October is easily the greatest month of the year, marking the beginning of so many exciting things: carnivals, pumpkin spice, and Fall weather (to name a few). It’s also the beginning of a new spiritual season, for just as the physical seasons change like clockwork, so do the spiritual seasons* in my life.
Is it just me, or does the Lord put you through the toughest seasons at the same time every year? For at least eight years now, it seems as if my largest spiritual growth spurt (and in turn, some of the most challenging times of my life) has always taken place in August and September. I used to chalk this up to the beginning of a new school year and my inability to process change, but now I’m convinced it’s just God being funny.
This year, however, I managed to realize that my spiritual growth spurt had come once again and decided to approach it head on. Through this process, I realized that often times I find myself “stuck” in a season due to my own stubbornness. The Lord sends us times of trial in order to strengthen our faith or push us to a greater calling. Every spiritual season I walk through has proven this over and over. Yet, the way we accept these seasons can drastically alter the length and overall outcome of them.
The past couple of months were not easy. I would often wake up sick, unable to eat for the rest of day, barely able to hold myself together because of the circumstances I had been placed in. I did not, however, have to live like this. I found that with daily Bible-reading, reciting peaceful verses (Psalm 23 is my go-to), and a constant stream of prayer and worship music, these symptoms went away. It did not make my situation any more “fun,” but it made it bearable, shortening the season and bringing me closer to the Lord.
Keeping this attitude and consistently practicing these behaviors is not easy. Trust me, I fell into the trap of pity parties and negativity one too many times, and I’m likely to do it again. Yet, every time I took a moment to truly spend time with God, my worries would disappear. Every time I tried to take matters into my own hands, I fell deeper into a pit of anxiety worried that the misery would never end. Standing on the other side of this season, I can see which attitudes were better.
I am, however, thankful for every trial I faced. I’m thankful that the Lord pushed both myself and my husband harder than ever, and I’m thankful for every argument had, every tear shed, and every leap of faith that was taken over the past two months. I do not, however, envy you if you are currently walking through one yourself. My biggest advice to you in this time: stop fighting what the Lord is calling you to do and stop abandoning Him when you need Him the most. Let go of yourself, your stubbornness, and your desire to be right, giving Him full reign and authority over your life and circumstances. Trust me, the season will end much sooner, and your life will be greater because of it. These moments may feel like the end of the world and life as we know it, but you can’t even imagine what the Lord has in store for you when you let go and let Him take control. Trust me, I stopped trying to fight Him, and I’ve been propelled into one of the most exciting times of my life. (But I’ll tell you more about that next week.)
*Spiritual Season: A period or amount of time in one’s life. Often determined by either great rejoicing or great sorrow. Temporary.