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.

Dry Bone Season

This weekend I spent time with women in my neck of Nashville, joining together with women across the globe to listen, learn and see the Word of God come alive at IF:Gathering. Last year I participated in this same local gathering and felt my perspective shift, my heart come open to some things I had tried to close off or be guarded against that God was really pushing hard on me about.

This year I came in tired and sick…battling an upper respiratory thing all week in the midst of one of the driest seasons I have ever had in my 18 years of Christian living. I ploughed through the holidays trying to conjure up the feelings of Christ’s nearness, of the awe and wonder of Emmanuel and I was just left with a bit of empty and hollowness. Even as the new year rang, things have felt very¬†meh with me and the Lord so to speak.

I have been in a hard study of His Word in 1 and 2 Samuel that I’ll be sharing later this week on, but in all honesty, life hasn’t been really living in Christ for me the last few months. It’s felt like a dry desert kicking up some dust and finding spots of growth even in the parched, but nothing lush and overwhelming, no valleys or mountains…just a dry plateau of this journey.

So as I stumbled into this weekend of IF:Gathering I wondered if I could be engaged, if I would hear Him speak directly to me in the dry life I have been living. In realizing all this about the season I find myself in, I never once sought God out of thirst. I never once went to Him asking for Living Water to fill the parched heart that was just surviving. It’s been a very me-focused push through this journey, never once leaning onto God for help or guidance, for filling or quenching. I just thought I had to muster through in this season I found myself in, because I had chosen to enter this season of dryness on my own accord.

For this season I have chosen to isolate and seclude myself from alot, saying it was out of busyness and a call to quiet my life more. But what it really meant was I need to wall myself off because I was being pushed and challenged in ways I wasn’t ready to process and apply, to change and grow in community. IF:Gathering this weekend centered on the early church, and Acts as the Scripture focal point.

A group of women studying Acts, watch out world…but what struck me most was in Acts 1:7 how Christ is speaking to the disciples one final time, that we aren’t to know the times that are set by Father God because He has ultimate authority, God of all. He is sovereign and true, He is faithful and just. He is worthy and above all else, He can be trusted. So in my dryness I sought water. I sought the fountain of His unending faithfulness and love to be poured out when I simply could not make it for myself. I asked trusting He provides, knowing He is good and will give according to His glory what pleases Him.

It took being in this very dry season to understand that I didn’t have the faith to ask. I sought to do it on my own, as I often fail to see myself doing, and instead seek His well of life-giving truth.

This has been the song of constant prayer over the last few weeks.