Change, Seasons, and How to Deal with it All

  • “I thought this was supposed to be the best time of my life, but I’m kind of lonely.”
  • “I couldn’t wait until I got married, but now I’m wondering if I made a mistake.”
  • “I always wanted to have a baby, but this has turned out to be a lot harder than I bargained for. I don’t know if   I’m any good at being a mom, and what’s worse, some days I don’t even like it.”
  • “I was so anxious for the kids to become independent, but now that they don’t need me as much I feel like I’m floundering, wondering what my purpose in life is. I have more time but I’m accomplishing less.”
  • “I couldn’t wait until the kids grew up, but now that they’re gone it’s too quiet around here.”

I’ve heard every one of these statements in the last several months. And not from wacko women, but from normal gals like you and me.  Seasons of life bring expectations about life; some of them realistic and some, not so much.

And sometimes seasons of life just bring change.  Which can be hard, too.

I was reminded of the reality of change as I set out our family dinner forks over the Christmas break. What began as two enlarged to five, expanded to seven, and last night was down to one. That’s my life right now. Not that’s it’s bad–just different than it used to be.

forkWhen life changes, or when reality doesn’t match our expectations, we’re often left disappointed.  Discouraged.  Disheartened. Feeling like there just has to be something more.

And there is.

The apostle Paul knew what it was. “I have learned the secret of being content in all circumstances” he wrote. “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.”

But how, exactly, does Christ give me strength? How can this familiar Bible verse actually help me RIGHT NOW?

The answers are many, but one HUGE way Christ gives us strength is by filling us with joy. I read Ann Voscamp’s words a few weeks ago and they’ve stuck with me ever since: “Steal my joy and you steal my strength.”

“The joy of the Lord is your strength” Nehemiah reminded the Israelites.

The joy of the Lord is my strength, too.

And yours.

So how do I get this joy—this secret of being content in circumstances that may not be exactly what I thought they’d be?

Be glad (that’s what the word rejoice means) for what is now.

“Rejoice in the Lord always.  Again, I will say it: rejoice.  It’s no trouble for me and it’s a safeguard for you” Paul reminded the Philippians.

A safeguard for me? How??

By preventing my joy from being stolen and my strength zapped.

When I spend my time being grateful for what is, I have very little time for being wistful of what isn’t. And that gives me joy. In my here.  In my now.

And, girlfriend, I need my joy because I need my strength. I’m guessing you do, too.

It’s the secret of contentment that really shouldn’t be a secret.

So will you join me in rejoicing? Will you join me in being glad for what is in this season of your life? Will you pause and say “thank you” for this day, this season, this life God has entrusted to you?

 

 Donna speaks to thousands of women all over the United States.  If you would like to have Donna share with your group, click here

Comments

  1. Ross Irwin

    This message by Donna reminded me that “Attitude Is Everything”. You set your attitude to thank God to thank God for this season of life. I will do it. I can do it. I will not allow anything negative to overcome me or linger in my thoughts.

  2. Sheryl Larson

    Thanks I really needed to hear what you wrote today. I’m not really sure what my purpose in life is right now. My greatest joy are my grandsons. Maybe my most important role is grandma.

    1. I totally understand, Sheryl. As our season of life changes we have to find the “new normal” which can be scary and confusing, but also exciting. Praying that God shows you His perfect purpose for you in this season of your life!

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