Thus far, this has been a year of overlapping seasons. Winter never fully took hold before warm temperatures encouraged a premature spring. The colors of fall hung on amid the budding trees and greening grass. Then, winter returned, with temperatures below freezing.
At times, we experience overlapping life seasons. We hardly complete the handling of one challenge before another rolls in, overlapping, demanding attention, and heightening stress.
Following are thoughts on overlapping seasons:
Seasons of Challenge
Several weeks ago, I talked to a friend who is in a challenging season of caregiving. Then, I met a woman at the writing conference who spent much of the first day on the phone helping her family members navigate care while she was absent from her daily caregiving role.
Caregiving is a life season full of ups and downs. Caregiving requires patience and flexibility, because no matter how carefully you anticipate, caregiving always throws you a monkey wrench when least expected.
Frequently, caregiving isn’t the sole role for caregivers. Often, they are sandwiched between caring for older family members while also helping with grandchildren, or have children still at home. Many caregivers juggle multiple responsibilities while working full time.
Seasons of challenge often intermingle. Perhaps financial challenges intertwine with caregiving, or job loss and illness occur simultaneously. If you feel frozen in overlapping challenges, take comfort in the fact that life seasons change just as frozen ground thaws and, once again, yields lush vegetation. Difficulties ebb and flow, allowing forward motion to resume.
Seasons of Waiting
Do you know someone who has experienced the heartache of infertility? Often, infertility is a silent struggle, an ongoing emotional roller-coaster in which hope and desolation overlap.
My parents were married for ten years before I was born. While the families of siblings and friends increased, my parents waited and waited and waited.
Seasons of waiting are hard. We live in an instant society where people blow horns a nanosecond after a traffic light turns green, order online and receive purchases the next day, and become angry when they have to wait more than a few minutes for food or other services.
However, if we are willing, we learn in seasons of waiting. Waiting provides an opportunity to rest, reflect, redirect, and reconnect. So, the next time you sojourn in a season of waiting, be receptive to the life lessons available to you.
Seasons of Illness or Injury
Recently, a dear friend received an unexpected diagnosis of advanced cancer. Despite all our preventative efforts, we all encounter health issues at some point.
When we face seasons of injury or illness , whether chronic, short-lived, or life-ending, emotions rise to the top. Fear, dread, uncertainty, even anger surface. Times of illness seem overwhelming because they change the structure of our days, and derail our plans.
Are you navigating a season of illness? Trust God for healing, comfort, and peace.
Seasons of Joy
Last week and this week, we’ve enjoyed having our six-year-old granddaughter with us. She is sweet and expressive and smart. (Do I sound like a grandmother?) Grandparenthood is a season of joy, a time to treasure comforting, teaching, and encouraging a future generation.
At times, seasons of sorrow and joy overlap. I’ve experienced this following my aunt’s death. All that I found in her home reminded me of the love and fun our family enjoyed there. Even in the difficulty of going through possessions, I heard the voices and laughter of joy in my head and heart.
Sometimes, seasons of joy are fleeting, and often, we fail to enjoy them while they last. Relish joy while it’s yours, even when it overlaps difficulty, grief, and disillusionment.
Relish joy while it’s yours, even when it overlaps difficulty, grief, and disillusionment.
Seasons of Renewal
At a recent memorial service, a speaker mentioned his season of spiritual renewal. Sometimes we forget the spiritual part of our being is seasonal. We experience times of revival and mountaintop highs, but we also encounter wilderness stays in life’s valleys. We climb from spiritual valleys to spiritual mountaintops in the same way the barrenness of winter gives way to the glory of spring.
The “sticker bush” growing within a blooming azalea in our yard is a vivid reminder of beauty amid life’s thorns and the brutality of some seasons juxtaposed against the calmness of others. Even in times of renewal, we can expect a thorny overlap.
Are you entering a season of renewal mentally, emotionally, physically, or spiritually?
“Your threshing season will overlap with your grape harvest, and your grape harvest will overlap with the season of planting grain. You will eat your fill and live securely in your own land” (Leviticus 26:5 NIV).
We climb from spiritual valleys to spiritual mountaintops in the same way the barrenness of winter gives way to the glory of spring.
Candy Arrington is a writer, blogger, speaker, and freelance editor. She often writes on tough topics with a focus on moving through, and beyond, difficult life circumstances. Candy has written hundreds of articles, stories, and devotionals published by numerous outlets including: Inspiration.org, Arisedaily.com, CBN.com, Healthgrades.com, Care.com, Focus on the Family, NextAvenue.org, CountryLiving.com, and Writer’s Digest. Candy’s books include Life on Pause: Learning to Wait Well (Bold Vision Books), When Your Aging Parent Needs Care (Harvest House), and AFTERSHOCK: Help, Hope, and Healing in the Wake of Suicide (B&H Publishing Group).
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