A Woman Seeking to Know Her God in a Season of Shifting
Cody here. I also decided to take a turn answering these questions...
How would you define the season that you are in right now?
A season of...shifting. Change seems like too big of a word. But shifting feels right. A season of shifting. It feels like the ground is moving ever-so-slightly and my feet are adjusting and I’m finding my footing again. Sometimes I’m not even sure what’s different. Are these rocks always here? Has the grass been mowed? Was this the path I started on?
The shifts have been so subtle and the movements so slow that I hardly realized it was changing—hardly realized I was changing—until I had to stand still for a second and look around. And everything looks pretty much the same but nothing feels familiar. Have you ever felt that way? Like you can’t put your finger on it, but you know that something is not the way it was?
That’s how I feel about the "season" I'm in. I feel like I’m on the edge of this one and I’m not quite sure what the next one looks like. So it’s a little bit hard to rest and even my deepest peace is still tinged with varying degrees of excitement and anxiety. I think for me it’s because I took a new teaching job that starts in the fall, and I also have some other things lining up, but I don’t know what any of it will look like. And none of it is here. So it feels just a little bit fake. And I’m mostly excited and a tiny bit nervous. It’s full of a lot of potential and a lot of unknowns, and it makes me want to skip ahead, but I’m not there yet. I’m still in this season, where I’m waiting for the new to begin.
I’ll be relieved when we get there and start to settle into my new normal and find my rhythm again.
In this season, what is currently motivating you to get quiet with God? And/or what keeps you from getting quiet with God?
To be perfectly honest, this hasn’t been a season of really intentional quiet times with the Lord.
[Side note: I’m okay with having a set-aside quiet time. In fact, I’m in favor of it. I know it’s out of vogue, but this is what I also know: many women in the generations that have gone before us had and have set-aside times with the Lord and as far as I can tell, it has worked and is working for them. Many of the women whose faiths I admire have a time and place and plan for being quiet with the Lord and it doesn’t look like bondage or legalism to me. Their lives look the closest to freedom that I’ve seen, and if they’re having quiet times, I think we should be really slow in pushing our own times aside. I think our generation would be wise to slow down before we cast such things aside as “legalistic” or “outdated.” Sometimes things are classic because they are effective and I believe an intentional time with the Lord is one of those things. Rant over.]
Well. I’ve just convicted myself of being more intentional. I think because this season seems so temporary and summer seems so transient, I’ve struggled to really find that time and haven’t taken advantage of all the time I do have. It’s kind of a case of “I have so much time that I’m not using it very well at all.” Sometimes it also feels like I don’t know what to talk about with the Lord, so I just avoid being alone with Him. It’s not that I don’t know that I need Him, it’s just that in this transition it keeps feeling like I’ll “get back to Him” when my life gets back to normal.
It’s not right. But it’s where I am.
What works for you when you spend time alone with the Lord? What doesn’t work?
I was excited about this question. Because I think it varies through the seasons, but one thing I’ve learned is that even in my quiet times, structure is my friend. I used to think that I might “outgrow” that—that my quiet times would eventually morph into a more casual, conversational, “spiritual” experience and I would set aside the structure that I needed to get me started with Him. But that does not seem to be the way that I am wired. I still do best when I have an in-depth Bible study or a devotional book next to my Bible. I love reading and journaling and answering others’ questions. I love the way that their words prompt me in my prayers and my thinking.
When I do just open the Scriptures by myself, I love to have some pens and a pencil nearby to write all over the parts that I’m reading. It helps me to engage with the words rather than just read through them. Sometimes I’ll even rewrite the parts of the passages that most stand out to me in my own journal.
I also like journaling. It’s often in that very private writing where the Lord reveals more of Himself and His ways to me. He has always used writing in my own life to help me make sense of things, so especially when I’m upset or confused, journaling with Him is something that I know will be beneficial (but ironically is also the thing I most avoid because it is there that I’m often the most vulnerable).
How can the person reading this right now pray for you?
I almost skipped this question. And then I thought, what the heck?! If someone wants to pray, why would I turn it down?
So, if you want to pray for me, you can pray that I’m ready and willing when the new begins. I think I am! I think I’m ready to move from this season into the next, but I’m sometimes hesitant to embrace change. I equate it to feeling homesick. When I was little, I had the hardest time enjoying being away from home because I always just wanted to be back there. And sometimes I do that with seasons of my life too. I have trouble enjoying where I am because I miss the way things were (even if they weren’t the way I wanted them). It’s a classic case of clinging to the familiar at the expense of the Lord, and I don’t want to do it in this season. So I’d love your prayers—both that I would rest in these last few weeks of summer and also that I’d run strong and full into the next season.
This post is part of the Summer of Seasons that Darcee and I are hosting. Our hope is that as others share about seeking God in their particular season of life, we would all be encouraged to know and love and seek after the Lord more in our daily lives.