There’s that point in winter where you can walk outside with your pj bottoms dragging around your ankles, and stand on the concrete in bare feet. Maybe you have your arms crossed, rubbing the goosebumps off. Maybe you shiver a little. But at that point, you know the worst part of the cold is over. The sky is gray-blue, with distinct clouds. The trees aren’t budding yet. The grass is still brown. But everything is softening, relaxing… breaking away from the sharp edges of winter into the softness of spring.
In my town, this usually happens in March. For others, it may not be until June or July. But it happens, and it’s usually a sign that better things are on the horizon.
I’m convinced that people have a similar experience. We go through seasons. I looked at a book the other day that presented a convincing argument that marriages actually progress through seasons too. Spring is the “honeymoon season”, summer is the “comfortable season”, fall is the “Things are ok, and if something’s wrong I don’t know what” season, and winter is the “dead, cold, numb” season.
Our lives flow similarly, and we appreciate and weigh each season in light of the one that came before it. Kids coming back to school always spend the first weeks of September talking about the summer, writing essays about what they did, and reliving the lazy days by procrastinating with homework.
But as much as everyone loves the convertible top, bathing suit, sand, ocean, and Dairy Queen days, if they were here all the time, no one would ever learn anything. Conversely, if it was winter all the time, everyone would lose the hope of sunnier times.
In the Bible, in Ecclesiastes 3, right after the part about there being “a time for every matter under heaven,” there is a verse:
“He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.” (v. 11)
Every change in the natural world can be categorized into a season. But it eventually comes full circle. It goes from dead to alive. It goes from brown and gray to green, gold, yellow, orange, blue, red, and pink. God makes things beautiful…sometimes not right away, but eventually.
That’s where eternity comes in. Because people have that immortal aspect to them, we know there is more than what we see. We know there is a purpose behind the seasons we pass through, day after day, year after year, for ten or forty or eighty-seven years or however long we live. But because we live in captured, fixed time, we will never really understand it. God has made it so we can’t quite figure it out. The reason for this, in my opinion, is because He desires that we seek Him. Because He knows the answers and we don’t.
Knowing this, you probably know what season of life you are in. There are things to learn, things to work toward, things to fight, and things to enjoy in every era. Think about it. Winter has the gloominess and cold, spring brings pollen and allergies, summer has sunburn and mosquitoes, and fall has leave-raking and a return to school (terrible, huh?). But each of those seasons also has great, amazing, BEAUTIFUL things that can only be found at a specific time in the year.
Beauty in its time.
In my life, I am in the rebirthing season. That moment where winter is losing its power. The cold is still there; it still stings and burns. It’s not gone. It will never be gone. And if I think this is the last “winter season” I’ll ever go through, I’m wrong too. This is only the most intense in a cycle of seasons that I, and that you, will experience for the rest of our lives.
But last night, I was talking with my friends, playing Balderdash and Headbandz, watching videos, walking outside, and drinking coffee, and laughing. Not fake laughter. It was real.
And this little voice in the back of my head just whispered, “You’ll be ok.”
“You’ll be ok. You’ll make it through. You’ll survive.”
And I believed it.
Then something else happened. Today I went downtown, to the last place I worked, and picked up my check. I was scared to death to walk into that place again, even with the cozy, living room feel and smell of espresso that it has. My manager handed me my last check and said, “I’m so sorry about this. I told her she made a mistake….now we have no body to fill the shifts anymore. We wanted to cry when it happened….we really liked you! I hope that you’ll come see us again.”
I almost cried. I had thought that my consistent job failures meant that no one would ever take me again. I would be flipping burgers for the rest of my life, or taking out trash, or sweeping porches, or something like that. (not that there’s anything wrong with those jobs 😉 )
But no. I can succeed. I can work. God has given me strength. He has given me ability, talent, and now hope.
I thought it was over. I didn’t think anyone needed me. I thought I had failed at everything, it was the point of no return, it was the end, the final chapter in the book, the last words that never say enough. I begged God to let me die, to kill me, and when He didn’t I thought of assisting my own prayer. I thought of running away, of giving up, of giving in. I don’t have enough money to go to school in the fall, no job, no leads on anything. If I can’t die, and I can’t move forward, that doesn’t mean I have to face the world either, does it?
But that voice.
I have a chance that most people long for but don’t get. A chance to begin again. To start over. That’s what rebirthing, what springtime, is all about.
The next step is setting goals. Targets. And then shooting for them.
I’ll be ok.
Beauty will come in time.
It’s just a season.
There will be alot of small steps in mind before my goals. But I want to work toward them now. I feel the fire burning again.
Do you feel it? Can you feel it? You in winter, spring, summer, fall? Find your target. FIND IT. Wherever you are, you have one. Single mom, college student, high schooler, film maker, burger flipper, business associate, nurse, veteran, CEO….we are all the same, cycling through the seasons, looking for beauty in its time.
You’ll be ok.