The Seasons of Life

“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;

A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

I have seen the travail, which God hath given to the sons of men to be exercised in it.

He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.”

-Ecclesiastes 3:1-11 (KJV)

In life we will face many seasons. There will be times when we are content and happy, and times when we are filled with sorrow. Unfortunately there is nothing we can do to avoid these seasons or feelings.

Everything we feel, everything we do, and every moment of our lives will serve a purpose of some kind (these are the seasons). I am a firm believer in the statement, “Everything happens for a reason.” That reason always comes from God. So next time you are going through something, think to yourself, “There is a reason for this season I am currently going through.”. This will help change your perspective.

Sometimes you won’t know the exact reason why God is allowing you to go through something until weeks, months, or even years later. In my own experience, every mistake I’ve made, every trial I’ve faced, I know it was God who was trying to teach me something I needed to learn in that moment. I went through those things so I could grow into the person I am today; and it was in those times that He was molding and making me into something better. I’m not perfect by any means, I’m human, and still often say and do things that I regret. I’m still growing, still learning, and will continue to until the day God decides to bring me home.

Seasons bring about change. Think about the four seasons we are all familiar with. We have spring, summer, fall, and winter. To me, spring is the happiest of seasons. Spring is when everything comes back to life after the bitter cold winds of winter. The flowers are blooming, the trees are growing new leaves, butterflies are emerging from their cocoons, and it’s a popular season for weddings. How I love a good wedding; and cake, lots of cake!

When I think of winter, I think of how much I struggle to keep warm and I think of the sun going down earlier. That is probably my least favorite part. We all need a certain amount of sunlight for our well-being, as it releases the chemical in our brain known as serotonin. Without it, we suffer. This is why we often come down with seasonal depression, or the all too familiar “winter blues”.

Fall is probably my favorite of the four seasons, I love my pumpkin spice lattes! Not only that, but fall is the season for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping, and then Christmas (my favorite Holiday) is right around the corner from there! Also, I love when the leaves on the trees change into beautiful rich shades of reds, oranges, and yellows. I remember when I lived in South Carolina, I visited the countryside of Greenville and it was simply breathtaking! The colors of the trees were stunning!

Photo I took in Greenville, SC. November 2014.

Summer is just plain hot. Especially if you live in Texas like me. Us Texans are always so relieved when fall comes around and things finally start to cool off!

All four of these seasons are a representation of the seasons we go through in life. Winter can represent the darker times. Those times when we feel like we are alone in a cold dark cave. This can be those times when someone close to you passes away, leaving you in a state of grief and immense sadness.

Summer can represent those times in life where you feel as though you are running a marathon that never ends. Those times when you are desperately in need of a glass of water but you can’t reach it, because you’re too caught up in what you are currently doing. You feel like you can’t slow down, because you are afraid of falling or failing to reach your goal. This could be those times at your job when you are working on a big project for your boss and you don’t want to disappoint.

Spring can represent the times when you finally feel like you can breathe and get some fresh air! (Spring is also the season for allergies, I know, but that’s not what I’m trying to make you visualize). What I mean by fresh air is, you feel fresh and new, like you can relax a little after going through the tough season of winter. You have passed the trial, and you are finally starting to feel like yourself again. You almost feel different, like a newly bloomed flower. You’ve grown, and you now have strength you didn’t have before. The next storm that comes your way, you will be more prepared to stand through. You’ve learned, you know your coping mechanisms, and you’re better equipped.

Fall can represent those times right before the trial. Kind of like Halloween, when someone dressed as a ghost sneaks up behind you, and you weren’t prepared for it. You were just going about your day, taking a sip of your pumpkin spice latte, and “BOO!” The trial comes, and you spill your pumpkin spice latte all over your shirt. This is why we must prepare ourselves.

My husband Jeremy often reminds me of Heather O’ Reilly’s quote, “You can’t let the highs get too high and you can’t let the lows get too low.” There is a lot of truth in that statement. Being happy is a good thing, that’s not the issue. However, if you are constantly on an emotional high, and you never come down from it, life can force you to in less than a second. Be happy, but also be prepared for when Satan throws a curveball disrupting your happiness. It’s important to know how to respond when life brings the unexpected. Don’t allow yourself to feel so low that you become depressed, not knowing how to pick yourself back up again.

You need to be balanced on both feet, focused and looking at the road ahead of you. You must always keep moving, with God as your guide. Know that the season you’re living in won’t last forever. Whether it’s a season of happiness or a season of sadness, it doesn’t come without a reason behind it. God sees what you are going though, and He is right there, weathering the storm with you, holding His umbrella over your head. In His timing, He will put an end to the storm, replacing it with a rainbow. Instead of being weighed down and drenched from the rain, you will be that newly bloomed flower standing tall and more beautiful than ever before!

© 2019 Angela J. Stout

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