Life is made up of a series of seasons and next steps. What seasons are you experiencing and do you know your next step?
Seven months into my newest writing endeavor, I realize I have come to a new season and I wonder what is next. My roles are wife, mother, and grandmother, but I’m also a writer, still active, and in my fifties. Each of these represents some of the many seasons in life.
Seasons and next steps.
I first started thinking about seasons in regard to myself years ago on a spiritual retreat. The speaker was talking about the seasons of life. I connected in a huge way, because I had started over so many times and experienced much grief. Life had overtaken me like a landslide.
We experience many seasons at once, some more prominent and obvious than others.
Ecclesiastes 3:1 To everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven.
When I was in my twenties, I juggled several difficult seasons at once never quite getting my footing before the next onslaught of painful circumstance. Moving repeatedly, weathering the death of my mother, marriage, having a baby, and college all at the same time was a challenge. Bracing myself and marching through all of it with determination, somehow I kept getting back up without losing my mind.
God steadied me with each wave and constantly reminded me that there is always someone going through something harder.
Despite the difficulty, I kept moving forward because God would reveal my next step in my season or send me to the next place.
Then, when my dad died and my husband went to war, I was in a new season, but alone.
It was if I was a single mother, working, going to college full time and reeling from losing my dad too. It was a struggle, but I got through it. I think of that time as a small part of my life now. But back then, it felt insurmountable.
This too shall pass.
As seasons passed and each time the next step or next move was revealed, I gathered my belongings, tried to adjust my attitude, and along with my husband, we got it done.
Truthfully, for the most part back then, I was running on a foundation of prayer, strength, and resilience.
However, eventually strength wanes, resilience is overtaken.
So, what do we do then?
What is the answer when a season and its next steps are overwhelming?
Prayer and a relationship with our Creator refills the tanks and keeps us moving forward in God’s plan.
The steps of a man are ordered by the LORD, and He delights in his way.
To clarify, seasons and next steps are unique to each person, so they require personal attention.
All of us are on a different step and in a different season. Furthermore, we are each in different places in our seasons, coming out of one, entering another. Just started, almost done. In regards to where a person is in a season is more than situational or timing, it is unique and personal.
There are the obvious seasons starting with childhood and adolescence, then possibly college, finding a career, or building a family or community. But, there are also seasons of purpose, sowing and reaping, building up and tearing down.
If we are aware enough to stop and pray, there is an order to our steps and seasons.
I am in the grandparent/preparing for retirement, building a business, and happily married seasons. At the same time, my husband and I have chosen to be more frugal this year and save more, so a tighten the belt financial season. All of these seasons overlap my personal season of spiritual growth and weathering health issues.
Understanding that we are passing through many seasons all at once helps us weather the changes.
Beyond your own, understanding that everyone is in multiple and possibly difficult seasons helps us empathize too.
With all of the layers of seasons and next steps, we do need God’s guidance to navigate.
Occasionally, we also need God’s strong arm to grab onto and lift us up when we stumble.
I humbly ask: What is God’s plan for me? What is the next step or season?
In fact, I had almost forgotten God started this whole blogging and writing thing. With a little humility, I ask him what to do next.
Where does he want to take me? What does he want me to write about? It is a good time to pray for direction and guidance.
Diligently writing, I forgot that this endeavor has responsibilities.
There is purpose here, a mandate. If I truly believe writing is my purpose and that God is my guide and in charge, then I need to make sure I am on the same page. So here is my prayer.
“God, I ask for your guidance. Make my paths straight. Order my steps. Choose what I write and when I write it. Choose my audience and readers and help me give them what they need. Be with me in every season and oversee the phases of my life. You are in charge and I submit my life’s work to you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”
I can do nothing of myself, so even when I forget what I am supposed to be doing, God sets me straight. I am thankful.
I love Isaiah 58:11 and it somehow fits into every post. This time from the guidance perspective.
11The LORD will always guide you; He will satisfy you in a sun-scorched land and strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.
I pray this post will help you to remember to ask for help, commit your seasons to God and pray for your next steps.
Barefoot and writing,
Proverbs 3:5 and 6
5Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; 6in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.…