As the leaves on the trees are changing into beautiful oranges and reds, the fall decor is on all the porches and everything is pumpkin spice; the changing of the seasons is everywhere. From a hot sticky summer to a beautiful unseasonably warm fall, everywhere you look change is in the air. Some like the change and some don't. Some prefer the heat and some prefer the cold. But whether we like it or not, change is coming. Just like we can't control the weather, sometimes in life we have situations occur that we can't control. I have a friend who is struggling with cancer and has to go to chemo; a situation she can't control. I have another friend who lost her father unexpectedly almost a year ago, leaving her and her family in shock and grief; a situation she had no control over. Yet another person I love is rejoicing in an unexpected pregnancy, another friend is experiencing great success in her new job and is feeling completely fulfilled. Just like the changing of the seasons, each of these situations describe the seasons in our lives. Some are filled with success, joy and blessing while others are filled with grief, sadness and trials.
I don't have to tell any of you how unexpected life is. One day you are sailing through feeling like everything is great and then the next moment you are faced with a reality that is too big to even comprehend. One day you can be completely distraught but good news turns everything around and brings extreme hope and joy. Welcome to this journey we call life. Everything is constantly changing. 9 years ago when I went to the hospital to deliver our baby girl, I had no idea my life was about to change forever. I had no idea the deep grief I would walk through, the questioning of myself, the fear that I would struggle with for years. I went in expecting to bring home a healthy baby girl, instead I found myself crying by her grave a week later. Unexpected. Years later when we moved to our current home and began working at our current church, I had no idea that we were in for such a time of restoration, joy and blessing. Unexpected.
You see, we are always walking through seasons in our lives. Some we embrace and never want to end, and some make us feel like we are on the verge of losing our minds. I have been in both. I have been in the season of waiting, the season of sorrow, the season of joy, the season of loneliness and many many more. But let me share with you the good news. HE is always there with us in every season. HE is there with us through every change. HE knows our heartbreak, our joys, our pain, our rejoicing. In Deuteronomy 31:6 it tells us, "Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified; for the Lord your God goes with you. He will never leave you or forsake you!" What joy that brings to my heart. Knowing that no matter what I go through, no matter my season; God goes with me. And guess what? HE cares! Psalm 56:8 says, "You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book."
One of my favorite lines to a song says, "You're a good good Father, its who you are, its who you are, its who you are; and I'm loved by you, its who I am, its who I am, its who I am." I encourage you today, no matter what season you find yourself in, remember, you have a good good Father and you are vastly loved by Him. He shares in your pain, He rejoices in your victory, He brings hope, He heals, He carries you and He walks beside you; right beside you. He is a good, good Father. And being loved by Him is who you are.