To everything there is a season,
and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate;
a time of war, and a time of peace.
–Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8, KJV
Not only does 2009 bring in a new year, but it also is the beginning of a new season of my life. I am transitioning from being the mother of teenagers to being the mom of young women; I am transitioning my relationship with one of my daughters from being close and loving into being emotionally and physically distant; I am transitioning from working part-time into working full-time; and I am transitioning from being younger to being older by society’s standards. Each of these transitions brings some sorrow, some grief, some bewilderment, and the process of learning how to let go and let God.
God doesn’t promise that things will always remain the same, or that our lives will go smoothly. What He promises is that He will be there to hold us, comfort us, protect us, and guide as we go through our trials and tribulations, as we face transitions and changes, and as we begin new seasons of our lives.
This verse from Ecclesiastes reminds us of His ever-loving presence as we go through different times of our lives. He acknowledges that there will be times of incredible joys and devastating anguish; He knows our innermost thoughts and feelings as we face the good and the bad times; and He is there, He is always there.
The past several months have been filled with so much pain as I watched my oldest go from a loving and faith-filled young woman to one who has totally rejected us and the faith and values we instilled in her from the very beginning. She has chosen a path which we believe is very destructive to her emotionally and spiritually, and thus we can’t condone or support her decisions.
“Tough love” brings on a deeper meaning when one actually has to practice it on one’s child. But, I know that it is the only way to go at this point in time, as my daughter will have no other choice but to take responsibility for her own actions and learn from her mistakes. It’s painful to not be there for her, it’s painful to not have her presence in my life anymore, it’s painful to know she is in a lot of turmoil herself – and I can only imagine that God feels the same way about us when we have rejected Him and His love and His teachings.
So, this new year, I will face many new beginnings for myself. I’m a bit scared because all of them are unchartered territory for me. But the knowledge that God is there to sustain me, as He has over the past several months, brings me hope and encouragement. I know I can weather these transitions as I go into a new season of my life, because He will not fail me. I know my relationship with Him will grow stronger and deeper as I depend on Him more and trust in His will for my life. That part of this new season excites me and humbles me.
May God bless you and yours in the New Year. May He keep you safe in His graces. And may 2009 be the year in which you begin some transitions of your very own, with God’s loving hand guiding and protecting you.
©2009, Valerie Wolff