Embrace Every Season of Your Soul
By Elizabeth Enlow
Excerpt from "God in Every Season"
Available on Amazon November 11, 2017
Some people have the luxury of deciding what climate they want to live in, which determines what kind of seasons of weather they’ll experience. I grew up most of my life in Atlanta, Georgia where we had a definite change of all four seasons throughout the year. And I loved them all, but fall was definitely my favorite. There’s just something indescribable about the crisp mornings and splash of colors in the trees as they slowly shed their crunchy leaves. Friends from California would visit us and I could never figure out why they always had sunglasses on…was it an over-identifying with the Hollywood stars who wore their shades in the tabloid photos? It wasn’t until I moved to Cali myself that I found the joy of waking up to a sunny day almost every day and season of the year, along with the need to keep my sunglasses handy.
As you know, none of us has the luxury of choosing the seasons of our soul. We simply get to choose how we’ll get through them until the next one’s unleashed by Love’s whisper. Some seasons seem so arduous and long that we can’t wait to be delivered to the next. But don’t be in too much of a rush, no matter how much you long for the new — because each season is important. Each is necessary for the next. They weren’t set into motion by chance any more than the seasons of Earth were. A very wise, powerful, and loving Father allowed each season you would go through as an opportunity for you to grow up. He is focused on changing you into His image and teaching you to love like He loves you. With every new cycle we discover how to position our souls for the next one.
Why is every season important? Every season is about processing life with God. What begins as season after season of courtroom deliberations regarding the goodness of God in your life, shifts in time to the understanding that these were meant to be poignant opportunities to encounter the very proof we were looking for — that He really is good. You won’t get to see and know aspects of God until you find you need that aspect of Him.. So it is His goodness to allow the variety of seasons, good and bad, to open your eyes to more of Him. You won’t experience what you don’t need of God. It’s in that razor’s edge of truth where we learn that He is never the source of the worst parts of life, but He is certainly the One who redeems it all and makes plan B better than plan A ever could have been.
Whatever season you like or don’t like as much, is equally important because it’s the classroom where you’ll discover the knowledge of God and find His true heart for you — beyond your life circumstances. The circumstances will always matter to us, but they’ll begin to take a back seat to the potential they carry for deeper intimacy with Him. Our life’s circumstances will also always matter to Him, because we matter to Him. He cares about the details, even when it doesn’t appear that He does, because He cares about us. We — you — are important to God.
You may wonder sometimes, if you’re so important, and the seasons you go through are important, then why doesn’t God give you an important assignment? One feeds the other. It’s only in the context of intimate relationship, which can only be found in the process of navigating through the seasons with Him, that we can hear what our assignment is. You definitely have one. But this Father loves you too much to let you get ahead of Him. He doesn’t want us to step into His important assignment for us before we know that we are important. Identity must come before assignment or the assignment will define us — which is always less than the critical truth that we are His beloved sons and daughters. If our identity as a son or daughter of God isn’t enough, then we develop an insatiable and destructive quest for identity elsewhere.
God never wants us to confuse His love with His favor. His favor will ebb and flow because favor is for the assignment. His love never fails and never wanes. When we learn the difference by navigating the craziness of the changing seasons designed just for us, we can be trusted with the assignment and the favor that accompanies it. The assignment was never meant to be the reason we are important and valuable, but rather proof that we are important and valuable. While partnering with God in an assignment is incredible and part of the way His kingdom advances in the world through us, remember that it’s not everything. Knowing Him is everything. Many will never reach their potential, or even step into their assignment, and as tragic as that may sound, some are taking important ground by simply growing in their identity as a son or daughter who is loved — all so that the next generation can build on that foundation and begin operating in their assignment. Either way, you are important and your part is important. Therefore the seasons you go through are important.
Allow me to use another analogy…it’s kind of like a relay race. Each runner is valuable to the race. Each takes a turn, grabbing the baton and running at the fastest pace they can in order to safely deliver the baton to the next runner. At the end, when the race is won, the person who ran the fastest isn’t celebrating any more than the other runners on the team. They all won by doing their part. I like to imagine myself in heaven, celebrating and giving all my blood relatives big hugs and high fives after our race is won! In the light of the fact that we were ultimately doing it for God, none of us will care what part we ran or how far we moved the baton down the track of our family bloodline race. We’ll celebrate those who ran with the greatest agility and power, right alongside those who could only hold the baton long enough to pass it to the next in line. We will all love God and each other so much that we’ll be thrilled that advances were made and races were more won in His honor — that within our bloodline, ground was taken for the King! The moral of the story is…you’re important, so do important things and embrace every season of your soul because they’re important too.