A wise friend recently told me, “You’re in your grace season. I love it!” She asked me how I was doing and my response was one good thing. And then another. And then another. And not the superficial “I’m good!” type of response. Like actual examples of so many good things. As I heard the words come out of my mouth and felt the peace and joy in my soul, she was right. I am in a grace season. An unmerited favor of God, for a period of time.
Yes. That’s exactly where I’m at.
And if you know me, if you’ve read any of my blogs in the past, you know that not all this life of mine has been sunshine and butterflies. In fact, I would say I’ve had a few more crap seasons than grace seasons. Miscarriages, moves across the country with no friends or family while pregnant, leaving a career I loved, longing for a career in design, quitting jobs, a husband with a new job (translation = working 12-15 hours a day with a pregnant wife who has no friends or family in this new city called Miami) and so on. But the truth is, because I had gone through some crap seasons in the past, I knew God was up to something and believed He would do something good in the midst of the chaos. Having that faith, however, doesn’t take away the pain. The tears. The questioning what the heck God was doing. And WHY He was doing it. I wish I could say I am able – and will be able – to handle those seasons with more faith and contentment than I have in the past. But, I can’t say that. And that’s okay. Because with each passing season and each struggle, God sharpens me, teaches me and opens my eyes wider for His great plans. I am not called to handle the seasons perfectly. I am called to lean on God.
And the best part is when that happens and when it is happening, you start believing those seasons aren’t actually crap seasons. They are the seasons God is doing his best work. No question. He’s doing his best work so that when that season closes, we get to experience the grace season. The fruit of the labor. The joy after the pain. The peace after the turmoil.
I can’t say I know how God works. But I can say I know how he has worked in my life. And in the lives of others. He uses seasons to reveal something to us. To grow us and stretch our faith. To force us to have to rely on Him more. Like an artist who begins with the first brush stroke and minutes and hours and days of creating a masterpiece, God finishes and says “this is good.” When the painting begins, we cannot see the end. It looks like a mushy blab of nothing, often times. We can’t see the beauty. Until the work is done.
That’s where I am at right now. The painting has finished and God, in his graciousness, is letting me rest and marvel in the masterpiece. In the beauty of His work. For me, it’s like when I finish designing a space. Looking at it with excitement and awe and admiring the beautiful outcome, while at the same time remembering the process. It was hard and messy and sweaty and I had to edit and re-edit. The canvas wasn’t beautiful in the midst. But now, the canvas shines because I gave it my all and humans – often friends and family – get to live and receive joy from that space. Yeah, it’s a lot like that.
- Today marks six years of marriage for Rick and me.
- We are away for the first time without Zoey.
- Zoey will be two years old in 10 days.
- We found an incredible church and church family in Miami.
- God continues to give me design projects both in and outside of work.
- We have met and become friends with some of the best people on earth in Miami.
- Rick has been blessed with an incredible mentor.
- We have our health.
- We travel and see the world.
- Our faith is growing bigger than ever.
- Work, for both of us, is really good.
- Our parents and families are healthy.
- There is more laughter than tears.
This is abundant grace. This is a grace season. This is the beauty and wonder of God’s masterpiece, of a well-designed space. And I am not taking one second of it for granted. I am thankful and thankful and thankful! The seeds were sown and the harvest has bloomed.
What is most important about this season is remembering. Remembering the joy because there is no question, no question at all, the tougher seasons are to come again. They just will because this is life. I have fully been a part of both of these seasons in my life, many times. And each time I grow closer to God, I grow wiser as a human, I am humbled and broken and rebuilt. It’s truly glorious. And with each time I become less afraid – or even unafraid completely – of the tough seasons. Because I know and believe God is doing his best work.
For now, I rest in my grace season. Thank you Jesus!