Welcoming a New Season

Ecclesiastes 3 has been on my heart and mind lately. "To everything there is a season; a time for every purpose under heaven..." Maybe it's the hint of fall in the air (after all, the Pumpkin Spice Latte did come out this week) or the promise of structure that the school year provides. Whatever the reason, I've been thinking back on the "seasons" I've had so far this year:

In February, I entered into a season of grieving after losing my Grammy very suddenly. Everything changed, and yet, I stocked up on colorful Clare cardigans at J.Crew Factory because I craved more change - I didn't know how to keep living with the way things were.

Then, in May, I wrote this post about the season of waiting. I still craved change - We almost bought a house, y'all. And got a new job. But, those things I thought we were waiting for (in reality, hoping for) did not happen. In the restless moments of this busy summer, waiting for tangible, visible change, I thought about contentment. This moment, our lives as they are right now - am I content?

Be still, and wait

Ashley Danyew | Be still, and wait_1Image Credit: Lara Casey

It was March of this year - that's when I first felt the small tug on my heart.

SD and I had a heart-to-heart about where God might be leading us as we rode up the ski lift that next week, sun beaming down on the snow-covered slopes below us.

It was one of those conversations that stays with you, one I still cherish. It was a time and place in which we bared our souls in honesty and openness, unsure about what was ahead but willing to trust that God would make it clear in his time.

Change is never easy, especially when it's uncertain.

Certain change is almost easier, in a way. You know it's coming. You know what will change and how. You can prepare for it, or at least feel like you're preparing for it. But uncertain change requires a level of trust and surrender, believing that God will prepare you for whatever is in store.

Last month, we marked the beginning of summer with the sudden influx of several new and exciting prospects. Could this be the change God has been preparing us for? Are we witnessing his hands at work? The message was clear: Wait on me. Trust in me. Surrender to me.

Truth be told, I've never been very good at waiting. Waiting for that email to pop up in my inbox, waiting for that letter in the mail, waiting for the cake to cool before frosting. You know.

Sometimes, it feels as if nothing is happening. Waiting is stillness. All the while, I feel like I should be doing something - preparing, getting ready, making pros and cons lists (I am so Rory Gilmore). Tell me: How is waiting productive?

But I'm beginning to realize that in our waiting - our stillness - God moves.

So, we wait.

I'm learning to accept it, this season. I want to live a life of contentment, to rest in the unsettledness of life right now. I want to live in hope, not fear, and dwell in the security of God's grace and faithfulness rather than the insecurity of my actions and dreams.

Maybe you're there, too, in that place of waiting. Maybe you, too, struggle with the stillness. If so, I hope these words are as comforting to you as they were to me when I stumbled upon them while flipping through the hymnal last week:

"Only be still, and wait God's leisure in cheerful hope, with heart content to take whate'er thy Maker's pleasure and all-discerning love hath sent; we know our inmost wants are known, for we are called to be God's own."

- Georg Neumark (1657), translated into English by Catherine Winkworth (1863)

Be still, and wait on the Lord.