I’m a California girl.
Which means I’m pretty familiar with the sun and it’s mostly flip-flop weather.
When we say, “It’s freeeezing here!” to each other, it means temperatures have dropped into the lower 50’s. We wrap fuzzy scarves around our necks and pull hats down over our ears. Friends who live where ice gets chiseled out of their car windshields tell me I’m missing out on the four seasons. I’ll have to take their word on that.
But when it comes to faith, I’ve spent plenty of time in the fall and winter seasons.
A Jarring Change
I was unsuspecting. Summer ended abruptly.
Life in the summer season was packed with freedom — ministry, friends, places to go, and people to meet. Opportunities were ripe for the picking to use my time and God’s gifts in a visible way. Faith was as it should be during the season of summer: embracing and celebrating days in full bloom.
Then, a jarring change to fall descended.
No warning, no last Indian summer. Just as leaves turn yellow and orange, whisked away by the crisp northern currents, friendships began to fade. I felt the impact of human frailty, how people can disappoint. Even in ministry. Fall brings us to let go of dreams we thought were ours to hold.
We come to the crossroad of necessary endings.
Then came winter. Nothingness. This is when you wonder if summer only happens once in a lifetime and yours has already taken it’s turn. There is silence and waiting so thick and long, you don’t even know what to do. You go through the daily motions, but you long for who you once were.
In this place of hibernation, I found a new home for faith.
At Home In Hidden Moments
With circumstances at standstill frozen, I began to take my place in this world with Jesus in the hidden moments.
Open hands. Open hands.
My winter prayer.
Letting go. Letting go.
My perpetual fall prayer.
Like the pitter patter of rain during the wet months, it’s hard to know how long this cycle of fall (letting go) and winter (waiting) lasts.
Years passed. I learned to settle in and get comfortable drawing close to Jesus, connecting and encouraging others in everyday life.
In this faith-rich soil, seeds of spring began to bud.
A grace-filled few nurtured me back to a place of trust.
An unexpected first kiss became my forever husband.
A beautiful community blossomed here at Faith Barista.
Just as I slipped into winter, I stumbled onto spring.
A Bit Reluctant
A couple days ago, I got up at 4:00am to fly to South Carolina for first time along with 23 other
<href=”http://www.incourage.me” target=”blank”>(in)courage writers to a beach house on Hilton Head, right where the waves lap quietly onto the shore. We are here to meet up, pray and brainstorm new steps.
DaySpring and Hilton Head are sponsoring this trip, but I know my Heavenly Father lovingly orchestrated my path to cross with the beautiful women at (in)courage.
As I took a moonlit prayer walk on the beach later that night, drinking in the beauty and the grace of the moment, I was overwhelmed by God’s grace.
Spring has been so long in coming, I have been a bit reluctant.
Change is not easy. What if I’m reading the signs wrong?
Because now, I hear a different call.
Start new. Receive.
New friends to make. New dreams to dare.
Turns out it takes faith to walk into summer too, after fall and winter.
But my heart is confident. Not because Spring is coming.
But because the Fall and Winter prayers have left me a beautiful, enduring gift: Jesus.
Come. Jesus says to you and me.
We may not know anything else, but we know “Come.”
As long as Jesus keeps calling us to Himself, we can dare to keep stepping into the season of faith we’re in.
Is Jesus calling you to let go — wait — start new — or embrace and celebrate?
With Jesus walking with us, each season is equally beautiful and valuable in God’s eyes. Faith is what God sees, even if no one else does.
Whether spring, summer, winter or fall, give yourself permission to lean into Him and embrace His calling in you.
What season of faith are you walking through? Fall (letting go) – Winter (loss/waiting) – Spring (new starts) – Summer (embrace and celebrate)
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Today’s Thursday’s Topic 9/8: What season of faith are you walking through? Fall (letting go) – Winter (loss/waiting) – Spring (new starts) – Summer (embrace and celebrate)
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[…] Devotional Today, Bonnie the Faith Barista asks this question, “What season of faith are you walking through?” Fall (letting […]
I’m not sure where I’m at right now. I guess maybe winter because I feel at a stand still. I’m not sure what to do or what to say or where to go from here. I feel that God is leading me into a whole new arena right now. He’s getting me ready to step out of my comfort zone again.
