In Washington state, we move through all four seasons.
In this season, florals have exploded. What just a few weeks ago was a relatively two-dimensional, grey horizon has now transformed into a smattering of colors, delightful
visual explosions for the eyes. Watching my children tromp through rosy flower-petal carpets and pause, sniff, and examine each individual bloom nearly has me convinced spring is the most glorious season in Seattle.
But then summer will come: glorious sun-drenched days, with spotless skies, tart berries to burst in mouths, trails to explore and beaches to wander. And then, just as I’ve declared summer to be truly the most glorious season in Seattle, the golden-dipped leaves will drip from trees, crisp air dramatizing the outline of the jagged mountains on the horizon.
One thing that never trips me up: the drizzling, chilly, damp, grey days of winter are not a contender for favorite.
This is undoubtedly the one season that rushes in before I feel prepared, that catches me wishing for just one more warm fall day or romp in the sand. The wintry seasons of life often feel as if they rush in before that one last bolstering encouragement, too. If only I could rewind to that one quiet moment, that last road trip, that vulnerable conversation.
In a very short span, my family learned about troubling health issues for both my father and my grandfather. My daughter watched with her round, quiet face as I spoke on the phone, clearly distraught. She wanted to know: “What happened, mommy?”
Mentally, I searched for the adult in charge, the one who was going to relay the facts, unclouded by emotions. The one who knew the right comforting, but honest, thing to say.
Unfortunately, it was just me.
When did I become the adult in the room?
Perhaps that seems like a petty, immature question to ask, especially when you start doing the math and realize I’ve had more than a decade of living on my own, nearly that much married, and I’m a mom to an almost four-year old.
But it’s a new season to consider supporting parents and grandparents, especially when we never really leave an “I’m-going-to-call-my-mom” mentality.
I just don’t feel old enough to do this, I’ve moaned to friends. And I’ve had enough conversations with other 30-somethings smacked by sudden transition in family life to know I’m not alone.
Even in transitions where we can prepare, there is still the first day you drop off your child at school, the moment you exchange your wedding vows, the physical unlocking of your first home, or the delivery of your newborn. On the immediate side of crossing into a new season, you can feel like an imposter.
While instinct may suggest hibernation, you weren’t created to sleep through the winters. There is work to be done, good to be founded strewn amongst the gloomy, foreign, or intimidating.
As a student at a Christian college for three years, I heard a lot of story about the great ways God equips those He calls. Resources provided, educational needs met, proverbial mountains moved.
Sometimes, God doesn’t call us to remote corners and big challenges, but instead He calls us to new seasons and new, ordinary roles. Still we remember that it’s not the wise, powerful or noble that He’s called; it’s just me and you. As Paul says, “God has chosen what is weak in the world to shame the strong.” (1 Corinthians 1:27b).
When you enter a new season, it’s not an individual declaration :
I am ready!
I’ve been reading about this!
I’ve been training for this!
All those things may be true. None of those things may be true.
What is true either way is that “It is from him that you are in Christ Jesus, who became wisdom from God for us – our righteousness, sanctification, and redemption, in order that, as it is written: Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 1:30).
When you’re standing on the brink of a new
season – sunny or dreary – feeling like a misplaced imposter, acknowledge that might be. Just for now. And then remember that soon the rain will give way to the flowers, which will droop beneath the heat, which will cool and turn the leaves. You will stretch, grow, strain, and eventually will fill your new role in your new season.
The seasons are guaranteed to change. And God has guaranteed that He will remain.