Have you ever been caught in a storm?
We go through different seasons in life just like we go through different seasons in our weather. Sometimes we can see the season change coming. We are in summer, but we feel the fall breeze blowing in. Each season has its purpose, and sometimes we have to learn how to enjoy the season we are in so that the Holy Spirit can prepare us for the next stage of life.
What do you do when the season changes unexpectedly?
Living in Ohio, I have seen my fair share of abrupt season changes! If you don’t know anything about Ohio weather, know that it can be VERY inconsistent. One day it’s sunny and 75, the next it’s raining and 40. A week later there are four inches of snow, and then a few hours later, it’s 50 degrees. LOL! Every Ohioan knows to check the weather before leaving the house. It could be warm, raining, or snowing all in the same week.
How often do we check our spiritual lives before heading into the next season?
Ideally, we are always seeking God, spending time in His Word, and consistently moving forward in our relationship with Him. But that’s not always the case. We get busy, oversleep, or doze off on the couch trying to spend time with Him. We get focused on what we need in life as opposed to what He has for us.
As the seasons can change abruptly in Ohio, so can the seasons of our lives. Sometimes we can see the change coming and prepare accordingly, but other times we can’t. All it takes is one moment, one situation, one thing to shift and start a downhill slide. Sometimes a storm hits that we saw coming. We are able to prepare for these, or at least not be in shock when it hits.
So what do you do when a big change happens in your life? What do you do when winter hits and you weren’t expecting it?
1. Run back to God
God will always accept you as you are. He wants you to pursue Him no matter what. You’re never too far gone for the love of God. Whether you lead yourself into the winter or you were doing what you thought was best and still found yourself there, God will support you. God will always have your back, and He won’t leave you in the middle of your fight.
So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.
—Deuteronomy 31:6 (NLT)
2. Reach out to loved ones
Friends and family are gifts from God. When you find yourself caught up in a storm, reach out to those who love and care about you the most. Godly counsel is so helpful. It is important to have the support of other women as well. We were not meant to live life alone, and God has given us people for a reason. Keep in mind that who you reach out to is important. Reach out to those who you know will give you godly and wise advice.
As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.
—Proverbs 27:17 (NLT)
Godly support is so important! God has given us friends to love and support us. If you haven’t already, I want to encourage you to join a Happy Life Group. In a Happy Life Group, you can get connected with other women who are walking the same journey you are! Happy Life women are meeting all over the world in groups through chat, shared curriculum, monthly webinars, and through social groups!
3. Purge the bad stuff
When we find ourselves in a storm, the biggest thing we need to do is seek Jesus. Look around you and see what is in your life that may cause you to get distracted or stumble. If it’s not pushing you toward God, maybe it’s something to take a break from. This could be anything: what TV shows or movies you are watching, music or podcasts you are listening to, where you are hanging out, or who you are hanging out with.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.
—Hebrews 12:1 (NLT)
4. Keep fighting
Storms hit differently for everyone. No matter how our storms feel, we all have to keep fighting. As Christians, we are constantly in a battle with the enemy, whether we realize it or not. Have confidence that God will prevail! The battle has already been won, so you can stand and fight from a place of victory. Remember that God would not have you in this situation if you could not handle it.
For you know that when your faith is tested your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.
—James 1:3-4 (NLT)
In the midst of a storm, this verse may feel obvious. But it’s critical to keep fighting, and once the fight is over, you can use this as a memory. You can look back and remember how God came through before, how you fought and won when you didn’t see a way out, and it will give you the encouragement to keep fighting.
5. Stay in your gifting
We all have different callings. No matter who we are, God has a plan for our lives. When we are going through a storm, it is important to remember that God has a plan for our lives. Don’t compare yourself to those around you. Stay focused on your calling and your destiny. It’s easy to look at someone else going through a joyous season in their life and envy them. But don’t let comparison steal your joy! You are fully equipped and capable of winning this fight!
He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.
—1 Corinthians 10:13b (NLT)
Life is full of seasons, but remind yourself that God will be with you throughout them all! Keep living for Him, and use these five practical tips to press on when things get tough. Even when there seems to be no way out, I promise God will show up on time! He has never failed me, and He won’t fail you either!