"For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven."
I started with the prompt of "season" last week and wrote an entire post about fall. And then I saw that there was a different prompt for the Hope Writer's challenge coming up that was titled Fall. So I had to approach season with new eyes; I filed away my "fall" post for this week and started thinking about season. And today it just all started rushing around in my head, the thoughts about various seasons of our lives and our part in each of them.
I love the verse above because it gives credit to the fact that there is a season for everything. I only included the first verse of Ecclesiastes 3, but listen to the rest of it:
a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embrace;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.
I can think back on a lot of different seasons in my life and how, at the time, I felt stuck or like I wanted to get out of that season. Or maybe how I wanted to dive into that season, despite God telling me it wasn't my time for that season. The one I remember most clearly was the season of weddings! 2013 was the year I still refer to as the year of nine weddings; it felt like EVERYONE was getting engaged and married right after college. Living in the Bible belt in the south, this was rather common. My Facebook feed was filled with shiny rings and beautiful engagement photos. Scott and I had been dating for 7 years at that point, and I just wanted so badly to be in that season. I wanted the sparkly ring and to be planning a wedding, to be planning our future life together.
I dared to hope for it, but God kept asking me to wait. I was in a really low place in March of 2013 while at the bachelorette weekend of one of my good friends. I was trying to distract myself by keeping busy-- I was training for a half marathon and went for a 7 mile beach run that Saturday morning. I prayed for God to give me a peace about the season that I was in, to give me a heart to wait for the wedding season, the marriage season. The next day, I left the beach and went back home. Scott was coming home from Indiana and had a sunset date planned-- something we did often in our beach town. That night, Scott asked me to be his wife. God invited us into the season I'd been standing on the edge of for so long. He invited us into the season of preparing for a gospel-centered wedding and a God-fearing marriage.
I'm not saying that when you want something badly enough God will give it to you the next day if you pray about it. But I have learned that there really is a season for everything. The season before our wedding and marriage season was a really challenging several years of dating long distance between Indiana and North Carolina. In many ways, it prepared my heart for the patience and endurance that I would need in my marriage season.
These days, it seems like Scott and I are on the outside of the baby season. It sure seems like everyone around me is having babies and starting families; one day not too long ago, I just broke down crying and asked Scott if we were ever going to have babies. We've been in a different season, ourselves, of course. And it's not necessarily a bad season, just a different one. One of home renovations, paying off massive student loan debts, and trying to become established in our careers. We're in a season of growing in community and meeting friends, of living far from home and trying to find our place and set roots where we are. It reminds me of the season though, when I so longed to be where everyone else was, when I wondered if I was being left behind.
Ecclesiastes reminds me that I'm not. God's Word reminds me that there is a time and a season for everything, and that those seasons can't all happen at the same time. Can you imagine having a baby crawling around when there are chop saws and drills all around the house? I laugh thinking about it because it's ludicrous. I hope there will be the baby season for us one day, but for now, I feel God walking with me through the waiting. There is another in the fire.