Photo by Rachel May
Today’s post is a personal one. It’s been a while since I’ve opened up my heart on here, so I hope you don’t mind. Life just has a way of calling for it, sometimes.
My family is in a huge, new season of uncertainty and change right now. A couple weeks ago Aaron resigned from the job he’s held for 8 years with an organization that has been a huge, special part of our lives, not only these last 8 years, but all the way back to 2004 when Aaron and I first met. Change of any kind, let alone something so big after such an extensive investment, is certainly bittersweet. There is a lot to process with a transition like this, but there is also a lot of room for God to show Himself faithful, open exciting new doors, and provide in different ways than ever before.
What I find particularly comforting when change happens (and I’m not someone who loves new life-altering adventures, per se) is how God, at every turn, seems to know exactly what I need from Him to lay myself, my heart, my fears or anxieties at His feet and trust with more fervor than I can muster in my own strength. The messages at church and the reading in my own devotional time these last couple weeks have been what I can only assume are hand-picked just for me. He also gave me a husband who embraces change, loves the journey of life, and doesn’t worry about what he can’t control. Those characteristics of Aaron constantly challenge me, and push me to loosen my grip on what I think I can control. That, in and of itself, is a gift in my life. I’m so grateful to walk through life with someone who is responsible and hard-working, but care-free and not fearful about new things, or seasons of the unknown.
This past year, in so many ways, has been God creating fertile soil in my heart to accept growth when I naturally would remain hardened and resistant and very much “Life is great JUST how it is, thank-you-very-much”. It began with having Llewyn, which of course changes everything and makes you KEENLY aware that your time and your schedule are not your own, and not easily controllable. That was good for me to learn in such a tangible, practical way. And with the incredible blessing of Llewyn, came a new season in my business and the amount of work that I can (or want to) take on. Another reminder that even this business that I’ve worked so hard for, is not entirely in my control. That has been a great reminder, as it helps me to see every client, every available slot on my schedule to pour into the craft that I love, as a gift. Not something I deserve just because I’ve worked hard for it, but a blessing that I’ve been gifted the opportunity to maintain and use as a means to serve others in a way I’m passionate about. I now have so much more peace in realizing that the seasons of my workload will ebb and flow based on the needs of my family, both now and in the future, and I wouldn’t have it any other way! Being a work-from-home Mom is a role I’m so honored I get to live out, and was always the dream when I launched into this industry 8+ years ago.
Emotions in the midst of changing circumstances are not always easy to navigate. Or maybe that’s just me. But what I do know is that uncertainty and (seemingly) endless possibilities and timeframes do not have to equal stressful and scary. I know, for a fact, God has purposely placed these seasons in my life at different points over the years to force me to choose whether or not I will find joy and trust, or resist, complain and be bitter. And you know what? No matter how painful the season can be (and some of the previous ones involved me not being sure if Aaron was going to propose to me, or break up with me and heartbreak and disappointment for months as we walked through infertility – so, they brought plenty of pain in their time) I look back on them and would not trade what I gained from them. The place of surrender and peace that God ultimately brought me to when I came to the complete end of myself was worth fighting for.
Maybe this all seems like way too many emotions for something as simple as a job change. And maybe, on the surface, it is. But I’m comforted that God sees all the details, all the ins and outs and all the ways that it’s a stretch for me to find joy and peace in this type of season in my natural tendency. But He delights in comforting us when we choose to trust, especially when He knows it’s hard for us.
I don’t know what season you may be walking through. Maybe you’re waiting desperately for the engagement you desire to happen, but there seems to be no promise of it anytime soon. Maybe you’re just certain it’s time to start a family, but it’s just not happening and month after month you wait, and wonder, and try to trust. Maybe you just quit your 9-to-5 to pursue your small business venture full time, and all the sudden inquiries seem nonexistent. Maybe one door, in whatever area it may be, has suddenly closed and you just don’t have any idea how or what will open in it’s place. So you wait, and try to trust.
Whatever your season, whatever your challenge, whatever your temptation to fear or be bitter while you wait, you are not alone. But every detail, every emotion, is seen, whether you can share it publicly or not. You are not alone, and what I know for sure, is that these seasons of limbo while we wait for clearer vision for what comes next are not wasted. They may be complex, and they may stretch us beyond what we want, and they may involve an array of roller-coaster emotions. But they can and will be used for our good. And there is great comfort in that.
Take heart, my friends. We are in this together, and are led by the Great Comforter who delights in leading us by still waters, and restoring our souls.