I'm so glad you're joining me on this journey to truly savoring the season of life in which we find ourselves. Last week we focused on serving in the current season...and requiring the season to serve us. If you have the time, head back over to Ecclesiastes, chapter three, and refresh your heart on our text.
So you have determined to savor your season and maybe have even realized the value of service in the midst of your current situation. But what if you are frustrated with this season? What do you do with that?
#3/Surrender Your Season.
This was a very tender spot for me as I found myself in this place just a few years ago. I am a very busy, busy bee; I love to be busy & feel productive! I come from a long line of task masters & multi-taskers! At the age of 13 or 14 I acknowledged a call of God on my life in ministry and pursued that from that point on. I started ministry in my local junior high and continued through high school. I traveled in ministry in my college years and then I married an evangelist, or at least one in the making. And for 12 ½ years, my husband Chresten & I traveled together full-time in ministry.
We began one week after our wedding, while finishing our final semesters of college, and never slowed down. God blessed our ministry and we remained busy on the field in a time when many ministries like ours were dropping out due to lack of finances or family situations. We had our first child, Bonnie, 12 years ago, but when she was six weeks old, she and I hit the road with Chresten again. But it all came to a screeching halt when Bonnie began kindergarten seven years ago and we had our second daughter, Libbie.
And, no, I wasn’t called to homeschooling!
This meant I would need to be at home more often during school months. What had once been "Chresten and Bridgette Tomlin" was now going to be "Chresten Tomlin" a majority of the time. And what had once been co-parenting was now going to be single-parenting a high percentage of the year.
Let me pause here and remind you of a lesson I learned from this crossroads in our marriage and ministry. It is absolutely critical that we choose to listen to and obey the Holy Spirit in EVERYTHING! Little did I know what my obedience in the last season would produce in the next season!
This season was going to be a tough one and I had a decision to make. I found other ways to be involved in ministry at our local church and became feverishly busy, doing as much as they needed me to do while being a single mom, part-time. But even that became a constant source of conflict in our home. Because of the conflict, I knew the Holy Spirit was asking me to simply STEP BACK. Step back from it all and just rest a little. Me? Rest? That's not my favorite season!
Through that time I realized that rarely was I going to be able to be involved in ministry with Chresten, as we had no one to look after our girls during the school year. And I felt stuck. Chresten and I didn’t know how to do life like this. Our then 6-year-old Bonnie didn’t know how to do life without immediate access to her Daddy all the time.
The past few years have brought some great victories but some tough, tough experiences. I’ve had to be steely to endure and overcome. What I didn't know, however, during that season was that I was being prepared for “The Year of Increase”! Each year my husband and I pray as December rolls around, asking the Lord to give us a goal for the coming year. Both of us agreed: the next year would be known as "The Year of Increase". I had no idea that, during the year and a half of the daily surrender to a 'down' season, I was being prepared for the year of increase just ahead.
Did I always walk in rest and peace, realizing that season was perfection at its best? Do I relish in the fact that some of those requirements are still present in my present? No, some days I still kick in it. I throw a grown-up girl’s fit in the presence of my Father. And then I settle back down as He reminds me of the purpose here.
Do you find yourself in a season you don’t like?
Perhaps your kids are grown and you feel useless? Perhaps you are needed to work outside the home right now and she just don’t want to do that? Maybe you are aging and you want to be young & frivolous again? Maybe you aren’t crazy in love with your husband right now? Surrender the season you’re in. Give it to the Lord and ask Him to reveal the purpose for it right now. And be ready to obey. That’s where the peace comes from.
This is ENTRY THREE of our December series, Savor Your Season. To catch up, join us as ENTRY ONE. Ready for ENTRY FOUR? Click HERE.