Sunday, April 5, 2009

The time in-between the Seasons

(for facebook friends, see this on my blog- www.elizabethstories.blogspot.com)

Growing up, I distinctly remember 4 seasons. Each season very much its own, each very unique. Spring with its flowers, freshness, and the mark of the end of the school year. Summer with the heat, backyard bbq’s, and watermelon. Fall with the start of another school year, and running through paths outlined by leaves that Daddy had raked or cut with the lawnmower. Winter with evenings by the fire, flannel sheets, and sledding down the hill at Grandmother’s house. I definitely have vivid memories from each season.

But have you ever thought the time in-between the seasons? Those few days where one season changes into the next one?

I think, I don’t have many memories of those times, because these in-between times are usually pretty short. Of course, I remember it being annoying or frustrating when the weather wasn’t doing what the calendar said it was supposed to do. There were occasional times when technically it was spring, but we would get a freak snow storm. Or sometimes the summer heat would drag on, and I can remember saying, “Come on already, just be Fall!”

Over here in South Asia, there are three seasons. Cold, Hot and Wet. Winter, Summer and Monsoon. In general, as it is at home, there is little time in-between the seasons and the seasons change quickly. The cool of winter quickly turns to summer heat. And then the rains come before you know it.

But, this year has been different.

Winter has come and gone. But the real summer heat hasn’t quite yet arrived. There were a few warm days, but in general, it seems as if winter and summer have decided to blend together for a little longer while before summer finally takes over. Perhaps you could call it an extended time in-between the seasons. And you know what? It has been beautiful– close to 80-85 probably during the day, and maybe 70 at night. A consistent breeze, blowing through my curtains, and keeping the mosquitoes away. Just glorious!

Noticing this time in-between the seasons got me thinking about my own life.

Of course, with any life, there are different seasons. Seasons of schooling. Seasons of work. Seasons of living away from home. For me, seasons of living on the other side of the world…

In the past few years, it seems like my “seasons” have changed rather quickly. Graduating half-way through the school year, I soon got a long-term substitute teaching job that molded into teaching summer school that molded into a full time teaching position the following school year. During that season of life, I was preparing for the next season, and only a few weeks after that school year was over, I was on my way to South Asia for the next 2 years of my life. Before I even arrived home after those 2 years, I had my assignment for the next year. Before that year was even finished, I was back in South Asia, preparing for another year long assignment.

Honestly, for me, God has usually kept the time in-between the seasons of my life pretty short, or even non-existent. For example, while in one phase of life, I’m already training for the next one, and slide right into it without a hitch. So I don’t have many memories of those times.

But the one or two in-between times I do remember, I remember feeling at the time very frustrated because I had no idea what was next. I hated being in limbo. I felt like saying, “Come on already, just get me to the next phase of life!”

But, I have to say, it was during those times that I had to rely on Him a lot more, and really seek what His plan was for me. And after finally getting to the next season, I looked back and said to myself, “Wow, I was so unsure about everything back then, but look now how it’s all worked out.” The frustrating time in-between the seasons all of the sudden became a time to look back on and appreciate actual season even more. It was amazing just to see the way He worked everything out way better than I could have imagined.

I have about 4 months left in this ‘season of life’ I’m in right now. I can’t say what the next season in my life will be. But, unlike previous transitions where I was dreading the limbo feeling, this time around, I’m actually kind-of looking forward to the time in-between the seasons. Looking forward to the transition to whatever is next. Where the memories of what used to be, combined with the anticipation of what is to come drive you crazy. Where the uncertainty drops you to your knees. And you look up, asking for direction from the only One who holds the master schedule of your “life’s seasons,” as well as the timings and events of those times that connect the regular seasons together. That is, the time, in –between the seasons.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Elizabeth! This was beautiful! Your last few lines sound like a quote from a book! You are such a great writer. This post was encouraging to me. Thank you. :) Prayed for you this morning. Hope your visit with Bertie and Aunt Nina is TERRIFIC!! :)

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