A Season of Permission
Oh yea, I like to blog only apparently I forgot how to type. That’s what happens when you move from one city to another. My husband’s job relocated us to the DFW area and it has been rough. We sold our house in Houston in 24 hours. We packed and coordinated the move ourselves. We had to find a home in a market which had gone crazy and involved bidding wars that I never care to participate in again. We were in temporary housing most of the summer. I’m not complaining because I am thankful for those who opened their homes, but temporary can make one unsettled. The semester has involved new schools, new work, new home and new life. Unpacking has been way more difficult than packing. I shouldn’t complain. I know several missionaries who sold everything and moved to a 3rd world country. I am thankful. We are in a beautiful home in a lovely town, but, for right or wrong, I am struggling. The move has brought a lot of loss for all of us. We miss our friends, our church, and I think we mostly miss the known, the secure, and the routine. We are in full on grief and not sure where to go from here. This is the first time in my adult life I have not decorated for the holidays. I put out a few things but the rest will wait for another time. This may seem insignificant, but it is big to me. I love holidays, love to decorate, and mostly love to celebrate. It’s one of the many signs of where I am now. I am in the pit.
Like so many, I struggle with wanting to have it all together. Unfortunately, I have certain behaviors in my head which reflect that I am doing a good job. I would have finished unpacking and settled into our new life months ago. I would have housework and chores in a routine. I would be parenting with love and logic. I would be cooking and entertaining. I would be volunteering and serving others. We would be participating in our annual Advent Jesse Tree and pointing our family to Christ in Christmas. Most importantly, I would be walking with Jesus daily and be in sync with my Savior. Well you know what; none of the above much describes me. I have been mostly crabby and struggled to do anything well. I talk to Jesus, but it mostly consists of “help please” and an inaudible whimper.
So this began my season of permission. I had to give myself permission to try and fail - a lot! I had permission to take naps, gripe or walk in circles. I had permission to feel anger and sadness. Thankfully, others around me gave me permission too. They gave me permission to show my humanity and tolerated my bad attitude. They listened on the phone and responded to my pitiful e-mails. Fear not, I did not have permission to be rude or unkind. I have had to apologize and seek forgiveness during this season. I needed permission to take deep breaths and be reminded that this is my current journey and it is ok!
However, I want you to notice a word in the title - SEASON. Season, by definition, has beginning and an end. There is a danger that this season will become life and that would be detrimental to me and my family. As a result, I began to set goals. I am making a list of task and activities I know will bring me out of this season. I am requiring myself to remain in contact with those who will hold me accountable. The goals will involve specific activities that will bring about friendship and outreach. These activities need a date and time because I need to show up. I need a list of task around the home that requires completion so as not to stay in a perpetual trap. They need to be small at first, but getting small things done is such a victory. I must meet with the Lord regularly and often even if it is haphazard. I am also working on activities of health and fitness that are always a part of forward motion. I am giving myself permission to be ok if the change is slow as long as I continue to move forward.
There’s another event happening during this season of permission. This one is quite scary. I am giving Christ permission to change my heart. I am willing to let Him mold and carve away that part me that is not of Him. This, in fact, has furthered my sadness as I experience loss of comfort and self-reliance, but in turn seek sole reliance on Him. As I cross over, I begin to experience what this season is all about. The thrill of hope! Reliance on Him is giving me a glimpse of His Hope. I must be careful not to package hope with human interpretation but seek His vision of hope. The hope of Glory!
To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Colossians 1:27
He enables us to abound in Hope.
13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. Romans 15:13
I am wondering as I write this if there is anyone else out there that needs a season of permission too? Is there one who needed to hear it is ok to give yourself a break? Possibly there may be some who have lived in their season too long and need to be reminded that there is hope. You too might prayerfully begin to seek ways to bring about your forward motion. Maybe you need to find someone who will give you the push you need.
I will leave you with a verse of a famous Christmas Carol, O Come O Come Emanuel that is ministering to me during this season. May you hear it anew and Rejoice!
O come, Thou Day-Spring, come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night
And deaths dark shadows put to flight
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel