Some seasons of life are unsettling. In a spark of a moment it seems, we exist between a season of defined purpose and a season of unknowns unfolding whether we feel ready—or not. There is nothing easy about these seasons of transition.
Having traversed more than one, I recognized the symptoms when a loved one asked if she could stop by.
We sat on my back-porch step while winds from a cold front tossed her hair every way but loose. The full moon radiated from a cloudless sky and revealed the pain she struggled to suppress.
She stuffed her hands into her jacket pockets, breathed deep, “It’s nice out here.”
I glanced at the swaying treetops, “It is a nice night.”
Moonlight glinted across tears, signs of the storm that churned in her spirit. I offered a silent prayer for her peace and God’s wisdom in my words.
As much as I wanted to embrace her, wisdom helped me wait. Her strife was tangible, so much so that I felt if I moved too soon it would recoil. When I drew breath to speak comfort, the Holy Spirit quieted my soul.
She uttered words between hiccups for air, “I feel so alone and like I have no purpose. I fear the future. What would I do if…?”
And all the storm-tossed possibilities gushed forth like an ocean crashing through its borders.
I listened to every syllable, but I heard unspoken words in the wake. God helped me stand clear until the waters of her torment receded; all but the wind fell silent.
One truth resonated behind every confession of fear and expression of despair, and it’s a hard one to confess. I know from experience. We doubt because we do not believe, and God loves us too much to leave us in a season of comfort at the expense of growing our confidence in Him.
How do followers of Christ navigate the unknown with courage and confidence? One way is to remember God’s faithfulness in the past.
God’s Word is brimming with amazing examples of His faithfulness to His people.
As the year draws to a close, we naturally think of the examples of faithfulness regarding Jesus’s birth:
- God promised the Messiah would come (Isaiah 53), and He did (Luke 2.11).
- God promised Mary would conceive Christ as a virgin, and she did (Matthew 1.18-25).
- Jesus promised that all who believe in Him will gain eternal life with Him, and we do (John 3.16).
But in spite of these and other examples, both in the Bible and in our own lives, we sometimes discount the truth that God’s faithfulness extends through all time to include the here-and-now. When the unknown clashes with feelings of inadequacy and isolation, it is hard to take steps forward in faith. But God is with us, and nothing in our past or our present is a waste. It is all preparation for navigating the future.
God still chooses people to walk into what is unknown to us, but fully known to Him.
While my loved one wiped her eyes with the inside of her T-shirt, God filled my spirit with reminders of His presence in her past. As we recounted her most challenging seasons of life, one thing became as clear as the night sky:
God’s faithful presence and provision in one season had prepared and uniquely equipped her for the next.
If you are experiencing an unsettling season of doubt and fear, I pray you discover peace and encouragement knowing you are not alone and there is purpose in this season. God is equipping you for the future.
Perhaps some of the questions God laid on my heart for my loved one will help you see clearly in your uncertain season.
- Can you recall an unsettling season of life from your past, a time you felt anxious because you felt you had no purpose, and your future was unknown?
- Did you know how you would navigate that season?
- Did you choose to trust that God would somehow lead you through?
- Did He fail you at any point?
- Did that season from your past equip you for the one that came next?
- Can you name at least one way God used that particular season to solidify your belief and grow your faith in Him?
Your unsettling seasons of life in Christ are allowed for the purpose of growing your faith in God and equipping you to minister to others. We are truly in this Christ-life together.
When you find yourself sowing tears of doubt into a storm of fear, wait on the Lord, hear the source beyond the symptom, and recall the guarantee of God’s forever faithfulness to His people.
Walk into these seasons with confidence in His faithful provision of your needs, but don’t go it alone. Reach out to a sister in Christ and sit a spell in the Light of His love.
in the Quiver