When I think of summer I think of roses, tall glasses of iced coffee, and the beach. Winter again makes me long for hot soup, lots of rain, hot chocolate, and thick wool socks. Walking through memory lane and reflecting over the last few years of my life help me identify different “seasons” of life. These changing “seasons” of life are, of course, unavoidable, and they are not always the most convenient, wanted, or easy to live through. I know, though, that “summer” brings beauty and life, and that it will give way to “autumn,” with death and deep warm colors.
The day we flew into our new city my heart was still left in Uzbekistan. I had not had the opportunity to really say goodbye, and I was grieving the loss of my beloved country and friends. Coming here felt like meeting a new friend, and I just did not feel ready for a new friendship. It felt like this was a “season” just too soon! As a family we walked through the streets day after day in mid-summer heat looking for apartments with rental signs in the windows. After a while the children did not do well with the heat and walking, so my husband and I would take turns going out. I would go in the morning, armed with my little paper with phrases in my new language and with my necessary water bottle. After a week my feet were covered in blisters. Nevertheless, I was determined and time-pressed every morning to find a place to live before we had to leave where we were staying.
In God’s timing, He provided the perfect apartment for our family, one which even had a fountain in the court yard! The problem was that the owners used this apartment for storage and stayed there at times when they came to our city. As we arrived at our new apartment the morning we had arranged to move in, we discovered that our landlord had never moved out as promised. We were desperate to move that day, but all their stuff was still in the cupboards, and heaps and heaps of things needed to be packed.
I stood in the hallway of the apartment in shock and disbelief. We had to move in that day—we had no choice! All we could do was to pack up their things and arrange with them to move them out that evening. As I walked through the apartment, anger, disappointment, and hopelessness overtook me. I just did not have it in me to face yet another major physical challenge. I felt so tired—tired of all the moving around the last year, of hauling our stuff through three continents, of the stress of finding a place to rent before we had to leave the place where we were staying, of walking the streets in the heat of summer, of trying to understand what people were saying, and of just living in a new culture with small children. I faintly excused myself and closed the toilet door behind me. I sat on the closed toilet seat, trying to control my upwelling emotions.
I cried and cried, until finally I felt I could pray. All I could get out was: “Lord, please, please tell me this is not Your perfect will for me for today!” I begged. Then, gently, slowly, and clearly, I felt the words forming in my heart: “Karin, this is My perfect will for you for today!” I sat there quietly for a while pondering the truth in my heart.
The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer. My God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. Psalm 18:2
It was as if all else fell away. I knew then that I WOULD have all the physical and emotional energy I would need to get through that day and situation. It was as if a fresh breeze of hope swept through my heart and mind, as if strength entered my body. I made a decision, stood up in faith, washed my red, puffy eyes, and opened the toilet door with new hope and vision.
Late that evening, the landlord came with a truck to pick up their packed belongings, and only then we could get at moving our stuff into our new apartment. I remember falling into bed late that night dead-tired but blessed. I had a place of refuge in a new “season”—a God Who hears our every cry! A personal Friend Who speaks words of truth, life, and encouragement to our hearts in every “season” we face! A Guide Who leads us through these different “seasons” of life, One who never misses the details and the opportunities to teach us to hear His voice and trust in Him!
© 2012 Women of the Harvest.