Every season in life feels so fresh and new...yet there is always something vaguely familiar too.
Somewhat like a vivid case of déjàvu....the feeling like you've been here before remains, yet it's also completely new.
Some friends and I have recently been going through a group study together. In one of the group discussions it asked what our happiest year was and why, followed by our worst. It's funny how difficult it was for me. At fist I thought it would come easy...I would think of the time that I remember being joyful, carefree, and happy...and I would instantly know. But to be honest, each happy memory, was followed by a thought of the sorrow, heartache, or valley that I also recall from that time. Each blessed and peaceful memory was paired with one of pain. No year stood out to me as all together happier. And while it seemed easy at first say that my most difficult year was definitely the last, that too faded as I recalled the good of the year. The joys and growth that took place because of the struggles.
The truth is that, just as each year is filled with both dry and rained filled seasons, so are the seasons in our lives.
Refining. He is refining me. Each season that I walk through, I come out the other side changed. It is my choice whether I am made better, or become harder. There are really no other options. I either allow myself to be moved and molded as my Creator re-shapes my character, or I choose to become calloused and I thwarted by his efforts.
I have been in both places in my life and harder is never better.
When we choose to become calloused, we remove the ability to find serenity and peace within the storm. We're left frustrated, searching for justification, rather than peacefully trusting our Father.
While not every difficult time in our lives is designed by God or inflicted upon us, I do believe that it is always purposed by Him. He is always there speaking tenderly, desiring us to draw near in the moment of heartache.
I love the passage in Hosea chapter 2 where God allures his people into the wilderness...it's there in their struggle where He makes them His bride. Anyone who has been in any kind of relationship with another person can attest that conflict or struggle, when handled properly, will end up bringing the two closer in the end. Such is this story. She has wronged Him, He leads her way into the wilderness so that he has her attention. Stripped of all distractions, she can now hear him speaking softly, lovingly. There He restores her, gives back to her, cleanses her.
“Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the wilderness and speak tenderly to her. There I will give her back her vineyards, and will make the Valley of Achor a door of hope. There she will respond as in the days of her youth, as in the day she came up out of Egypt. “In that day,” declares the Lord, “you will call me ‘my husband’; you will no longer call me ‘my master. ’ I will remove the names of the Baals from her lips; no longer will their names be invoked. (Hosea 2:14-17 NIV)
God desires to refine you in this season. To draw you out, away from the things that have kept you from Him. He desires to write His name in your heart and on your lips, and to remove all others. To mold you into His bride and show you that He is your Bridegroom.