Seasons. Seasons of life. Seasons of love. Seasons of nature. People seem to constantly be using these terms in my life. Between the books I read, my Pandora station playing RENT, and actually focusing on the changes occurring as spring tries to break through winter; I’m surrounded by seasons of some sort.
Honestly, until this year, I didn’t pay much attention to earth’s natural seasons. I let nature take its course and I lived through it. Yeah, I admired the colors and the changes, but never thought about the process. about the divine nature of it all. Creation amazes me. God amazes me. It’s that plain and simple. The way he planned every single little thing to work together is mind-boggling, humbling and comforting. That’s a whole other post though.
OK, back to seasons. I broke them down this past week and compared a year of seasons to the past year of my life. It’s scary, but also comforting how well they lined up. In Ecclesiastes 3, God says there is a time for everything. There will be ups and downs, war and peace, crying and dancing. That has been true in my life and I’m sure it’s true of my future. We live cyclical lives. We go through phases and stages, but generally, it all works itself out and we settle back into a more comfortable time for a while until the next job opportunity or move comes into play. Then we start over and are uncomfortable and ‘the new guy’ until someone else receives the title.
Let me break it down for ya. A year in natural, God-ordained seasons and a year in the life of Hannah.
- Long days, short nights.
- I worked at camp and the days seemed to go on forever, the nights? not so much. Our minds and bodies were always busy and active; it definitely had its stressful moments. I stayed up late, yet was up and ready by 6:30 every day, which is quite the accomplishment for this girl.
- Hot and uncomfortable most of the time
- I lived with a new set of girls each week, which can be difficult depending on the group you get. If y’all get along it’s great, but it seems like there is always one girl that needs a little something extra to fit in or feel welcome. It can be a challenge when you’re not the most outgoing and likely to get along with girls.
- Obviously, it’s summer. It’s hot. AC is not a #1 priority at summer camp or in Haiti and you deal with it.
- The combination of a few people made my summer uber uncomfortable. Finding the balance and trying to make things work when everyone seems to be oblivious was difficult. It was confusing and rough and not really something I’d like to do again.
- Sometimes when God works, he places you in weird places and forces you to figure things out. That was my life at camp. God worked, but I will not say it was easy or always enjoyable. There were times I was miserable, but there were also times that were enjoyable and I’d love to relive.
- Sunburns and storms
- There were rough patches. Disagreements. Arguments. Challenges. Frustrations. There’s really no way to get around this. Summer is never all fun and games. Sometimes you get sunburnt and other times your soccer game is canceled because of a thunderstorm. It happens, there’s not a lot to do about it except get through it.
- Leaves change colors and fall to the ground
- I was a completely different person. My personality and attitudes did a 180˚. Like a green leaf that changes to a fiery red one by the end of the season.
- Plants are dying and preparing for a season of dormancy
- Things look great on the outside, but on the inside, they were shutting down.
- Everything looks different
- My sense of “normal life” was nonexistent. Friendships, relationships, and my comfortable environment changed drastically.
- Dormant period
- My spiritual life went on a hiatus
- Dreary and depressing
- Not the most pleasant time. I felt like I was stuck in a snow bank and couldn’t/didn’t know how to do a whole lot about it.
- People move. Across town. Across the state. It’s never a fun thing.
- Friendships ceased for the time being. Not sure if/when they will return to normal.
- New life
- It’s time for a new, fresh start!
- It’s time to start growing again. To break through those weeds and bloom.
- It’s not always going to be easy, but it is going to be worth it. The storms and rough patches bring rain. Rain nourishes whether it’s a peaceful shower or an intense thunderstorm. Growth happens either way. Plants become stronger to withstand the next storm. Hannah can do the same.
Basically, all of this is to say that we will go through seasons in our life. They won’t all be rainbows and butterflies. Some of them will seem like crossing a bridge while trolls and goblins torment you. Eventually, you’ll get across that bridge and you’ll be grateful because you outsmarted those crazy haired things. You can use what you learned in that journey and apply it to future challenges. These bad feelings and rough patches won’t last forever. You won’t drown in the “high waters” of sucky things in life. The storm will pass and the rainbow will be there as a reminder that everything is going to be OK again.
they say it’s always darkest before the dawn…. Fall was my 3 A.M. pitch black night, spring is my dawn. You better believe I’m ready for that sunrise.