I love a great book especially when it’s a great biography! A couple of months ago I finished a really inspiring book called ‘Choosing to See’ written by Mary Beth Chapman. She’s a wonderful woman of faith with an impactful life who happens to be the wife of singer Steven Curtis Chapman. In this book, Mary Beth writes about her ever-changing life and how she managed to overcome through the good, bad, and tragic events that rocked it, including the sudden death of the couple’s 5-year-old daughter Maria. While reading the book, there were moments I laughed, cried and greatly appreciated her wealth of knowledge and wisdom. One thing that definitely burned in my memory was an interesting term she used after the passing of her daughter, she made reference to adapting to a “new normal” to help her move forward. Although she wanted her life to be comfortable, predictable and familiar, she knew it was unrealistic to contend with the radical changing seasons in her life in order to complete the her’s life’s journey laid before her.—Very profound Mrs. Chapman!
We too have and will continually see the seasons of our lives change. Some seasons we will welcome, some we will desire to avoid completely, but when it’s all said and done how we choose to cooperate during those seasons will greatly effect the outcome of our growth and progress in our own life’s journey. On my last post, I wrote about enjoying life’s seasons, but this time I want to bring attention to the importance of letting them go. Why?! Because it’s greatly needed!
I’ve lived in Milwaukee my whole life and the weather here can be pretty extreme. On a really hot summer day, we can experience up to the early 100’s and since the city is by a great lake, the intense humidity can easily make it feel much hotter. On the flip side, the winters can be pretty brutal with the temps falling into the early sub-zero range and don’t even get me started on the snow! In a perfect world, I would choose to live in the fall season forever because it’s my favorite, but since I’m not afforded that kind of control, the only thing I can do is understand the need for all the seasons and adapt as they come and go.
The great and wise King Solomon wrote “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens…” and “He [God] has made everything beautiful in its time.” To properly adapt to the changing seasons of life requires knowing when one season ends and when another one begins and committing to the transition that’s needed. Many times, we may like or favor a season more than another and may want to (and sometimes do) hang on to that season because we love and enjoy it so much. Unfortunately, that can not be if we want to live and enjoy a fresh and productive existence because every season has an expiration date. So it’s best for us to embrace the seasons of life in its right timing; when it’s over, move forward to avoid the stagnation & spoiling of our life’s progress.
A good example can be found generations ago with the children of Israel. While they journeyed through the wilderness, the people were instructed by God through Moses to gather enough special food called Manna for only one day and not to leave any for morning, but some kept some left over anyway! By the next morning, the manna they saved was no longer the tasty food that sustained them the day before, but the saved portion became foul, bred worms and it stunk! ICK! The people learned first hand what happens to expired goods; what was good for a moment in time wasn’t made to last or function for another and since it was out of season, it spoiled and caused a mess! (Exodus 16:17-20)
Bringing this subject close to home, there were times I had downright dragged my feet concerning major changes and new normals presented to me in my life. I thought just because the previous seasons were so good to me, that it was okay to hang on to them even though deep down I knew it was time to move on. As a result, my reluctance caused me great frustration and imbalance in my life. The things, relationships and people I tried to hang on to out of season no longer served as a instruments of enhancement in my life, but became weights that kept me from getting on with the new season of blessings and productivity God had waiting for me. Thankfully, I eventually broke through those barriers by snapping out of my stubbornness and making the changes needed. I realized that I had to let go of the expired seasons and began to grasp the new ones by adapting. Whew! All thanks to God!
So for us to be successful at living through the “new normals” in our lives, we must learn to let go of the old and adapt to the new! When we master this we can continue the growth and progress in our lives the way God intended.
What “new normals” in your life have you successfully made it through and what rewards came with your cooperation and/or what cautionary advice do you have to share? Your story may be the very answer someone else needs to hear. Respond below this blog and follow my future blogs by email for more interesting topics to come. Thanks for reading!
Still Enjoying the Journey, Didi Hayden