Embracing Change & Seasonal Shifts

Man, I feel such a shift in my spirit right now! It's amazing to me how situations and lessons can erect themselves spiritually, right alongside the physical.

Today, I woke up to a surprising 29 degrees! I seriously feel like it was JUST 70 a few days ago. But alas, the temperature has caught up with the season and we are now trotting walking into the winter season. UGH! I curse the day that I have to finally exchange my comfy flip flops for boots lol.

The funny thing about winter is that it's a necessary season that's unavoidable. No matter how much we say we hate it, it's going to come. There's nothing we can do to change that fact. Man can continue to ruin the environment, causing global warming, which may in turn make temperatures warmer, but the fact still remains that winter, in some shape of form, is going to come has to come. Whether it's -30 degrees or 44 degrees or whatever your interpretation of winter is, it's still coming.

The fact of the matter is that, seasonal changes are UNAVOIDABLE! We can push and fight against them, but that changes nothing. I was listening to a sermon by Toure Roberts yesterday called Relinquishing the Myth of Control, and he said some very true things. We really aren't in control. We can cling to summer as long as we want, but eventually, the shorts have to get packed away and traded for sweaters. Who wants to be the crazy one wearing flip flops in the snow? But that's exactly what we do when we cling to the past and can't accept change: We're wearing flip flops in the middle of a snowstorm. And everyone knows you're freezing, no matter how much you act like you aren't.

Everyone knows that you're struggling when you resist change, even if you act like you aren't. There will always be effects to resisting seasonal changes, so we have to learn to embrace them and go along with God for the ride.

Last year, I remember talking to my co-worker last year, in what seems to have been almost prophetic lol. I mentioned how Moses groomed Joshua as a leader, and despite all that Moses had done for the children of Israel, he stayed behind while Joshua progressed in moving to the Promise Land. I told her, "Not everyone gets to go to the Promise Land (the next level)... and it's not because some people deserve it, and others don't, but God has already pre-determined who progresses into which seasons." Stop fighting God in His direction. His wisdom is infinite, and before you even set your affection on whatever/whoever you're clinging to now, He already saw fit to move you forward away from it.

Do I mean that God wants some people to prosper and some people not to? Absolutely not. God loves each and every one of us way too much for that thought to even come across my mind, but think of Deuteronomy 31: the passing of the torch from Moses to Joshua. Did Moses enter the Promise Land that he'd been waiting for? No, but he still has maintained his legacy. He still had a part in the rising of the children of Israel, just as Joshua did. Even though Joshua led the children of Israel into the Promise Land, Moses still is one of the most known names in all of history, even more so than Joshua.When it comes to the blessings of God, there's room for all of us to have our own rightful place. Stop competing with others! Would it make sense for us, in the physical, to say "Oh no, my winter is worse!" "No my winter is worse!" Stop comparing your season to someone else's. Point, blank, period- we all will experience Winter, Summer, Spring, and Fall. We have to stop thinking that just because we don't like how God is moving in our current season, that He isn't looking out for us. And I know- that's so much easier said than done.

All of us have seasons that are better than others. Winter in North America doesn't occur at the same time as Winter on another continent. So even though all of us will go through seasonal changes, we don't go through them at the same time. Don't judge someone because they aren't experiencing winter alongside you, and be considerate of them when they go through Winter during your Summer.

One of the things that I'm learning more and more is to just rest. I've been praying that God would grow my faith more and teach me to be reliant on Him. It's actually freeing, to say the least. To know that whatever happens in life, God's orchestrated it, and that while you approach it with tunnel vision, only seeing the here and now, God has a bird-eye view of the past, present, and future- We are in His hands! Having this mentality really changes how you view seasonal changes. You may see Winter right now, but you have to realize that God sees what's coming next. Walk in victory!

Some relationships are meant to be seasonal because we are constantly changing. This is why, about 90% of our childhood friendships don't survive. I think we trick ourselves into feeling bad or disloyal if a relationship doesn't last forever.   Relationships should be purposeful; they should teach you and push you to grow, whether they are formed for 10 years, 10 months, or 10 minutes. Every single person you encounter cannot be your lifelong BFF; it's just the way the cookie crumbles. As we grow and evolve during different periods in our lives, we gravitate towards or run from people who appeal to us in the state that we are during that particular time. In high school, I was such a broken person, man. I was not the Jameka that I'm growing into today. I'm THANKFUL that the relationships that "Broken Jameka" made were seasonal; they would be anchors that only pulled me down and limited me from any forward progression. The friends that I related to as "Broken Jameka" would not push and elevate the "Now Jameka". Does that mean I don't care about those people? Do I hate them? Absolutely not. There's no love lost- the relationships have served their purpose. God knew what He was doing by allowing us all to grow apart, and He knows what He's doing by allowing you to grow apart from people in your life. Sometimes we cling to people that we think help us grow, but in all actuality are dead weight and retard any growth. We can't see it at the time, but God does. Don't fight the shift. Recognize that whatever God allows to happen is in your best interest, even if you don't agree.

