The days, weeks, and months seem to blend together these days. We’ve been asking ourselves, “What time is it?” “What day is it?” “How am I feeling in the midst of it?”
In Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 King Solomon writes that there is a time for everything. In each and every season of our lives, we have a response. But as a result of reading this passage in Scripture, I have to ask, What season are we in now?
Everything Under the Sun
If you ask everyone on this planet how they’re responding to the coronavirus, to being in quarantine, to losing loved ones, to living alone…we’d all have different answers. In the beginning, I struggled with guilt because I was actually enjoying some time off from driving, and embracing this new season of much-needed time with my husband (and myself!). I was actually hopeful that God could use this virus and turn this quarantine into a way to draw us back to Himself.
But this virus has affected all of us differently. Some of us are rejoicing, while some of us are grieving. Some of us live alone, while others wish they did. Some of us are mourning loved ones who have passed, while others are celebrating the births of their babies. Some of us are consumed by work, while others are thankful for time with their families.
While I always have something positive to say, this trial we’re all facing has taught me to be sensitive to the needs of others. There have been days where I’ve struggled to even have a word of encouragement. But in those moments, I’ve also learned to rely on God, because He is the ultimate encourager.
A Time to Mourn AND a Time to Dance
A couple of weeks ago, my husband and I closed on our home, after months of waiting for a mortgage application and after years of praying and saving practically every penny we own. We were so excited, we danced and jumped for joy as we moved into this answer to prayer.
When I opened that first box the day before our furniture arrived, I felt a wave of panic and….sadness? How could I be sad when we could finally see the culmination of all our prayers and hard work? This is everything I’ve wanted for the last three years, even before my husband and I were married. Why was I fighting back tears at this new blessing, after years of hopping from apartment to apartment, waiting for a place to call our own?
I didn’t understand how I felt until I saw it through the eyes of a TV character.
On a recent episode of a show we watch, a couple had just bought a home, but one of them had a hard time enjoying it. Their real estate agent and family member encouraged this person to properly say goodbye to his old home.
At first, he thought it was strange, but as he spent time alone “with his old house,” he realized how important it was to relive old memories and appreciate what the house contributed to his life. While it was all meant to be comedic, it spoke volumes to me about this current season of my life.
It’s possible to be happy and sad about my current situation, because I’m both gaining and losing.
We Need to Let Go to Move Forward
Moving is a change. My life has been a constant change. As a world, we are all feeling a change taking place.
Change is good. I need to believe that. We need to believe that.
Before all this happened, I felt discontent and lonely. I was overwhelmed with activities and work and my life was just one big obligation to take care of everyone but myself. Though my schedule was full, I was empty.
I needed change. But when the whole world literally shifted, I wasn’t ready, and I didn’t like it.
When we ask God for change, we come with our expectations. The change I was looking for was more money, more time, or boldness to say no when I needed to take care of myself. I wanted more space to live in, more convenience, more of the good things in my life and less of the bad.
But in asking for all of these things, I never asked for more of God, but that was what He wanted for me. So, His answer to my prayer was much different from what I expected.
To make room for this new blessing, the answer to my prayers, I have to let go of what was lost. In order to embrace the now, I have to lay down the expectations I had and seek the Lord in the midst of my emotions.
Friends, this isn’t a pause; this is life. We are never going “back to normal”; we are embracing a new normal.
As we walk through this difficult time, as crazy as it is, God is faithful and unchanging, yet He is calling us to a new thing. The world is being turned upside down, and we’re seeing a revival. In order to be ready for this new season, no matter how good it is, we have to mourn what we’ve lost.
Today, lay down your expectations for how you wanted 2020 to look, and embrace what God has for you. Take as much time as you need to grieve what you’ve lost: cry, scream, jump up and down, write in your journal. Then turn to God, who truly has a 2020 vision, for instructions on this next chapter of your life.