If you're a regular reader, you may have noticed that I haven't been blogging much lately. To those of you who've written to let me know that you've noticed my absence, I thank you for your concern, your encouragement and your prayers.
God has been moving in momentous ways in my life these past few months. Many of the blessings were immediately obvious... I've completed my certification training to become a Christian Life Coach and have actually started coaching (more on this soon)... the Think Pink Challenge was even more sucessful than I'd imagined it would be... my daughter has enlisted in the Armed Services and is doing wonderfully well... my two knitting-related books are just about ready to be published (more on this soon too) and the list goes on.
Then there are those other blessings... the ones that seemed like disasters at the time that have turned out to be just as sweet, if not sweeter, than those that were clearly beneficial from the beginning. First there was the disappointment of realizing that I wasn't able to raise sufficient funds to purchase Grace Bay House, only to find that God had much bigger and better plans in store. On a more personal level, I've faced significant challenges and changes in my personal life. In nearly every aspect of my personal life, God has shaken things up, shone the light of truth, identified those people, activities and habits that should stay and those that should go. Then, in ways that only He can, He resolved every issue by closing those doors that needed to be closed and opening new ones... The changes were HUGE, and although they appeared to happen suddenly, in retrospect I realize that they'd all be in the works for quite some time.
It hasn't been easy, in fact, some of it has been incredibly difficult. But I'm thankful that I never forgot that God was right there in the midst of it all, and that all things happen for God for those who love and serve Him. Unlike in the past, this time I was able to focus on His will for my life, rather than my own, and discern Him working WHILE He was working, instead of months or years later. Being able to shift my thinking in that way saved me untold grief and tears and has allowed me to recognize, acknowledge and appreciate my blessings such much sooner! I hate to think about all the blessings I probably missed out on in the past because I was too angry, confused, depressed or afraid to step out in faith to claim them.
So what have I learned from all this? That sometimes you have to lose something important in order to gain something even better. In order to make room for new blessings in our lives, sometimes we have to clear out all of the old stuff... thoughts, habits, behaviors, even people... that are holding us back. Is it easy? Of course not, letting go can be tough, particularly when we have to let go of people that are important to us, that we care about, that we have a history with. But sometimes, that's exactly what we have to do in order to move on with the lives that God has planned for us.
I've been thinking about this a lot lately in recent weeks, and just this morning, while thinking about what I wanted to blog about today, an essay that's been circulating around the Internet for years popped into my mind. It wasn't an accident that I remembered it today, so for those who may not have seen it, here it is:
"A Reason, A Season and A Lifetime" by Brian A "Drew" Chalker (copywritten)
People always come into your life for a reason, a season and a lifetime. When you figure out which it is, you know exactly what to do.When someone is in your life for a REASON, it is usually to meet a need you have expressed outwardly or inwardly. They have come to assist you through a difficulty, or to provide you with guidance and support, to aid you physically, emotionally, or even spiritually. They may seem like a Godsend to you, and they are. They are there for a reason, you need them to be.Then, without any wrongdoing on your part or at an inconvenient time, this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end. Sometimes they die. Sometimes they just walk away. Sometimes they act up or out and force you to take a stand. What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled; their work is done. The prayer you sent up has been answered and it is now time to move on.When people come into your life for a SEASON, it is because your turn has come to share, grow or learn. They may bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh. They may teach you something you have never done. They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy. Believe it! It is real! But only for a season. And like Spring turns to Summer and Summer to Fall, the season eventually ends.LIFETIME relationships teach you a lifetime of lessons; those things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation. Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person/people anyway; and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas in your life. It is said that love is blind, but friendship is clairvoyant.
Are you feeling an indescribable feeling of being "off-balanced" or "off-center". Do you have the sense that things "just aren't quite right" in your life? Often, this happens when the life we're living is inconsistent with our values or the spiritual truths we know to be true deep down inside. Perhaps God is trying to get your attention. Are you choosing to remain stuck in a season that no longer suits who you are? Are you holding on to relationships with people put in your life for a reason, even though the issue they were sent to help with has been resolved?
Change is often frightening and overwhelming. It's scary to go from the comfort of the known, even if it's not perfect, to the uncertainty of the unknown. It's easy to convince ourselves that the risks just aren't worth the potential rewards. It takes courage to assess the situation honestly, pray for divine guidance, and then step out in faith. But then, that's what faith is all about, isn't it?
I encourage you to take a look at your life. Pay particular attention the the people or situations that are causing stress or pain. I'm definitely not suggesting that you run out and get rid of your best friend, divorce your spouse or abandon your children just because you may be having a bad day. But I am suggesting that you prayerfully examine your life to see if you are stuck in a season that has passed or floundering in a relationship that no longer has a reason to be. If you're honest, in some cases the answers will become clear. If you're uncertain, ask God. He'll give you the answers you seek. The question is, what will you do with them?