Seasons of Faith. From Sunday School teacher to barely attending?

The write of Ecclesiastes tells us that there are seasons.  To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under the heaven.  What kind of times are there?

  • A time to be born
  • A time to die
  • A time to plant
  • A time to pluck
  • A time to kill
  • A time to heal
  • A time to break down
  • A time to build up
  • A time to weep
  • A time to laugh

A time to mourn, dance, cast away, gather, embrace, refrain, get, lose, rend, sew, keep silent, speak, love, hate, war, and peace.  There is a time for everything.

Do you know those peppy people who love church (if you are one that’s OK).  Their entire family goes, they attend every event, and put a church sticker on their car.  In fact their yard has a church sign

Attend X Church!

 

Well I get physically sick when I see those signs (but good for you if you have them).  In fact I feel yucky about a lot of things right now.  The moment I get a blah feeling about church stuff guilt enters in.  I begin to tell myself that I need to stop.  I need to love God.  Then I ask myself.  Did I stop loving God because I am disillusioned with church?  Did I lose my faith suddenly and step off onto the wrong path because the thought of getting up and going to Sunday School turns my stomach, or because the thought of teaching the cute kids at church makes me nauseous (stay with me this is leading somewhere).

Is it okay to be in a season (not if you are in that one, Marcy).  Am I free to be confused as I face midlife and as my roles change as a mother, wife, and as an everything?  Is it okay to question my beliefs on theology?  To change roles as a woman of faith?  To shrink back from ways I used to serve and take time to heal, transition, and consider what’s next at this point of my life?  Is it okay to be like that?  Are there truly seasons?

I believe that Ecclesiastes teaches us that it is okay because we have seasons in our lives.  A time to build up and a time to break down.  A time to plant and a time to harvest.  For a season I led a Christian women’s ministry on a full time basis.  For a seasons I was an AWANA teacher.  For a season I was a biblical counselor.  For this season I just attend.  It’s a time to break down.  A time to heal, a time to weep, and a time to prepare for change.

People get scared when we go into new seasons.  They get scared the season will stick and become a new way of life.  They might say and do things out of fear.  Trying to control the situation.  We might do that to others.  Trying to control through guilt osmosis, but what does the writer of Ecclesiastes say?  For everything there is a season.  So why am I writing this?

Because I want us to give each other room to grow and change.  Because sometimes we do enter new seasons that are completely different from the last ones and sometimes those seasons will change our lives in drastic ways.  Because God is working through those seasons and getting us to a new place where we can grow and love and serve Him even more.  Because I don’t want us to prevent each other from entering into the next season.  People are in our lives for a season and then they move onto new ones.  It is not for us to keep them where they are.  It is for us to encourage them to go into their next season and to embrace all that God has in store for them.

I am writing this because I have to believe that one day it will be my turn again to have a church sign in my yard and one day it might be your turn to get sick about that.  I am writing because I have to believe that my disillusionment is part of a bigger plan and that once I get things figured out again I can pray and help you as you enter your season of a jumbled mess.  Let us not be afraid of what God says will happen.  For everything there is a season.  OK God.  Help us through them and onto the next one.  May we only linger as long as needed and may we move to where you are calling.

Dazed and confused and still hanging onto God,

Marcy Pedersen

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