For everything there is a season,
a time for every activity under heaven.
A time to be born and a time to die.
A time to plant and a time to harvest.
A time to kill and a time to heal.
A time to tear down and a time to build up.
A time to cry and a time to laugh.
A time to grieve and a time to dance.
A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones.
A time to embrace and a time to turn away.
A time to search and a time to quit searching.
A time to keep and a time to throw away.
A time to tear and a time to mend.
A time to be quiet and a time to speak.
A time to love and a time to hate.
A time for war and a time for peace.
Many of us have read or heard the above verses; often at funerals and other major events. These events often signify a specific beginning or end of a specific season. Was Solomon correct? Is there actually a season for everything? What about the seasons, like lonelines, that just “happen”? That don’t have a beginning or an end but are thrown into life? Because to be honest, I don’t like the season I’m currently in very much, and I want it to end. Soon.
These last few days have been rough for me. Really, really, rough. I reunited with my best friends from high school and saw my family in Vermont. I’m wanted by these people. I’m loved. We know each other. And then I returned to NYC.
I have great housemates here, good classmates. But I still feel so lonely. I dreaded this transition for almost a year leading up to my move. I’ve never had a time where I didn’t know anyone. Even when I moved to Arkansas, I moved with my boyfriend. I knew someone.
I’m 98% E on Myers-Brigg, and my love language is Quality Time. I love being around people and become surprisingly depressed when I’m alone. I thrive in social situations and find it difficult to focus, ironically, when I’m by myself. I’m sure God made me this way for a purpose, which is even more frustrating. Growing up, and even now, I often wish God would have made me an introvert: it must be lovely to be able to be alone and entertain oneself. But He didn’t, He made me this way. The knowledge that God made me extroverted, and yet put me in a season of loneliness, has been tough to grapple with. I struggle to recognize and reject the lie that if God really did love me, He wouldn’t be doing this.
But, despite this loneliness, this pain, the “God please take this from me” prayers, in some ways I’m thankful. I believe God knows me, that God loves me, and that God wants me. So instead of praying, “God take this from me,” I have been praying through tears, “God, what is your purpose? Just show me, please. If you want me to be lonely, okay, just make this season count.”
I’ve already seen that this season has made me more empathetic towards others. I joined the usher team at my church so that I can be one of the first faces to welcome newcomers because this season has taught me how scary it can be to be new. In some ways, this season has made me even more outgoing and given me initiative to go up and speak to people at events, because I now know what it’s like to make the first move.
What tough season are you in right now, friend? And what is God teaching you in it? I’d love to hear and encourage each other.
As always, feel free to contact me with any prayer requests or encouragement needs.