Did you ever notice how life seems to have 'themes'? I guess that is part of what the writer of Ecclesiastes meant when He wrote Ecclesiastes 3:1 "There is a time for everything and a season for every purpose under heaven." As I look back (I seem to be doing a lot of that lately) I can see seasons of confusion, joy, sadness, overwhelm, anticipation...so many different clumps of time when I was just waiting, and praying, and seeking advice from others through conversations and books. And as I reflect on these times I can see the Lords hand in every situation. I can see Him molding me and changing me. I can look back and see the tough times and where He has carried me and made me more compassionate, understanding and stronger. I can look at the exciting times and see His favor and His leading me, and the opportunities where I was able to share that time with others. Sometimes it is harder to find Him in those times than in other times, but He was there and will continue to use my experiences-if I let Him.
Last week I had the opportunity to go back to Pennsylvania where we lived for quite awhile before coming to Texas. While there I visited our old church and saw so many familiar faces. Faces that had known my family 'before'. 'Before' teen rebellion, 'before' integrity issues, 'before' yoga, and healing, and growth. One woman came up to me and sadly said "Tina, your book is being passed around the church. Everyone loves it. I am in the middle of it and I AM SO SORRY. I never knew. How are you doing?" I was blown away. Yes, I wrote a book. Yes, it is about the struggles of my family and the life that we led. BUT it is about healing and redemption and growth and empowerment. It is about joy and humbleness and GRACE. But then her sentence came back to me "I am in the middle of your book...." She didn't know the rest of the story. She was in the middle where things were hard and overwhelming....
Friends, what if we stopped there? What if we didn't allow the Lord into our story to finish it and to make it beautiful? God is in the business of healing and when we hold our 'seasons' too tightly and don't let Him in we can get stuck in that part of our story. Later in Ecclesiastes, it says "A time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance," Regardless of where you are in your story, no matter what season of life you are in, I pray you can give it to Him. Allow Him to show you how far He has taken you, where He has shown up in your past, and offer hope and comfort for your future.
So, what did I say to the dear, old friend of mine? "Just keep reading. It gets beautiful near then end." Have a great day!