A few Sundays ago, we were in church, and I noticed how attending church has changed for me. We get to church, attend the praise, and worship session (thank the Lord our daughter loves music), and sit through the next sessions, a few minutes of the sermon and she wants to go play. What I have realized is I actually do not get mad, the minute I notice she wants to leave, I pick her bag and we go to creche. Sometimes she will play with other children in the creche, and sometimes we end up walking outside and playing by ourselves. And on that Sunday, I realized that in serving my daughter, I was serving the season that I am in.
The past two years have been a difficult, challenging year for my family and me. We went through a season that was hard, that was painful. But like that Sunday, I also realized that we served in the season that God put us in. Did we complain? Yes! Did we cry? Absolutely! But we served! As a child of God, I have realized that sometimes God puts in seasons because He wants us to serve that season, and in doing so, He teaches us a lot of things. Allow me to highlight some things that I have learnt:
- God loves you.
My season in church is a beautiful season, but the other season was a hard one. There are days I struggled with seen how God loves me, how He loves us – when we were going through hard days. But one of the things my husband and I started doing was being intentional with gratitude for the small things and the big things. This is because we realized that had we not, then we would be blind to God’s love for us.
So, in your season, write down, take a moment to each day to thank God for one thing that He has done for you. This will help you see the good things; help have a positive mindset and shift your perspective even on days.
Let me give you an example, when our daughter was in the premature unit, there are days she was losing weight and, on such days, – I would focus on the fact that she was off oxygen. Was it easy? Not at all! But it helped shift my perspective, instead of focusing on the negative things I was able to encourage my daughter and thank God for the good. But I would still tell God that it is hard having to see her lose weight, and would still tell my daughter, that I want her to gain weight so we can go home.
2. Do not spiritualize everything, God wants the real you.
Let me tell you, I am one person who never wants to always “sound spiritual with God” – He is God, so He already knows what is in my heart, and in my mind, so why not just say it out loud? I find it hard when going through a tough season and I am told to “thank God”. I heard things like “at least your daughter is alive, it will be well, thank God”. I thanked people around me who allowed me to go through the season the way I needed to go through it, not the way they thought I needed to go through it.
I am grateful that I have a God who allows me to go before Him as I am. I have come to realize that over spiritualizing things doesn’t make me the most “Christian person”. God wants me to always go before Him as I am, to never pretend, to never cover up what I am truly feeling, He wants the real me. In your season, in as much as you need to be grateful (that is meant to help you not to forget that He loves you and He is still showing up for you), you also need to tell Him what you are feeling and where your faith is – trust me He will minister and meet you right there!
For example, one day we left hospital, and, on that day, we watched our daughter literally fight to live and I couldn’t do anything but stand there with my husband and cry, and when we got home Pastor Mike Todd was starting his service. Coincidentally one of his worship members had also given birth to a preterm baby and she too was fighting for her life, and he asked anyone in a similar situation to stand up and carry their child in faith and pray. We were in our living room with our mums, and I stood up so broken carried my daughter in faith and believed as he prayed. That day I felt that God reminded me that right there in my brokenness, He was there.
*I have cried writing this because I remember that day like it was yesterday.
3. It is okay to be selfish.
Listen, I used to show up for everyone – now I show up for my family, my really close friends (funny how nowadays I can count my friends), and for myself! I have learnt that it is okay to be selfish and to not have to explain yourself for it. At first, I used to feel guilty, and now I don’t. Seasons change you! A couple of months ago, I wanted to go back to who I was before, and I realized after a therapy session – that my season changed me, and I need to embrace who I have become, and part of that change came with accepting to being selfish with my time and my presence. And so, I intentionally surround yourself with people that are for you.
4. Jesus and therapy.
Dear friends, Jesus and therapy have changed my life! My small sister booked and paid for my first therapy session in September 2021 when I was admitted in hospital, and I thank her for it to date! God has blessed people with talents, gifts, abilities, capacities, and professions that help us to reach our full potential, and therapist are one of those people. I think, or rather I know, that therapists can help us navigate the different seasons that we go through in life. A couple of weeks ago, my therapist told me “Do not dim your light for others to shine their light”. It might seem like a simple statement, but in that moment that statement shifted everything for me. And so, I appreciated having a therapist in that moment, but also having my specific therapist (I really do thank God for her). I have become an advocate for therapist, if you can afford it, go for it!
These are just a few things that I did, and that I am still doing – they helped me serve my season. I am embracing who I have become, I am learning to extend grace to myself and I am learning to thank God for taking me through what He took me through!
Thank you for reading and have a blessed week!