Looking around you, you will have noticed that there’s a change of season happening. The leaves have changed colour and have fallen off the trees that were vibrant and green and full of life just months ago. Do you like the change you see? Does it inspire you to do things of that season? It sure does for me. As soon as the leaves start to change colour I pull out scarves and boots and start baking all things related to apples and pumpkins. I love fall! My husband laughs at me when I say this because he says I say the same thing with the change of every season….what can I say….I really enjoy each season and the different things it brings with it. I love spring when you see new life spring up out the brown and dismal earth. I love to see new buds form on the trees! I love summer too. I love the warmth of the sun on my skin. I love being outside to enjoy that warmth. I also love camping, so summer means we will most likely spend a lot of time in the mountains and that is whole other level of beauty in itself. When fall hits, I’m always ready for it. It’s the winding down of a busy summer and back to routine again (which are really a necessity in this house). Winter is next, and I love it! The beauty of watching the snow quietly blanket the earth in a majestic robe of white sparkle is awe-worthy. It seems that winter brings out a different attitude in people too. People seem kinder and more patient. I think it has a lot to do with Christmas. People seem to prepare their hearts and align their attitudes with the joy that the birth of our Saviour brings.
But, the thing about seasons is that they come and go. In our lives too, seasons change. We won’t always stay in the same season and in the same place. Things change. The change of seasons in our life might not always be welcoming as it is with the physical change of seasons. Some seasons just really suck! Some seasons are very dry. We don’t know how to get through it and we can’t see how we will rise above it either. We’ve most likely all had times in our lives when everything seemed to fall into place. We cherish the memories of those times and long to repeat them, but soon enough, we enter a season in which nothing seems to go right. With each change in season you’re given a fresh opportunity to recapture the hope you once had. God placed hopes and dreams inside of you for a reason. He knows you want to experience the joy of seeing them fulfilled. You need only to open your heart, step out in faith, and trust Him.
Can we really do that though? Do we trust in Him? Do we take the time to listen to what God is saying to us or do we just go with what “feels right”? I have asked myself this question many times over the past few weeks. I sent in my withdrawal of my Accounting course and I’ve really been battling that decision. I was physically and mentally not able to go on another day. I felt such a strong calling to go for it when I signed up for it and now I am so confused. I still feel like that is something God wants me to do, but maybe the timing was just wrong. God doesn’t make mistakes, I know that, so then, did I jump the gun? I feel like a failure to myself, my husband, and my kids. There were many factors in the decision to withdraw. The main one was the fact that my life was literally planned to minute of each day in order to get the work done. My housework was slacking. My bookkeeping was slacking. My relationships were slacking. The pressure of it all was just too much. I enjoyed the learning. I learned a lot!! The time spent in the textbooks the last few months are not wasted. I feel blessed by what I learned and can apply that knowledge now, but there’s that tiny voice whispering around me “failure”, “quitter”, “I knew you couldn’t do it”. Those are Satan’s lies!! I know that and I have to be proactive about it. Pray against it and stand my ground in my faith. Yes, I did quit and yes I failed myself, that is truth….but that’s what the devil loves to use against us. Things that are so close to the truth that he hopes we won’t be able to see the difference. Regardless, I know it was the right decision. My family has me back again. They’ve noticed!! I’m able to do my duties and do them well. My stress in that area has been lifted. It says in Ecclesiastes 3:1 “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven” and I believe that in this season God has other plans for me and my season of going back to school will come again, but now is not the time. I feel bad saying that, but it’s ok. It will be ok. I will move forward with my head held high. There’s people who need me right now and there is places I’m needed. That is my purpose right now.