There are countless examples of relationships that served their purpose, were necessary for growth, yet ended with no love/little love lost, but here are a few:

  • Abraham and Lot- Both relatives, but the constant tug-o-war between them, I believe, helped toughen Abraham as a spiritual leader.
  • Naomi, Ruth, and Orpah- All family in Moab, until Naomi's husband and sons died. Orpah, once a sister/daughter went back to her family, while Naomi and Ruth grew closer together through their struggles.
    • Never, not once, did Naomi and Ruth talk about Orpah by calling her disloyal, may I point out. She had to do what she had to do to survive, just as they did. Let's just allow relationships to evolve without making them messier than they have to be. Appreciate the time that was spent together; don't tarnish it by making the memory messy.
  • David and Jonathan- The epitome of friendship, yet when Jonathan was murdered, David had to learn how to continue to the throne without his BFF. While alive, Jonathan covered David and protected him, but when I think of the Bible, particularly Psalms, some of the most well-known passages of scripture that we use are from times when David was completely alone in solitude trying to figure out his next move by calling out to God. Had he continued to be protected by Jonathan in all situations, he would have missed out on the many times he had to be completely reliant on God to help him prosper. Maybe God has allowed that BFF you're used to always being around, detach themselves from you because He wants YOU, without any distractions, working on your relationship with Him. God is a selfish God. Sometimes relationships have to be "killed" to force your dependency on Him.

It's tough to think that your BFF right now MAY not be your BFF this time next year. Trust me- I'm experiencing it now. The descent from BFF to part-time friend/acquaintance can be a tough pill to swallow, but change your perspective. Realize that God allows relationships to come and go for the sake of pushing us and progressing us to different seasons in life. Sometimes we outgrow our relationships because the person we are in Winter isn't the same as the person we become in Summer; don't fret. God puts the right people in our paths to accomplish what He has purposed for them to accomplish. Learn the purpose they serve and the lesson they taught, and be thankful for what you learn.

I had to experience the relationships that I experienced in high school; looking back now, I realize that many of those relationships pushed me and strengthened me to not stay where I was or be complacent in those lifestyles. I can't hate those friends... They didn't know they were encouraging the Broken Jameka to stay broken. I'm thankful for them because they served their purpose in that season of my life. I had to also experience the relationships that I experienced in college, and even those now. Everything has pushed me to where I am now. My relationships now are pushing me forward and laying new foundation for my next season. When you approach it from that viewpoint, you shift from a discouraged countenance to that of expectancy and anticipation. Your relationships now are like breadcrumbs or taste tests of what God is sending your way!

My season is changing; I can feel it. As I'm going through Winter now, I know that Spring is on its way. Will my relationships change? Yeah; I'm sure of it. Will I cling to Winter by wearing my metaphorical boots and scarves in mid-Spring? Nope. God has shown me that no matter what I do, seasons will change. I have 2 choices; cling to the same season while He forces me to change, or sit back, enjoy the ride, and walk from Winter into Spring, holding His hand. I think I'll choose the latter.

Relishing in Winter; Reaching for Spring,

Dear God, Thank you for seasonal changes! I thank You that just as sure as Winter comes, so will come Spring. I thank You that no matter what I experience, You always walk alongside me. God, I take too much on my own shoulders, for naught. Help me to relinquish my "control" and walk in whatever You have already orchestrated for me. I'm thankful for this season that I'm in now, God, and how You're pushing me. It's cold and dreary, but I know there are things that I must get in this season in order to allow something beautiful to blossom in the next. Help me not to get caught up in resenting what You're sending me through, but to walk in the realization that whatever travail I go through now is only to help birth the very thing that You are purposing inside of me, God. I pray for anyone that reads this. May it speak to them and encourage them to walk forward hand-in-hand with You, God. Cover them. Strengthen them. Guide them. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.