Surviving a Painful Season

A summer with some weeks hot enough to dissolve asphalt along with my resolve to keep putting one foot in front of the other has almost passed.

Was it challenging for you too?

Did you feel like there were more tears, goodbyes, and regrets than amusement parks, swimming pools, and laughter? Sometimes one season flows into another at a breathtaking pace. Other times it drags on multiplying wounds as you pray for relief from a long drought of anything good. Either way, there’s a truth that sometimes helps me put one foot in front of the other—all seasons eventually come to an end.

As we face the prospect of fall, I’ve realized another truth about the seasons of life. It’s often in the barren seasons, the ones where hardships mount, doors close in your face, and God Himself doesn’t seem to be hearing your prayers—it’s often during our most painful seasons that God is doing some of His greatest work. Sowing seeds that will produce a harvest for those who don’t quit. (Galatians 6:9 NIV)

Chaka's family

I’ve had a long career as a stay-at-home mama. Eighteen years and counting. And I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. But in the past few years, as I’ve watched my children flourish and grow more independent, I wondered if God had anything in store for me. I had this dream of impacting people beyond the sphere of my home, I had talents that lay fallow and unused.

It grew easier and easier to slip into discouragement, to stop believing that my life mattered to God. My days became one long, dry season.

If only I could have seen what the Father was doing beneath the surface. The seeds of character He was sowing. The capacity for empathy He was expanding. The strength of friendships He was building. If I had been wiser, I would’ve realized that the Master never rushes His masterpiece. And sometimes it takes a season or two to arrange things so He can cultivate a fruitful harvest and unleash His blessings.

For those of you suffering through major trials, I’m sorry. There’s nothing fun about enduring pain, and sometimes it’s downright devastating. Friends, my hope is to encourage you. Even in the midst of your most difficult season, God is busy sowing seeds that will reap a harvest of spiritual blessing if you don’t give up.

Galatians 6:9

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” Galatians 6:9 NIV

The apostle Paul tells us in Romans 5 that it’s even possible to glory in our sufferings, “because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance character; and character hope. And hope does not disappoint us…” Paul could say this because, unlike me, he was confident that not only was God present during some of his more challenging times, He was using those seasons to grow Paul into a man through whom God could do great things.

Summer doesn’t last forever. Seasons come and go. And God is at work in each and every one of them. Hang on, friends. The harvest is coming.

Let’s talk about this! What are some ways you hold onto God during a long, drawn-out season of difficult circumstance?

What are some ways we can encourage friends through a difficult season while acknowledging the very real pains of trial?

Join the conversation in the comments below or in our Facebook Community.

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Details regarding the Wholly Loved ConferenceGod has a purpose for every season we experience because He has a glorious and eternal purpose for each one of us! In everything, He is molding us to be His ambassadors that bring hope and healing and display His mercy, truth, and love. Join us for our next Wholly Loved Conference at Bethany Lutheran in Elkhorn to learn more about your purpose and how you can live that out, in whatever season you are in. Find out more about booking us or one of our speakers for your next women’s event.

Find out more about our Wholly Loved Conference option and our Bold & Brave Conference option.

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