I have absolutely loved the seasons of my life. They are the seasons that make up the person I am today and I love that person! That was not always the case. My wintry seasons were really tough and I have had quite a few of them. So many that I once thought I would stay in Antarctica for the rest of my life; a death sentence to such a desolate place. Misery does not describe the torment I felt inside. The toughest season approached, which was my daughter Kimberly’s illness and death in 1982. She had cardiomyopathy, diagnosed at eight years old, and her heart was deteriorating, due to the virus. Nobody knows where it comes from and there is no cure. The one year anniversary of her illness came and six months later she was gone.
It was a cold and dark time. I had hardships before then, yes, and they all surfaced at once after her death. Life’s traumas will do that. I had to make a decision, whether to live or die. I decided to live. To die was to give up and succumb to my grief and all my seemingly insurmountable issues. To die would be to stay as I was and never grow up. I would give in to the person I no longer wanted to be. To live was to become the person I always wanted to be; or at least move wholeheartedly in that direction. I had a vision of that person but never knew how to get to her. So I had to take myself on; the old me for the new me. I had to battle through my buildup of resentments, doubts, fears, and insecurities. I had to look that little girl inside me in the eyes and rescue her from her torment.
I had to call in the cavalry. God and I tackled it all together and I survived. Not only did I survive but now I thrive. I am a better person for making it through those oh-so-hard times. Death catapulted me into a new life, a new identity and purpose, a whole new world. A world of love and service. I am certainly not perfect and I still have my winter seasons, but I am no longer afraid of the storms and my Spring, Summer, and Fall times stand out all the more precious. I know I can make it. The fear is gone and even if it shows its ugly head, I use it to plow even harder and more fiercely through. I am not the person I was, I am totally new. Losing my daughter was a sorrow of the greatest magnitude, but facing myself on the heels of that sorrow was the hardest and greatest thing I have ever done. Now I live to encourage others to look at the NOW of life. Reflect on life and don’t be afraid to deal with yourself. You’re the only YOU you’ve got! Stay in the moment. Don’t dwell too far in the past or run too fast into the future. Stay right here and right now because it is all we have. Who are you right now? What are your struggles? What are you avoiding? What are your greatest joys; your biggest fears? Those are the places of the seasons of your life. I find joy in every one of them.
There is a chapter in the Bible that I love, Ecclesiastes 3. Solomon talks of the seasons of life. There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under the heavens. He goes on to list the times we will find ourselves in: times of mourning and dancing, tearing down and building up, a time to be born and a time to die. I have learned to trust God in all of my seasons. This allows me to BE instead of always trying to do. In being, my doing takes care of itself, and I rise to higher heights in the process. I am no longer subject to other’s expectations nor am I rushed and hurried to miss out on life as this society would have me to do. I am finally comfortable in my own skin and doing more to love others than to please them. I loved the movie Wonder Woman. We are all Wonder Women, beautiful in every way. Strong and courageous, fearless and passionate, full of love and unbelievable endurance. We don’t give up! Love prevails in the end. I wasn’t sure of all this before my wintry seasons. I am now convinced of my ability and the ability of all women to shine wherever we are, whatever we are doing, whatever this life throws at us, and even whatever mess we make for ourselves. We are survivors, warriors, vessels of honor and glory, made for a specific time and great purpose…that time is now and that purpose is surely coming to light.