Our Senior Pastor asked people to send him our ‘story’. Where were we before we knew Christ, what led us to Christ, what has changed since then? I of course had to think about it a couple of weeks before I could write this for him. I have written my story out for my own healing purposes in the past year but there was just way to much information in them to send to him. I had to write something I was comfortable sharing with him. I didn’t know what he was going to do with these stories.
But I prayed and I asked God to help me find the words and I did. I sent it to him this week. My friend at church who counsels me also received a copy and I told her I chose on my own to send this to him. She was glad and he had already talked to her about it (she was in the story, so it was okay for him to do that). She told me that he may talk to me about going ‘public’ with my story/testimony. She aslo wrote that as my heart just fell out of my chest I was not allowed to panic. He may not, but he probably will. Of course I panic! Not as bad as I have in the past but still.
My friend reminded me that she has told me numerous times that God will use me and my story any way He can to reach others and she feels that this may just be one of those times. I need to not panic but pray about it. So I guess on Sunday when I see our pastor I’ll know more possibly.
Also, your comment–Necessary Endings–I just heard this last week and was directed to a book with that title. Lots of other things have been happening around me and I was told maybe I need to make a few ‘necessary endings’ in my life.
When Spring comes, your heart will be ready and the faith gifts of winter you are gaining will be enduring. God is at work in you, Lisa!
Hi Sista! Girl, I can SOOOOO relate! Trust me.
What a great subject to write about today. I really enjoyed it. I could have written a book about the details of each season. You did an awesome job explaining how you went through them.
It is scary to trust again — to dream again — to walk out of winter. I see the buds on the trees though and blooms are showing! Hallelujah!
Have a blessed Thursday!
Thank you so much Beth. Your words and love for the Lord are infectious! 🙂
This is a great topic. I love hearing about our seasons of faith during the party and I am so excited to see what everyone writes about.
“The Crossroads of Necessary Endings” is a stunning statement. Some things — even friendships — are meant to end. They are painful, but necessary. Wonderful insight.
Beautiful, Bonnie. I relate to each season, different ones for different aspects of my life. Can we be in many seasons at once?
But yes, in each one, Jesus. The Gift. Thanks for sharing beautiful words pointing to Him.
Thank you so much for this post.
I am a doctor working in a tribal area in India and for a long time I have been walking in my winter. Today was especially hard and I got back home to see this in the mail. I so needed to read this. Needed to know…. If nothing else… I have Jesus!!!
Lovely truth, painful truth, hopeful truth… the seasons of change are all in His hands. Thanking God for his faithfulness in the necessary endings. Glad to join you today. I know He will bless your time together on Hilton Head… bask in and enjoy all He has for you!
If you’re from the northeast, you’ll know about a 5th season. We call it Mud Season. It’s that time between winter and spring when it’s not only cold and depressing, but all of the snow has melted, making dirt roads and trails unusable. You feel stuck with lousy weather and are unable to go outside because the snow is gone and the trails and roads are closed. I think I was living in a mud season for quite some time. Just stuck and unsure about where I was going. It’s usually a pretty short season when it comes to weather, but my mud season was quite long. I’m so grateful to be in a Spring season where some things are lining up.
Love this! Mud Season! We here in California have a 5th Season, it is called “Fire Season” when the skies turn orange and we watch on every channel as people lose everything. Suddenly we all ask one and other…”if evacuated, what would you take?” The reality of what is REALLY most important takes shape.
Oh, my! Bonnie, this is so familiar to me. And I’m sure to each believer as well. We all go through those seasons which you have so eloquently stated. I loved your post!
