I've been fortunate enough to come across a few inspiring and helpful articles and lists lately. They come through emails I've subscribed to, through Christian books I read, through my Facebook memory wall, or through my own journal notes.
The concept I'm about to write about came by email from Dr. Henry Cloud. I'm going to cut out sections that struck me.
First, the subject line of the email said, "I may know why you're struggling..."
I haven't been struggling lately, thank goodness, but I know what it is to struggle.
Then he said (bold by me), "Life is composed of life cycles and seasons. Nothing lasts forever. Life cycles and seasons are built into the nature of everything. When we accept that as a fundamental truth, we can align our actions with our feelings, our beliefs with our behaviors, to accept how things are, even when they end.
Everything has a life cycle. We’ve heard this before — there is a time to be born and a time to die. And in between birth and life, there are many activities, and those activities have seasons, too."
This was a good reminder because I've been in partly-empty-nest mode for a few years and that, combined with the moods of peri-menopause and menopause, I've battled occasional depression. I described to my counsellor it was as though I was in a long extended period of grief. Part of my grief related to letting go of my kids and saying goodbye to a season of parenting.
Dr. Cloud assures us that problems arise when we ignore that life is full of such cycles and seasons. It's just the way things are!
He suggests we can’t make room for new fruit in our garden if we get stuck allowing proverbial weeds to grow.
Weeds of Life
Acknowledging season ends is healthy. Embracing hope that there is new fruit in our future is also healthy. To make way for new fruit, we need to clear the weeds.
I've written on this theme before, asking, "What weeds do you need to put an end to? "
The dictionary defines a weed as any troublesome, unwanted plant.
Dennis Raney, in this article, helps us take a look at pulling up life weeds. He says, "The first weed Jesus warned of is the worries of the world, the anxieties of this age."
I confess, I had a lot of anxiety over the last year. It's time to pull it up.
Other weeds Jesus talked about included the deceitfulness of riches and the continual desire for other things.
I think we can all get stuck on those two.
Sometimes the weeds we need to pull include old habits, relationships, and attitudes.
- Have you made it your desire to put an end to any of the above in 2018?
- Is there a season that is ending that it's time to accept as a normal part of life?
- Will you refuse to become anxious?