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Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 reminds us that there are seasons in our lives. Some seasons feel like a cool summer breeze, while others have you tossed around on a sinking boat praying to Jesus to calm the storm. As you transition into and out of the different seasons of your life, take heart. Transitions are rarely easy, but you don’t have to do it alone. Here are a few best practices that help keep my focus on Jesus during those ever-changing seasons in my life.
Prayer is the best way to begin acceptance and healing. God always hears your prayers and longs to help you during challenging transitions. Just because the transition doesn’t go exactly how you want it to, doesn’t mean He’s forgotten you. There are reasons for this season, so turn to Him and ask for enlightenment, strength, and perseverance.
Read the Word
The Bible is the truth. It’s the one physical thing that you can hold in your hand that holds the inspired Word of God. By reading the Word, you’ll find many answers to the questions you face, examples of great mentors, struggles, and triumphs.
In your reading, you’re likely to find several Scriptures that feel like they’ve been written with you in mind for this very moment. Once you do, relax, experience those passages, and write them down. Keep them where you can turn to them often. A great place to do this is in a Bible or Faith journal.
When it comes to tackling life’s changing seasons, Bible journaling is very powerful. The combination of drawing, coloring, and the inspiration and comfort of God’s Word provides joy, peace, and insight. By combining the act of creativity with a Bible verse in context, you’ll see things that you didn’t notice before.
It’s like that phone, car, or new outfit you’ve been considering. Perhaps you’ve never seen it before, but now you see it everywhere. The same is true with purposeful Bible journaling. The more you engage with the Word, the more you see God in things that you missed in the past.
Be Still and Listen
Don’t let inner conflicts and a hectic world prevent you from paying attention when God speaks to you. Be still and listen for His voice, no matter the challenges. What you’re dealing with right now is temporary. Keep in mind, the most important thing to do during times of transition is to remain close to the Lord. Only you can hear God’s voice when He speaks to you, but you can only hear Him if you are “still” and able to listen.
Being in a Community
It’s crucial to find like-minded people that we trust – those that we can draw strength from and contribute to. Seek out help from friends, spouses, neighbors, and others who provide wise counsel and encouragement. If these special people live close by, meet them for coffee, Bible study, or a nice stroll around the block. If they don’t live nearby, find time to go visit them or call them on the phone.
Look for Healthy, Positive Distractions
Get busy doing positive things. The worst thing you can do during times of transition is mope around the house, watch too much TV, or overeat. Instead, do something productive, and start off small if that’s more comfortable for you. Do the dishes, clean up a messy bedroom, or volunteer. Distractions can offer temporary relief, but you still have to do the active work of transitioning through the season.
Embrace Life as It Is
One of the secrets of a content life is to be happy with what you have and not dwell on what you don’t have. Be present in the life that you have at this very moment and find ways to deal with events that crush your spirit. There’s freedom in being able to take life as it comes – both the bad and the good. When you embrace challenges with God’s help, knowing that “this too shall pass,” you will rise from the darkness.
It’s easy to count our problems instead of our blessings, but this kind of attitude undermines our ability to tap into the good that we’ve been given and to see our very lives as a gift. Changing how we look at things and what we focus on will make all the difference. Realizing the good and accepting it with gratitude is a formula for emotional health and wellness. An “attitude of gratitude” makes it possible for us to appreciate all the gifts we’ve been given, using it to cope with life’s difficulties.
Is It Easier Said Than Done?
I’ll admit that when I read articles like this, I sometimes roll my eyes and say, “you don’t know what I’m going through.” I’ll put up my guard and insist the person penning the message has a great life, no problems, and they’re certainly not as hard as my own. Maybe she does or maybe she just got back from saying farewell to someone she cared deeply about. It doesn’t matter.
You are what matters.
Nothing is constant in this world except God. Everything else in this life changes, and if you don’t find a way to move in and out of seasons, you’ll waste more of your precious time lingering in a season that’s been over for a long time.
What are you going to do? What is your purpose? Oh, sweet friend…you are here for so much more. Don’t beat yourself up. Don’t question whether or not you heard the Holy Spirit right. You are where you are on purpose. Everything led to this exact moment, and God is right here. He’s excited to see you take the next step on this journey. You get to decide what action you’ll take next.
For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.
And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding:
Thou hast multiplied the nation, and not increased the joy: they joy before thee according to the joy in harvest, and as men rejoice when they divide the spoil.
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
2 Timothy 4:2
Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine.
And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.
1 Chronicles 16:34
O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever.
While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.
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