Thank you for this, Bonnie. It’s exactly what I needed. We’re right in the middle of that awkward transition of seasons, waiting on further direction and yet knowing that we NEED that winter season to repair and restore and refresh and recover.
I understand the seasons, we all have been blessed to have walked through them. Thank you for the suggestion to look inward and examine them and share them.
I am always moved when I post an article to FB and I wonder if my friends and followers will think it is TOO personal, and then they respond and I remember that this is not my life to decide what to share. I gave it to Him and it’s His to use.
This speaks so clearly to my heart. We’ve been in winter for seven years now. I take baby steps toward my Savior knowing that while the circumstances change, He does not. He draws me to a deeper relationship with Him and I bloom, even in winter. Yes, I long for summer or even a hint of spring. But I’ve already vowed to follow Him, no matter where He leads.
Your words are straight from my heart!! Isn’t a new spring beautiful? : )
I’m not sure of what season. Probably summer. I have good friends, family is good to me, but I have an inner and outer struggle that are ugly and painful. I just have so much support as I walk this. I can’t call it winter.
Bonnie you were on my coast of the country! Hope you felt welcomed and warm.
I was a California girl, too. I had a lot of trouble adjusting into winter. But you make a good point: even though I prefer summer, it’s a tendency to have trouble adjusting out of the winter (once I’ve gotten used to it). I was just reading Genesis 1 and thinking joyfully on the fact that God created seasons and separations and distictions and changes. So I will rejoice in that part of His creation, too.
I too feel like parts of me and dreams/visions are in winter and others in spring. There’s a mix of all those seasons in there, but I praise the Lord of the seasons. His word is my light and my guide. Thanks for the encouragement, Bonnie. Great post.
I’m coming out of a season of winter (loss/waiting). See, I’ve been “hiding” in the cold for a long time, too afraid to leave what I knew. Didn’t want to hurt myself or anyone else. But someone said after awhile it took my joy. In a way, it felt like hibernation..felt good to not feel or care, didn’t want to wake up and come into the truth and shine the light on it. At least for a while. Numbness.. felt safe for a moment, but the after effect was/is too painful. This process kinda feels like what your fingers and toes react when you stay in that cold too long. Little by little they start to wake up. The wakening in good, but it hurts. Yes, there is pain. But…the time for winter is over, time to feel the warmth of His presence again in my life. Took awhile to realize I stayed longer than I should have. No one’s fault, but my own. Sad, my hibernation in the “lie” even sent my prayer life into auto-mode. Oh my, I remember that’s not how me and GOD used to be. I want that back. For years I’ve tried to hunker down and wait it out, but it only prolonged it. So I need my spring to come! Now it’s my time to unthaw, time to unfreeze from indecision, time to blossum and fly what God has for me. New season, new day! Beautiful Statement, I relate “Crossroads of Necessary Endings” that’s me.
I read your post, Bonnie, and knew right away what season I am in–Fall, the letting go time. My blood pressure has risen greatly for an unknown reason starting the 12th of aug. It was so high, it caused a mini heart attack. For 6 days while I was in the hospital, all I did was let go and let FatherGod. There was nothing I could do to lower my bp nor keep it low. It had a mind of its own controlled by my Father. I nestled in His arms and rocked in the waves without fear because I chose to let go of thinking I was in control, let go of fear of what was happening and the future, let go of the questions of why, let go of figuring out the plan and chose to trust Him Who knows my future, Who knows the present before it happens, Who wrote down all my days before there was one of them, Who was in total control, Who was right by my side, and Who deeply loves me. Before this time of fall began, I learned from another blogger, Sara Frankl, how to handle this time of letting go. I chose joy and kindness to all the nurses, techs, and doctors. In doing so, I felt His presence and peace. I have carried this lesson throughout the added trips to the ER and doctor appointments with all the poking and prodding that comes with this. I do not know how long my fall will last nor what winter will look like, but my Father does and that’s all the matters. I will continue to choose trust and joy.
