The seasons of life.
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.
Leaves changing from green to orange, yellow, and burgundy are beautiful reminders that a new season is here. For weeks, many of us have been begging for cooler weather and a change of scenery. We quickly grew tired of the heat and humidity and wanted to wear fashionable boots, sweaters and jackets. However, we cannot forget the complaints of the chilling snow and ice of winter. In winter, we beg for warmth. In spring, we beg for less rain. In summer, we beg for less heat and here we are again at the fall season.
Recently, I realized that our need to look for the next weather season is similar to how we treat the seasons in our lives.
When we are single, we focus on getting married. When we get married, we focus on having children. When we are married, we think about being single. When we have children, we think about a time when we had no responsibilities. This reminds me of what God says about seasons. In Ecclesiastes, He tells us that there is a time for everything. This excites me and helps me appreciate the season I am in now. Although, there is nothing wrong with anticipating something new, it is so important that we do not miss what God wants to show us in our current season.
In my twenties, I was determined to get married before I turned thirty. At that time I thought being single at thirty sentenced me to carry the title “old maid.” If I did not marry in my twenties and have children, the rest of my life would not fall into its proper place. Armed with that mindset, I was determined to meet a good man. I dated a fair amount. I sacrificed my standards and dated just to date. I thought if a man did not have everything I was looking for, I could change him. If he did not attend church regularly, I could convince him to go regularly. If he did not desire to get married, I would change his mind. I mean who would not want to marry a good woman like me? What I learned in compromising is that I was a fool.
I was a fool to think that God would move me from a season of being unmarried, to a season of marriage when I was not prepared. I learned that lesson the hard way. My plan to change a man who did not desire marriage ended with my bruised ego and a broken heart. In that time of reflection, I realized that God would not bless my mess. He would not give me the desires of my heart because my desires did not line up with His.
I was twenty-five and I did not know it, but God was taking me into a new season. A season of putting Him first and walking in faith. After the failed relationships, I was tired of repeating the cycle of dating just to date. I decided that I would wait on God’s man, the man God wanted to be my husband. At 25, I prayed that God would help me start over in living for Him. I prayed that I would follow His commands completely. I prayed that I would not just talk the holy talk, but I would walk the holy walk. I vowed a life of celibacy until I got married.
Did God bless me with a husband right away? No, He did not. He blessed me with a season of getting to know and trust Him more, in such a way that I stopped looking for my husband because I was confident that in God’s time, my husband would find me.
Shortly after I made this commitment to God, I was offered a job in Miami, Florida. In faith, I accepted the position and I moved from Baltimore, Maryland, to sunny Miami. I moved because I understood through prayer, fasting, and reading God’s word that this was an opportunity from God and all I had to do was believe that He would take care of me.
I lived in Miami for five years and during that time, I went on fewer than five dates. I knew after one date that this gentleman was not for me. I did not entertain lowering my standards or compromising myself and I noticed my phone stopped ringing. I spent my time working in ministry as the lead servant for the singles ministry at a large church in Miami. I served in the women’s ministry, evangelism ministry and the young adult ministry. It was a fulfilling time where I did not focus on what I did not have, but appreciated all of God’s wonderful blessings.
I thought I was going to live in Miami forever. I had great friends, a wonderful church family, and a great career, but God had a different plan. He showed me the season for living in Miami was over.
When I moved back to the Maryland area for a new job in Washington, D.C., I had no idea what season I was entering. I thought it was a season where I would purchase a home and excel in my career. A season where I would spend more time with my family and friends in Maryland.
God’s Perfect Timing
Shortly after I started working in my new office, I met my husband. At the first meeting, I did not know he would be my husband, but God knew. God blessed me with the man I needed at the right time. He blessed with a man who loved me like no other man could. A man of faith and integrity. A man of good character. He blessed me with a great provider. A man who supports my dreams. A man who is my best friend. A man who loves me as Christ loves the church.
After courting just a couple months, we knew this was it. Yes, it. The moment when you know if there is such a thing as a soul mate, this person is it. When you know this is the real thing. When God gives you peace. When God confirms that you are entering a new season.
Then it hit me, I was in a season of being unmarried for so long because it was preparation for this new season. I laughed at getting married in my twenties and realized that would have been a disaster because my heart and mind were not in focus. My desires did not line up with God’s and as a result nothing would prosper.
When I appreciated where I was and placed my focus on God, He made everything happen in its time. I did not have to lower my standards or compromise my beliefs, and I did not have to make a bogus deadline. I married at 34 and had our daughter at 36. It was and is the best time because it was God’s time.