I was sitting at work today, amidst piles of paperwork with to-do lists and vision-like ideas, thinking about summer. Summer, for a youth worker, is the busiest time as it is when students are most available. We sit now on the precipice of a season change, a change which reflects my own life.
Things are changing in my season. Big, life changing, changing. George (the penguin loving fiance) and I are planning for marriage. Marriage. Marriage.
It is a good season. As we plan our wedding and think about our marriage, we are taking this time to celebrate the gift that God has given us in each other. We are in a season of gratitude, where the well is deep and the water sweet. It is a season marked by cheers and happy moments, romantic notions and family expectations, by joy and tension. It is a season that excites me even as it prepares me to do life with another human being.
And yet so stark are the seasons many of my friends are in. They, instead, have heartache. Their well runs dry and their hurt runs deep. They struggle to breath and find little relief in those ragged draws. Whether they have miscarried, lost their home, lost their job, or are just plain lonely, many of my friends are in a season of hurt.
I’ve thought a lot about this recently. About the ebb and flow of seasons and how very different two people’s seasons can be. It has always felt unreal to me that when my emotions are on one end of the spectrum, those I love most are frequently on the other. I don’t quite know how to manage it.
As a child, I thought that balancing that act meant minimising one of the two. To shut down my own season of life for the sake of my friend’s, or to overshadow (and frankly outtalk) my friend’s season for the sake of my own. I am older now and the temptation to do either one of these is still very present, but I am beginning to understand that I do not need to diminish either to value them both.
I sit on the edge of a changing season, as do all of you. What I’m learning in it, is that the differences in our seasons do not preclude us from doing life together, only our own discomfort can do that. I know I cannot do this perfectly, but friends, if you’ll let me, I’d like to sit in the midst of my discomfort and I will bear witness to your seasons. Would you be bold enough to do the same?