I understand your topic well. As a result of being run over by 4 horses, I have a brain injury and cannot do many of the things I did before. I have had to sell my wonderful performance quarter horse, give up riding competition and avoid anything that requires good balance and quick thinking. It felt like I became old quite suddenly!
I have been in the position of giving things up, letting them go, before and I know that He will see me through but it still is not a comfortable passage to process no matter how many times I have cycled through it. At 65 I have been through losing my father, and a precious grand daughter to untimely deaths, I have had dreams that could not be fulfilled as I had imagined them. The Lord has always been there when I offer these painful losses up to him and has brought healing. Loss has still been painful but I am quicker to offer what I held up to Him.
Now a big part of my life and identity as a cutting and reining competitor has been taken away. The fall and winter of loss and grieving were hard. I have been sitting with my hands open, trusting that he will fill them, for about a year. He has lately been placing a new equally challenging activity of quilting and freearm design in my life along with new friends and new words of how He sees me, my value and my identity.
Love your post today and love the Faith Barista Jam Thursday topic!!
I love the topics that you choose and the way that everyone writes and feels about it so differently.
Hope you enjoyed your time here, in the Palmetto State! Hilton Head is a wonderful place! Definitely good for the soul! : )
We may be in different seasons in different areas in our lives.
After reading your post, I realized that I am in a season of letting go in terms of my finances. For most of my working years, I had never had to worry too much about my finances. THis is one area that I feel confortable and confident about for most of my life. However, last week, I was faced wtih the possibility of losing a large sum of money and it made me very anxious. But God very gently reminded me that He is my provider and I need not rely on worldly ways to make money. There was peace in my heart about my loss although my very human mind would sometimes wander and wonder “what if…” I have to deliberately bring my thoughts back to what God had reminded me and to know that HE is in control.
IT is exciting to think that I am being led to let go of something that I have felt very comfortable with for a long time. What comes next, i dont know…. but it doesnt matter because He knows.
Thanks for your posts, Bonnie. I have always loved reading them 🙂 God bless you!
What a beautiful post. Learning to embrace the seasons – in every sense: actual, physical, emotional, spiritual – can be a hard lesson to learn. Often, we only realise we have moved into one season when change happens. And change can be scary. This post was so encouraging, Bonnie – it reads almost like the beginning of a book! Thank you for great thoughts.
I just signed up for the (un) confrence! I am so excited!
This is a great idea! Do we have to post this on Thursday? I’m just finding it today and was going to post mine today…
Thnk u thnk u Bonnie for yr prayer… Much needed … As u know, am in Fall and Spring… Ur a blessing… Be safe as u travel back to CA … #inrl @hiltonheadsc
[…] We mark the passage of time through seasons of life. […]
Thank you, Bonnie, this is a post that “keeps on giving”- I’ve read it a couple of times already. It was so timely for me. I’m deep in fall and winter. It seems like spring will never get here. But you have reminded me to embrace Jesus in this season! Thank you so much. I needed the reminder.
I am in the Winter of my life, but then I love winter, sweaters and all. However I am sharing my stories even in Winter and living for Jesus one day at a time.
Hi Bonnie and other friends from the Jam! I am late reading this one! I had a Women’s Retreat this last weekend… and I think I am in the in between winter and spring season where it still goes back and forth here in Missouri. I see so much of how God is working in my life and where the trees are starting to have buds, but there is still so much brown dead grass and trees with no leaves, no flowers… I obviously did not get something written for the jam to share with everyone.
Bonnie, you gave me much to think about with this post. I believe I’m in the season of fall; letting go. I had so many hopes and dreams that have seemed to have been taken away. But I’m coming to the place where my hands are open and I desire to embrace God’s plan for me. And I realize that may not be the same as the one I had penned with MY GOALS and PLANS.
As I go to work each day in a place I never dreamed I’d be, I have to pause and …be thankful.
God has blessed me with little children to teach and love each day. And for a woman who always dreamed of having her own children and couldn’t …this truly is a blessing.
