there is a season :: eternally minded

 

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jordan’s pond :: acadia national park, maine

        // so we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. for what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal || [ 2 cor. 4.18 ]

Hello to Whomever Happens to Stumble Across This Post!
Currently I’m sitting on my bed, waiting for my toenail polish to dry, while surrounded by all the earthly goods I plan to stuff back into my tiny dorm room this coming Sunday. If you think just the late nights studying and the exams that make up sixty percent of your grade are the only things that constitute dire stress in college, you can add moving in and moving out to that list as well.

On the other hand, moving back to college this weekend represents the start of my junior year. This is the third time I’ve gone through this process—you’d think I’d have it nailed…to a tee…down pat…whatever by now.

Just like any other person about to begin something new in their life, I’ve spent some time in reflection. Reflection on the last academic year; Reflection on this summer; Reflection on this upcoming semester…you get the idea. In all this thought meandering, the idea of life’s seasons occurred to me. There is in place in the world a general pattern of cycles—times of abundant blessing and then spells of frustrating trials. You can’t pinpoint when these seasons begin and you certainly can’t predict their duration, but you can respond and cultivate growth during whatever instances you find yourself in the midst of.

My sophomore year and this past summer was a season of blessing, I’d say. I really began to truly love studying nursing and I grew closer to several people throughout the year. I made Dean’s Honors List by the end of second semester and landed a job at a major regional hospital on one of their busiest floors. For the first part of summer, I had the privilege of a self-scheduled private healthcare job where I made some very dear friends. The middle and end of my summer was a whirlwind of starting at the hospital and gaining invaluable nursing experience to take with me back to school and clinicals.

I don’t write about these happenings to boast or brag, but to make a point. These were blessings from my Heavenly Father who deeply loves me and asks me to use these opportunities to pour out His love to a broken and misguided world. I’m ashamed to look back and admit that I spent a lot of time complaining and acting selfishly instead.

Under the pretense of building up my GPA, I let my priority to be in the Word fade; in the process of obtaining a position at the hospital, I let worry and stress overwhelm me as things seemed to go slower than I’d hoped; then, after I began my new job, I started voicing complaints about the long hours and letting my grumpy demeanor, after a shift, affect the way I interacted with those I love.

This is the way a selfish and weak sinner responds to blessing. But the Lord knows that. And He brings it to attention to those He loves because He wants to refine them and show them the beauty of humility and gratefulness.

And then come the waves of trial when nothing seems to be going well and no one seems to understand. Yet, many times, I find that while my physical life and its events are stagnant, my spiritual life renews.

How ironic…shouldn’t I be in a natural constant state of praise during a season of blessing? I tend to think it would be easy to love and spend time with someone who gives to you generously and brings unthinkable lovely surprises into your life. But, oddly enough, that’s not the case. Instead, it’s the hurt and pain of worldly disappointments—those things that are seen—that drive you back to the One Who remains the same.

The Lord delights in blessing His children richly, but He also covets their hearts to be full of praise and worship. At the same time, it doesn’t please God to watch His followers struggle and hurt; but He will use those times to point their eyes back to what is eternal.

So here begins a new season in my life—a semester rumored to be more grueling than the others. But I am reminded to focus on the pursuit of kindness and goodness; to recognize my blessings and use them to serve others with joy; to maintain a mind of thankfulness and uplifting praise; and to reset my eyes on the eternal, unseen things that make up the heart of God.

[ au revoir, hannah ]