I have a number of friends who love fall. They love sweaters and bonfires and pumpkins. I struggle with dread this time of year, and after overdosing on pumpkin coffee a few years back and a long winter ahead, I have little to look forward to.
I have the same struggle with Christmas. I know some of you love walking into stores now that they’re decorating for Christmas. I can barely do Christmas music in December, and I don’t have the Hallmark Channel, so there you have it.
I’m not a grumpy person. This just isn’t my time. I’m all about spring and summer and short sleeves and open windows and non-spend-a-lot-of-money-make-a-big-production holidays. Labor Day is my cup of tea.
The beauty of life though is that there’s always something to look forward to. Seasons come and go. Whether you like it or not, it won’t be here long. Then you look forward to your next favorite time, and for Christians, our heavenly home.
The seasons of life that you dread—like the third trimester of pregnancy or the last months of work before retirement or basketball season when you have three children on three different teams—are not too difficult for God to make bearable.
I prayed God would help me enjoy the basketball season the year I had three children on three different basketball teams. Believe it or not, he did. I enjoyed the time I spent in the car with my children and their friends. I enjoyed watching my children try their hardest and learn the lessons of the game. And God gave me grace to accept what could be done and sense to understand what was unrealistic in that season.
So as winter comes and the warmth fades and the dark envelops more of the day, I pray God helps me see and embrace the gifts of this season. I pray he keeps my heart joyful and leads me to unexpected blessings. And I pray I can be an encouragement and a light to others, especially those a little dismayed at what’s ahead. God shines brightest in the darkness.
If you’re scared or nervous or even a little anxious about what’s ahead, know God is bigger than the storms and the trials and the pain.
He’s always been with us before. Let’s trust him to get us through this season too.
Amber Albee Swenson is a writer, speaker, and blogger. Her husband and four children keep life exciting and give her lots to write and pray about. Mother, wife, and author are treasured positions, but child of God is her identity.
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