I never imagined I’d be working in a private school with three year olds, especially when my career of 25 years was a cardiovascular nurse specialist. But God never forgot my love for children. And when need required a return to work, He provided me with this job.
So I’m learning to trust Him and let go of my former home and lifestyle. I’m learning to sell much of my ‘stuff’ that’s left in boxes. After all, I guess I’ve not needed it since it’s been there for a year now.
Although I didn’t write a post on this topic, I’ve enjoyed adding my comment Bonnie. It is a time of letting go. And now I look forward to what God has in store for me. I pray that His desires become my desires.
Blessings and love,
Beautiful post. The seasons of faith so articulately expressed! Glad to hear that you are entering the spring season — again!
(I, too, am a California girl, currently spending some time on the East Coast, in my case, at St. Anthony’s Monastery in Kennebunkport, Maine, just minutes from my family and childhood friends. I know the four seasons well, but I have chosen the Californian single season as my home of residence now.)
I feel I am in both fall and winter. Faith embers are low but there. I want newness again, but I still have too much old in my hands to receive. Working on letting go the right way and have been waiting for new at the same time. Watching and listening. Hear winter’s sounds right now…
Hi Bonnie! It’s taken me almost a week to figure out what it meant, seasons, and what season I am in. I think it is spring. I think we are recovering our calm around here three years after the wildfire that moved through our neighborhood in 11/2008. This summer we cleaned and rearranged our home for better hospitality and learned to like it just fine where we are. New things (ministry, joys) are popping up, and we are growing again, not just in survival mode. Praise God! Thanks for asking, for the idea.
Aw, I guess I got to the linky a little too late. Here is my link: http://inspiremebeautiful.blogspot.com/2011/09/seasons-of-faith.html
I wanted to say you have a beautiful blog, and I can relate a lot to this post. I’m going through a lot of these seasons at the moment. Especially fall. It’s funny because I’m always the one encouraging people not to live in the past, but here I am. I’ve been praying through this a whole lot, and trying to get over an old flame. It’s been 3 years and those feelings have just popped up again.
Thank you for being brave and sharing a part of you with us.
[…] life up to this point. I was hurt very badly in community and to heal, God led me into a season cocooned in layers of fall and winter seasons of […]
Thank you so much for this post and for letting God speak through your writing – God really used this to encourage me! 🙂 -And many of your other posts as well 🙂
After a long season of unemployment and uncertainty, I am in a temporary season of life that has been incredibly good 🙂 But after the next two months of work, I have no idea what is next and dread the possibility of going though another long season of unemployment / uncertainty. I wonder where I belong in life?
I know God has been faithful in all of my life and that my hope for the future lies securely in Him. But it’s hard right now that I still can’t see what is next. I feel listless – lacking in any real vision of where to go from here. I don’t like feeling lost nor do I want to live a life devoid of passion or purpose! I don’t want to feel like I am making things up as I go in half-heartedness and confusion. I want to know God’s vision/plan for my life.
Psalm 23 has been encouraging me a lot lately! I cling to Christ – to His presence and to that promise of guidance. I pray that God would reveal His will and purpose for my life as my Good Shepherd and that He would help me to walk in whatever steps come next and in all of life 🙂 I trust that new seasons are ahead even though right now I still can’t see what’s in front of me or where to turn. Prayers appreciated!
[…] the past, most of my time spent in spiritual seasons of autumn have swirled around letting go of necessary […]
Hey Bonnie…I have been spending some time at your place this afternoon and I just adore you. I can so relate with so much of your story, though my lines are a bit different. What you wrote in this post is actually *the words* to the post I was trying to write here: http://arock4him.blogspot.com/2011/09/when-seasons-blend.html
Gosh, I’d love to spend time with you in that raw place of complete abandonment of fear.
Rich blessings sweet friend…
[…] the past, most of my time spent in spiritual seasons of autumn have swirled around letting go of necessary […]
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