Have you found yourself unexpectedly at the end of a season in your life?
This has happened to me on more than one occasion over the past few years.
Seasons of a career.
Seasons of parenting.
Seasons of friendship.
Seasons of ministry.
Seasons of growing.
I’m learning over and over how God uses these seasons – big and small – to teach me something I wouldn’t learn otherwise.
Most of the time I don’t view the changing of seasons as a good thing, though. My gut reaction is to play the victim.
“Why me, God?”
“Why now, God?”
“What did I do wrong, Lord?”
Am I the only one? Surely not.
The crazy thing is this: I’ve seen time after time how God uses the opportunity that comes along with new seasons to change me for the good.
I’ve seen how He’s moved people and situations to make room for something I could never imagine.
I’ve seen how He’s worked in the midst of a broken mess to make the broken beautiful.
Tonight as I once again #slowitdownSunday – instead of defaulting to the victim mindset, I’m determined to change my programming to be,
“What do I learn from this, Lord?”
Don’t think I’m trying to be all Pollyanna like in my approach.
It’s OK to mourn the changing seasons.
It’s OK to be real and acknowledge when life just stinks.
It’s OK to let it go.
On the last day of our Holy Land adventure, we walked in 100 degree temperatures throughout a city known as Jerash, Jordan.
That’s our group up there! A few Americans thrown in with a whole bunch of loving Trinidadians!!
You may have heard me mention my professor throughout our trip – this is Dr. Suzanne Holt.
She’s one of my biggest inspirations from my college years. She taught my freshman orientation class and then I started working for her office. She later became my landlord and lifelong friend!
Dr. Holt is from Trinidad and her dad is a Pastor there. This is the 3rd group they’ve brought from their church in Trinidad to see the Holy Land.
Suzanne and her husband, David, lived in the Middle East previously and hosted college groups for semester long study abroad in Egypt and Israel. They know this land sooo well and we were absolutely thrilled with the opportunity to go along on this trip.
As we walked along the ruins of Jerash – David told us facts about this area I couldn’t believe.
This ancient Roman city is one of 10 cities built in this area called the Decapolis. This city has the most remains standing and was simply breathtaking. I found myself wondering in amazement at what I was seeing right before my very eyes.
Then David told us how these areas became rock quarries when people started building in this area. Our tour guide even mentioned that people built on top of parts of the city.
Can you even believe this?
Something as significant and mind blowing as an ancient Roman city – and people just build on top of it – AND they use the rocks for whatever they might need.
This city went for miles. We didn’t even cover it all in our time there.
The most amazing part still standing was the theater.
There were even assigned seats when they used this place. Look at the drawings carved into the stone!!
Brian was being all overachiever like and climbed to the top. That’s him up there in the red shirt with his arms spread wide open.
I almost left – and then knew I’d regret not climbing to the top myself at this once in a lifetime opportunity to be standing in something so magnificent.
I could have stayed up there for hours. But as you can see, everyone pretty much left me.
As I stood there thinking about these ruins, part of my soul mourned the loss of this great place. How could something so spectacular be demolished? How could people just take the rocks and use them for whatever they need? It doesn’t make sense.
It was indeed the end of a season for the Roman empire and these cities they built.
As we walked out David said something so encouraging. He said how very thankful he was for these cities. Without them, the Gospel would not have spread like it did around the world. These cities became marketplaces for people to gather, to share, to spread Jesus.
Here I was mourning the loss and David was seeing the good that came out of what had been!
Oh, God. Help me do that more.
Help me to see the good that was in this season.
Help me to realize what You brought out of me and others.
Help me to be encouraged for what is yet to come instead of mourning the loss and being a victim.
What do I learn from this, Lord?
Encouragement for the Day
In case you missed it – from the past week on the blog: