What to Do In the In-Between Seasons
Happy first day of Spring to you! Here in Michigan it’s been raining all day with some snow mixed in so doesn’t quite seem like it. But we know it’s on the horizon because there have been more sunny days than not!
That’s a good metaphor for what I want to talk to you about today. Sometimes, a new season in life is approaching but it’s not totally here yet. We’re anticipating it. We’re excited for it. But we’re still stuck in this in-between season, this space where we’re not completely out of the old one. It’s this space where we don’t know what’s going to come next, but we know there is a horizon ahead. We just don’t know when that sun will rise. That’s because we aren’t in charge of the timing of the seasons in our lives.
Acts 1:7 tells us, “He said to them, ‘It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority.”
Ecclesiastes 3:1. reminds us, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.” When we’re in whatever season we’re in – whether it’s a time for planting or weeping or mourning or anything, we’re supposed to just BE in that season. Be present in the season you are in.
Wait for the next season to come. God has you where you are for a reason.
He’s preparing you, pruning you for something.
Christine Caine said, “God prunes us when He is about to take us into a new season of growth and expansion.”
If you read John 15, you know that God prunes every branch that doesn’t bear fruit and prunes every branch that does bear fruit to make it bear more fruit.
We must trust his pruning process. Even if it’s uncomfortable, we can trust that he’s got a plan.
Two different stories I want to tell you about, about how God has done this in my life. I was reminded of both of them just this week, so I hope they give you hope.
The first was being at the Michael Buble concert this past Sunday night in Chicago. He opened with the song, “Feeling Good.” As chills ran up and down my spine and arms, I was taken back to almost 11 years ago when I was in the back of a car riding to the treatment center and it came on. I started to cry because of the hope it brought me. Was I feeling good? No, but I was feeling good about what was to come. Good change was coming and I felt good about that.
It’s a new dawnIt’s a new dayIt’s a new lifefor meand I’m feeling good.
Every time I hear it, I say, “Thank you GOD.” Thank you God for bringing me into that new season, into that new life in you. Guess what? The beginning of that new season was brutal! It was about breaking down old patterns and habits, letting go of deep pain and then learning to rebuild. It was a whole season in itself.
I was 31 when I went into treatment. Could it have happened earlier? Yes. But that transition happened when it was supposed to happen. Then a new season came, and another new season.
The other story…had to do with this devotional I read yesterday. It’s hard to read, but these notes were from two years ago. I like to make notes in devotions that speak to me in rough seasons so I can remember how far God has brought me.
March 19th, 2017 I was having surgery on my arm and wrist. What was supposed to be one procedure ended up being three in one with a rod and 5 screws fit onto my ulna bone that was too short and causing much of the pain. I was not happy about this surgery because I’d had shoulder surgery a few years before on the other arm that required a year of therapy. I knew what it would probably entail. I never expected to have this. So when the doctors told me I needed it, I got into my car and cried hard out to God, “Why God? WHY? Why now? I don’t understand!!!”
I was so upset with Him. But I also knew in my heart he had a reason. He wouldn’t cause this kind of delay if he didn’t have a reason for it, especially since we were focused on something else in our lives entirely.
The second note on the left there says “fertility issues.” We were three years into this infertility struggle and felt like we were close to things changing, and then this. Yet here I sit, two years later writing this blog, and I’m 22 weeks pregnant today.
God had a plan with that delay.
We MUST trust GOD with the delays. We MUST trust God that the new seasons will come. We MUST trust God that seasons also end, that if something isn’t working or isn’t happening anymore, it’s done – and he’s got a NEW SEASON coming.
Whatever your in-between season is right now, just TRUST him. Don’t stare too long at the past, don’t focus too hard on the future, just be where your feet are.
Mike and I are in a totally weird season right now. We’re going from empty nesters for the last three years to parents of a newborn. I’m totally psyched, but also nervous about the things that we’ll have to let go of, but I TRUST God has a plan and our life is coming into a new season that will be very different, but beautiful in it’s own way.
I’m doing my best to stay present in this season. Let me tell you, getting sick still pretty regularly reminds me that I am not in charge of my body at this time. This baby is growing and God is building a miracle. I’m just the vessel, the mom who will get to love on this little girl. Every time I get sad that something may not happen anymore, I become grateful. I thank God for it. I thank God for the season of raising my step kids. I thank God for this season of empty nesting. I thank God for this quality time with my step kids without another kid there. I thank GOD for this time with my husband, just the two of us.
There are so many things to be thankful for today, even in the in-between season where I’m not totally in the clear of my getting sick. It keeps me surrendered to God and to his process and knowing that He is preparing me for what’s coming next. I’m in training for the next season, and so are you.
So wherever you are. Maybe you are in a season of grief after losing a loved one. You are drained. Be in that season. Be okay with that mourning. Maybe you are in a season of healing, and you want to get moving. Let your body heal. God is working. Maybe you are in season of rebuilding, be okay with that. You may want to be jumping to the next, but the beauty is in the rebuilding. So take it a day at a time. Maybe you are in a season of breaking down the lies and struggles you’ve dealt with for years. Let yourself walk through it. God wants to heal your mind and body. Maybe you are in a season of sickness, or someone you love is. You don’t have answers. You want to know why or what’s next. Trust that God is working. He’s working hard and preparing you. Just be in that space. Pray for the grace to be in that space and to trust.
If you are suffering, cling to this hope:
I’m adding a song in here too, because I think it demonstrates when we’re seasons of pruning. It’s called, “New Wine” by Hillsong.
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