By Wendi Kitsteiner
“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven.” ~Ecclesiastes 3:1 NIV
Once upon a time, I was a Division I college basketball player.
My favorite phrase from that time in my life was “It’s a season.”
As an athlete I knew how powerful and truthful those words were. When the last game of the year rolled around, I inevitably felt one of two very different emotions depending on how the season had gone.
If it was a good season, I felt sad to see it conclude. We had so much fun. I wanted to capture the positive things that had occurred and recreate them if possible the next season. If it was a bad season, I was relieved to see it end. Maybe next season would be better. I would be more prepared. Time to start fresh!
As I left athletics behind, I took my “season” philosophy into my next role. My husband decided to join the Air Force to pay for medical school. Over the next twenty years of our marriage, we moved ten times, all over the U.S. and the world, while adding four children (and three dogs!) to our peaceful life.
Those twenty years were full of seasons. Moving to new military bases. Trying to get settled into new homes. Packing up places that had really felt like home. Standing alongside my husband as he attempted, over and over again, to settle into a new and unfamiliar job. Finding a church. Finding community. Finding friends. Celebrating holidays alone.
Now, twenty years after our season of moves began, we are farmers in a forever home in eastern Tennessee. My “It’s a season” motto is more alive than ever! During our first two years on the farm, I have buried animals, planted vegetables, processed livestock for meat, eaten our own crops, and helped nine baby lambs emerge into the world. I have also searched for a new church, tried to make new friends, and grieved the relationships and homes I left behind.
Recently my friend Shelby, a fellow military wife, visited me on our farm. Later she would pen the following words: “As I watch everything that’s alive shed its beauty to hunker down for the brutal temps and darkness of winter, I’m reminded of the seasons of my life. That each place I lived was good and lovely . . . for a season. And even if I wanted to stay, or even if I could go back, it wouldn’t be the same because it too has moved on.”
Her words truly resonated with me. They reminded me that I am not alone in these seasons of my life. While I may feel as if I am the only woman experiencing these emotions, we are all shifting from season to season with our feelings hanging in the balance.
Have you ever . . .
. . . been the new girl who didn’t know a single soul in the room?
. . . felt that nervousness in your stomach as you walked into a new job?
. . . pushed your children on the swing, wishing you had a girlfriend to talk with at the park?
. . . felt disappointed when someone you thought you trusted wronged you?
. . . said good bye to someone you loved deeply because of death, moving, or divorce?
. . . come and gone from church without a single friendly face to make eye contact with?
. . . stood alongside a spouse as their job was terminated?
. . . grieved the loss of a dream?
. . . rocked babies long into the night while a husband’s job took him from you yet again?
We have all probably experienced at least one of these things. But here’s what I want you to remember: these feelings are not unique to you. We have all felt the changing of the seasons. We have felt lonely, overwhelmed, and abandoned.
But we haven’t stayed there.
And you won’t either.
What season do you find yourself in today? I posted a Facebook status last week asking my friends to share about their most difficult seasons. I got heart-wrenching responses: Death. Divorce. Sickness. Loss. Abuse. It was painful to read the terrible things so many have them endured.
But I saw beauty, too, as they shared how the Lord had moved them through those seasons and how today, they stand on the other side, having grown through those experiences.
I encourage you to remember that, as the Bible tells us, seasons are temporary. There is a time to weep. But there will also be a time to laugh. There is a time to mourn. But there will also be a time to dance! A time to lose and a time to get. A time to love. A time to hate.
This is a season.
So sit back. Pray. Watch as the Lord ushers in a changing of the seasons in your own life. Because he will.
Wendi Kitsteiner is a former city girl now living on a farm in the middle of nowhere, Tennessee with her husband and four young children. She is passionate about the causes of infertility, adoption, and keeping it real as a mom. You can follow her at flakymn.blogspot.com or becauseofisaac.org.
Photograph © Bethany Beams, used with permission