On Hard Seasons

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Here’s to the hard seasons.

Here’s to the hard seasons built by moments that started small and few, but spiraled towards much and many- the culmination of difficult feats and disastrous blows.

Here’s to the seasons that humble you, to the seasons that lay you flat and strip you bare. Here’s to the transitions that remind you, once again, of your frailty and fragileness.

Here’s to the seasons when you thought you could make it on your own, but quickly, painfully, learned that life is hard. Here’s to the nights that lent you tears. Here’s to the ones that gave a safe place to vent and a steady arm to lean upon.

Here’s to the life altering moments that were perhaps not so life altering at all, only that they stole your hope and sucked the joy clean out of you.

But maybe they were life altering. Here’s to the hope you thought you lost.

Yet, you’re still standing, crawling, breathing.

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Here’s to coming out of those hard seasons.

Here’s to tasting freedom again.

Here’s to waking your soul to see the sun-soaked world and letting your eyes rest, shut softly in surrender.

Here’s to seeing each vein on a leaf and smelling the freshness of rain-kissed air.

Here’s to coming out of hard seasons by realizing that joy is a choice- and that joy is not fleeting, but all consuming. Here’s to learning that joy is not conjured by wishful thinking or fretful working- but from a steady knowing of Whose good Hand you are in, have been in, and will remain in, by grace and grace alone.

Here’s to knowing those Hands and tracing their every crease and callous like constellations in the night. Here’s to forgetting them, the way they hold. Here’s to finding them again.

Here’s to remembering that God is great and omniscient and moving. Here’s to our own limitations.

Here’s to your newfound empathy, and to every clichéd advice you gave in the past. Here’s to your good intent. But here’s to your new understanding: you have walked this road.

Here’s to stumbling over a million little landmines and crossing a thousand burning bridges. Here’s to all the deserts you wandered before landing right back where you started: waist deep in living water.

Here’s to recognizing that although the water is dark and the bottom drops off, the sand on the shore will scorch your feet. The shallows will only leave you thirsty and yearning. You have to face the sea.

Here’s to the unknown, but here’s to the one known: tasting and seeing that, yes, God is good.


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