing life for no good reason, a calling I had so passionately from God years ago simply because it got hard. I was wrestling with realities and words, with stories and sharing, with being personal and very raw with my own life and struggles.

I had labeled it “just a season” as my excuse and hearing the words “Hang in there…” started to really make my stomach and my eyes roll. Because I knew it was all a label to me, for me and my giving up, my own death of a part of me. This part was who I was made to be, and what I was made to do in some form. It was a part of my life, and not a season.

Why stay here until we die? (2 Kings 7)

Those words were exactly what I had chosen for myself. Sitting outside the city gate in the midst of a famine as a leper of my own making. Staying in that season til I die, til that part of me was good and dead. In reading those words of 2 Kings I found myself leaning back into the very time God has called me to be in. A time of writing, a life of writing in fact. A life of living out the hard and pressing through it knowing that I am living it. For so many months I’d chosen death, the stench of it surrounding my life in a way I hadn’t clearly noticed, making this season one of despising and struggle rather than joy and searching.

Maybe you’re in a season of life, where you just can’t stand it being called a season. Because it’s not, it is a defining portion of your life from here on out. It’s more than a chapter, it’s the very plotline of your character development. What you are living, dealing with today, is the very thing making your day tomorrow, your month and your years. It is you. Just yet, you need to not hear the words “Hang in there” and instead, get up and live it. Live the hard. Live the difficult. Live out the strain and the stress, the chaos of it all. But live it. Don’t resign yourself to staying in it and dying. Don’t wallow in the death of it because that too will become what you live. You will be the walking dead of your life.

Today it’s being real that I just gave up for a bit. That I defiantly attempted to die at the gate instead of going to see about life.

Baking to Cope.

My coworkers love when I am stressed out.

Wait, that didn’t sound right.

They don’t necessarily love when I am stressed out. They love the effects of my stress often, as I tend to deal with stress through baking. Baking makes sense and it is a precise task or it will more than likely fail. And sometimes I do fail at baking. But it is how I choose to cope in stressful times. Which then is a reward for my colleagues…

I also realize that ignoring the stress, or not addressing it properly, is an unhealthy coping strategy. Believe me when I say I have been there in the ugly coping times. When I chose something far worse to channel my inability to control a situation into. I welcomed the wrong people and the wrong outlets into my life. I let chaos have control and my anxiety overwhelm me.

Some of us in this world don’t know how to address stress, anxiety, and the pressures that are often piled upon us in healthy ways. I didn’t for a long time. With either an explosive reaction of anger and frustration or choosing to ignore the reality that was presented me simply because I didn’t like it, I would go about life. I would think the world was out to get me and I would craft these elaborate scenarios which would come to be my reality.

Then I realized something, thanks to some real conversations with friends who truly cared for my well-being and health…I was choosing to cope with life. I just wasn’t choosing a life I could cope with. I picked what was easy and comfortable for me, because I needed that comfort in the stress. I needed that safety blanket.

Unfortunately for many (including myself at one point) that safety blanket has been alcohol, or pills, or sexual encounters, or cutting. I have had countless conversations with people on their coping mechanisms and far too often we choose to bury it within ourselves instead of seeking help. I was one for far too long and I understand the hurt and pain that confronts you. The words and fears of others finding out you just aren’t strong enough to cope with daily life.

But you are.

You will find out that we’re all struggling with something in our life when you decide to ask for help. For some it’s loneliness, others its finances, or family pressures. Maybe it’s work expectations or a wayward child. God never guaranteed a perfect life for us, and I know I struggle with that understanding as His child. I also know my strength doesn’t come from within myself all the time. It comes from asking for help…from talking with someone who can see the destructive path ahead of me and guide me to another trail.

Today whatever it is you are attempting to cope with in your life…whatever you are choosing to do instead of face the struggle know you are not alone. Know you don’t have to go it alone anymore. Know you are being prayed for specifically by me today.

Stop Creepin’.

That moment when you find your most recent ex on Facebook. He’s got another woman in his picture, or a mutual friend comments “Congratulations!” on a photo of a hand, with a large, aptly placed ring on a finger.

In this day and age of social media, I truly believe it’s easier than ever to keep up with friends from years ago across countries and nations. I also believe it’s alot harder to let go of your past and insecurities. Even as late as my college years, I could date someone andwe’d break up…and I honestly wouldn’t see him that often unless we had a class together. I wouldn’t get the smack of rejection or defeat, of the voice of my insecurity coming screaming back at me unless I ran into him haphazardly out in public. Going to a large state school, that wasn’t usually happening too often.

Photo courtesy of Huffington Post
Photo courtesy of Huffington Post

With the joy of social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, it’s all too easy to access information about that last person you dated. And his new girlfriend. Or her weekend away to meet his folks (speaking for all you guys out there). It’s easy to mistake that for being a snub to you, feeling as if they are flaunting every bit of your insecurity in your face.

I have been there, trust me…it’s a slippery slope when you start creeping on Facebook or Twitter. You think, Oh I’ll just give it a quick look-see, and then I’ll know I am better off than he is right now. Then you see the new fun times being had with a girl who looks better (or worse possibly) than you do. Or you see his friends commenting on how greatthey are together. I honestly believe that swings open a door for the devil to tempt you into believing his lies of insecurity and doubt. I have had countless conversations with ladies about the lies they believe about themselves when they see a picture or a status update that has nothing to do with them.

I know it’s difficult to let go, and it’s easier to just creep on over daily (or even hourly for some that I have spoken to) “just to see” or even to send a message to them…or attempt to be friends with them again. There’s a reason they have moved on to someone else. Or even if they are alone and you’re popping over to check in on them, it’s unhealthy. It leads down a very steep path, and if you aren’t careful it could begin to control you. The drama. The stirred up emotions and hostilities. The lies spiraling inward.

Beth Moore states it so well, “We don’t have to love something for it to become a god to us. All we have to do is devote our most valuable mental attentions to it.” Don’t let it be your god today. Don’t give it any more mental attention that it has already taken from you. You are far too valuable to allow another person to trip up your security or confidence.