Have you ever been through a season where one minute everything was sunny and the next the storms started rolling in? I recently went through a season like that and it took me a while to find that sunny place again. It seemed like one minute God had just opened the doors wide open to so many promises and dreams where I felt like I was on top of a mountain. Then suddenly things took a turn and I was down in a valley.
My dreams suddenly seemed far away and all the promises I thought I heard from God grew smaller and smaller. I felt like I couldn't hear God's voice clearly or that I was misunderstanding him. And can I be real with you for a minute? That feeling was one of the worst because I wanted so badly to hear God's voice to have affirmation that I wasn't lost in this season. Suddenly all of these things I thought I had overcome came rushing back in. All the insecurities, all the rejection, all the doubts. I couldn't understand why I went from a sunny day to a stormy night.
Sometimes when we go through difficult seasons, it's hard to understand the purpose. We begin focusing on the issue at hand and we can often lose sight of God's promises. I began to doubt the things that I knew God had spoken in my heart during the good season. I began to question the testing and although I told myself to stay strong, I just wanted the hard season to be over.
I knew that God was trying to teach me something in the trial, but it didn't make it any easier. What I learned is that we have to go through trials to make us stronger. We have to withstand the wind to make it through to the next season. Just like palm trees during a hurricane. They whip and bend, but they don't easily break. This is due to their root system being their anchor. The network of roots being interconnected causes the base to hold tight as a foundation in the soil. They bend well because of how the trunk is made with multiple little intertwining pieces so it bends when shaken unlike normal trees. Essentially every part of a palm tree was designed to withstand the weather around it.
Like us when we go through a storm, we just need to continue growing so we can bend more and stay strong. We have to have a firm foundation in Christ and continue seeking him when it gets hard. We also have to have a tight community around us to help us bend when everything else is pushing us down. We should learn to embrace the hard season and see what God is growing through us during that time. We have to hold on to the promises he made to us in the good season to get us through the hard ones. And each time we'll come out a little stronger.
I love this verse in 1 Peter 5:10 from the NLT version. It says, "In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation." This is a great reminder that we are called by God for a purpose and that purpose is eternity. Although we will go through hard times of suffering the verse specifically says a little while which means it's not forever. I always like to understand a verse fully so I looked up a key word in greek to get the full meaning. Suffering in the Greek is pascho or to feel heavy emotion and during trials that's exactly what our suffering is like when we feel heavy and burdened. But it's only for a short amount of time. Lastly, the verse says that he will pick us back up and we will be stronger. So God not only wants you to share in his eternal glory, but he wants you to be better along the way by growing.
What I ended up learning during that difficult season was to find my worth in God and not allow past insecurities to creep back in causing doubt. I learned that I can't measure my success against others and that I need to let go of comparison and competitiveness with others. I also learned that God had to grow those things out of me to prepare me for the next season. So trust that whatever area God is growing you in is for a purpose. Your good season will come and the storm won't last forever. Hang in there friend!