Thursday, September 20, 2012

Thoughts on Rough Years

Dear Little Sister,

I mean this as an observation, not a complaint: this has been a somewhat rough year. A few years ago, I felt unstoppable when I set and achieved a couple huge goals - paying off a car and landing representation for my novel all in one year. I thought, "Wow! All I need to do is set a goal and I can get it done! I can do anything." Fast forward a few years, and I've now learned differently.

Next to my desk, I have a list of 10 goals I wanted to accomplish before year's end. There are five or six on there that I can tell you now, I will most likely not accomplish. Part of the reason for this is that I've suffered some setbacks. Sure, things could be MUCH, MUCH worse -and are for many people out there - but, still, in some ways, I feel like I'm hanging on, waiting for the snow to melt and spring to come back with life and growth and forward progress.

This year, I'm learning something I never would've thought to put on my goal list: the truth of Ecclesiastes 3:1. There are some times that are perfect for striving, but there are other times that, no matter your intentions or your effort, you're only going to slowly progress. There are times where what was once important to you will fall away; events will change your perspective. There are times where you will lose ground, even on things that are still important to you. There are times that you just have to hang on to God and survive. As scary as it is, there will even be a time when we must hang on to God and not survive.

I'm sorry if I'm depressing you, too. I certainly don't mean to. Rather, my point is that it's okay. You don't need to fight for the "perfection" of getting everything done in a bad time that you did in a good time. It's okay to be on fire, and it's okay to be walking through a valley. David explains why in Psalm 23:4 when he writes, Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me (ESV).

Whatever ups and downs we face, God is close to his children, and his children can trust him. Relax and draw close to him, and even the rough years will hold purpose and beauty.

Your Sister

"For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven" Ecclesiastes 3:1, ESV

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