Won't Always Be This Way

9:26 AMHeather

Just in case you slept for about 4 months or summered in Alaska, let me give you a news flash.  It was a long, hot summer in Texas.  Very hot.  Record breaking hot, in fact.  70 days of 100+ temperatures.  The heat arrived early and stayed.  And stayed.  And stayed.  And, like most of my fellow Texans, our solution was simple.  We either spent the summer in air conditioning or in the water.  Except that there were days it was literally too hot to be in a pool.  Another thing we did was we let our yards go.  I somehow found solace in those icky brown and parched patches in others' yards.  I wasn't the only one who gave into the heat and gave up.  I chuckled right along with you whose August FB posts included pictures from our February ice and snow.  Because we all needed to be reminded that it wouldn't always be this way--hot, intolerable, parched, insufferable.

At my annual adoption training, we were discussing the hard adjustment that many older children and their families face when they first come to America from overseas.  The phrase repeated over and over again was to keep encouraging our adoptive families that it won't always be this way.  Because in the moment it certainly doesn't feel that this is true.  It feels as though life as we know it has dramatically and forever changed and the seasons of trial and hardship will never end.

I am so struck by how many of my friends are enduring hard seasons of parenting.  I've mentioned this before, I know--but oh my!  It seems every week that I see another sweet friend at a breaking point.  The heat is getting turned up, and the hope is evaporating.  Joy and peace are sucked out as the oppressiveness sets in with these fiery trials.  I know it feels record breaking--because things have never been this hard.  It's like our Texas summer--it feels as though it will never end.  It feels as though we can't endure another day of it, and the cool breezes of change feel too far out of reach.

But, let me assure you.  It won't always be this way.  Life is like our weather--the seasons will change, eventually.  Some seasons are long--longer than it feels we can endure.  Day after day, the same heated struggle.  We might look back at pictures from easier days and reminisce, feeling as though that past history is long gone, and a fresh, new hopeful season will never come again.  This just isn't true.  Here's a promise we can stand on.

 6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. 7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
 8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.
 10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 11 To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen. 
1 Peter 5:6-10
INTENTIONAL challenge:  In the languishing days of fiery trials, it is hard to imagine you might ever feel a cool and refreshing breeze of change.  It's hard to imagine as you feel parched and scorched that you might ever need a warm coat again.  But you will.  Seasons WILL change.  A sweet friend reminded me of this above verse in the last couple of weeks, and what a precious promise to stand on.  After you have suffered a little while, God himself will restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.  And you know what I've found from the desert seasons of my life?  Things won't ever be the same again.  No--in fact, God brought me out on the other side--changed in profound ways for the better.  When you get to the end of your rope, ask God to tie a knot.  And hang on till this season passes.  Because it will. 

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