Today I also struggle with many other issues and I find myself in the centre of a very difficult season for many reasons. There is much stress surrounding a family member who I do not respect, and am tired of praying for. I say I have faith and I believe in the hope that God offers us and here I am admitting that I don’t have a full faith….let me explain that. Have you ever had someone in your life who has hurt you very deeply and keeps doing it without acknowledging it? Have you had someone in your life who just repeatedly takes advantage of you? Buys you gifts to make up for their mistakes in hopes that it will make you forget? Have you had someone in your life that you are so tired of praying for and have written them off as lost cause? I do. It sucks. There’s no words to explain the feeling of wanting to help yet being so torn apart on the inside by all the hurt and pain this person has caused. I don’t want to love this person. I want to cling to my “right” to be angry and bitter. I don’t want to ever see this person again, and yet, I was convicted last night that “No person is too far gone for God. No person is so bad that they can’t be saved”. So in light of that truth, how do you handle that? I hung my head in shame….”yes God, I know you love this person and want to save this person and I need to have faith and keep praying”. Does anyone know how extremely hard that is to do when the hurt is so deep, the pain still seems so fresh even after so many years. I was sexually abused by this person. I was physically abused by this person. I was made to feel like a piece of trash with no worth by this person, only to be told “I love you” in front of other people. I was forced to be silent or face the threats this person spoke over me. Sometimes I wonder though, if I had just spoken up back then, would he really have done to me what he said he would do? Fear gripped my life from a young age and I was forced to create a bubble around me. Don’t let anyone know, don’t let anyone see. Be a good girl and smile. I hide behind my smile. I smiled and yet I screamed on the inside. My mom found a poem once that I wrote and it was called “I Simply Smile” and she cried and cried and asked me if that was how I really felt or if it was just something I had found. I lied to her. I could not bear to break her heart. Yet, I felt angry because I also felt that she should have known somehow and should have saved me from the darkness that surrounded me. My brothers did not know. I think they could have saved me too but I felt trapped. My one brother does not know to this day, unless he has heard it from someone else. I just couldn’t tell him. Still can’t. He respects this person. He is my baby brother and I wanted to protect him from the pain I was living in.
So, how do you deal with the flood of emotions that wash over you and how do you pray from a sincere heart for someone who does not deserve your love? My only answer is this: I am a sinner too; God still loves me. I make a ton of mistakes and God still forgives me. When Christ died on the cross, it was for the whole world’s sin and all the sin to come after His death….that includes me and you and people who have hurt us and torn us apart and people living deep in sin today. God still wants to save them. Our job is not to save them. Our job is not to change them. Our job is not to criticize them. Our job is only to have faith and pray. I am told by people that I am one of the strongest women they have ever met, and I know they mean it as a good thing, but sometimes I wish I wasn’t so strong. I wish I had a beautiful and healthy relationship with this person who has hurt me. I long for that and my heart aches for that, but just when I feel that way I can feel a warmth around me and a voice in my heart that tells me “I AM your Father. You are my daughter. You have that beautiful relationship and it’s ok that it’s not flesh and blood.”
So on this difficult day (it being the birthday of this person) and already being reminded my someone to call and tell him “Happy Birthday”…..I will not. Not this year. This year it is taking every ounce of courage I have left not to pack up and run away as far as possible from this person. In light of recent events and being the person that had to suck it up and face a very difficult with this person, driving them around and helping them only to be bought another gift to make up for it and be told by him “Just keep smiling”. It ignites a fire inside of me I don’t know how to control. I have always been told to just keep smiling, that is why I hide behind my smile.
I am going to keep praying. I am going to stand firm in faith and keep on going with my head held high and Jesus by my side. I am strong only because God gives me that strength. I am not strong alone. I could not be. I would be deep in addiction and sin myself if I had allowed my childhood to ruin me, but by the strength and grace of God, I rose above that.
This post has taken a completely different turn than I had planned, and I now need to wipe the tears off my keyboard….that is ok. It’s ok to be real and let people see why you are the way you are, and why you do the things you do. So, I’m begging you, if you take nothing else away from today’s post, just know this: don’t judge! Don’t judge people when you don’t know their story. If you are in a difficult season right now too, “Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might” (EPHESIAN 6:10)