What is this season for?

What is this Season for? She Loves - Jan 2016

One of my daughter’s first words is “moon.” She points it out in her storybooks and is really excited if she spots it in the sky. I love that she notices. I love that, because of her, I get to watch the waxing and waning of that beautiful silver globe through the month, see it begin as just a slither of fingernail until it becomes heavy and round like my own pregnant belly.

The world is ever-shifting around us, reminding us, if we would have eyes to see, that there is a time for everything—the darkness of the new moon and the light of the full moon—and a season for everything.

It’s a question that’s become so important to me: what is this season for?

This current moment in my life looks very different than I had expected even half a year ago. The past six months have brought an international move and a surprise pregnancy. In many ways, I’m not where I wanted to be: I miss working; I don’t particularly love being a full time stay at home mum; I worry that the dreams that got set to one side will never be realised.

Recently my spiritual director asked me, what do you most need right now? And from the mess of thoughts and anxieties and desires, one word floated up: contentment. I’m exhausted by all these unmet expectations and unfulfilled dreams. I crave a little contentment.

But I can’t switch off who I am. I can’t forbid my mind to come up with new ideas. I can’t stop wanting to be able to put my gifts to work. The dreams settle into my heart and soul and I don’t have the strength or will to evict them.

And then my little girl interrupts my thoughts again with her loud shout: “moon! moon!” It hangs two thirds full over the Baltic harbour outside my in-laws’ window where we are seeing in the New Year. And I remember that there is a time for everything.

As Mordecai put it to his niece Esther, as the future of their people hung in the balance: “And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14). If I’m learning anything as I watch the seasons shift these past months, it is that every season is necessary. I may not enjoy the rainy grey cold of an English winter, but it’s absolutely vital to produce the beauty and abundance of an English springtime.

So what is this season for? Is it a season of rest or one of growth, a season of sifting or a season of harvesting, a season of retreat or a season of embracing?

For myself, I believe maybe there is a way to find the contentment I am so desperate for without denying the desires of my heart. The Israelites never stopped dreaming of the land flowing with milk and honey, even as they collected their daily portion of manna in the desert—just enough for today.

As I cross this wilderness, I can complain mightily like the Israelites did, and attempt to shore up more than my portion of manna, out of fear of it never being enough to satisfy my hunger.

Or I can trust that this is a good gift from a good God, a God who knows me, knows my heart and my soul, knows I don’t experience this unexpected slowness of life as a gift yet, but nevertheless knows just what I need in this season. I can choose to experience this season as one of abundance rather than of scarcity, and in doing so, maybe I’ll discover that I was created and prepared and trusted for such a time as this.

This post was originally published on She Loves Magazine.