I have endured so much change in my life in the last year or so. Coping has definitely been a learning curve for me. Hopefully this post will offer a bit of insight on how to cope with a difficult season in your own life and offer you peace of mind. You aren’t alone in any of it. From changing schools, handling a long distance relationship, getting married, going through the visa process (absolute hell), moving abroad, dealing with the hardships of being away from home and friends, and working in a different country… My life has felt, at times, like it was about to implode.
How to Cope With A Difficult Season
Noticeably, through each hardship and period the biggest struggle of all was practicing patience. It is difficult to have a calm spirit amidst trouble and longing. There was plenty of waiting and down time to wrestle with. The concept of seasons has been on my mind for months. I knew God was telling me that those trials and large lengths of seemingly unending bouts of time are seasons and that they will come to a close eventually. Waiting on God to say, “Okay, go!” was the only thing that kept me moving through the many trials of the past year.
Reconsider your understanding of a season
I originally thought season meant length of time or a period that one is impatiently waiting on to pass. It seemed that my seasons were full of slowly moving bouts of time wherein nothing was definitively happening. This is a flawed way of understanding seasons however; if we view seasons as time we are waiting to pass, what are we gaining apart from an impatient spirit? Naturally, seasons are about change. In Ecclesiastes 3:1 we see that God has created seasons, “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.”
I perceived that whatever God does endures forever; nothing can be added to it, nor anything taken from it. God has done it, so that people fear before him. That which is, already has been; that which is to be, already has been; and God seeks what has been driven away. – Ecclesiastes 3, verses 14-15.
What kind of season is your heart having?
It can be easy to see how a season changes our circumstances, bodies, or minds for better or worse. It has occurred to me however that we are continuously going through seasons in our hearts too. Have you ever felt completely on fire for Jesus only to fall into a spell of not opening your Bible for weeks? During each lengthy season, there are smaller seasons of the heart intertwined. My patience and consistency with prayer and spiritual growth ebbed and flowed a lot for these past larger seasons when I felt hopeless and depressed waiting on the Lord.
I would love to believe that God was ultimately preparing me for better days to come during that period of waiting. It is hard for me to imagine anything good coming from that period of my life though. It takes time for us to understand the purpose of our hardships and defeats or to find good in them. With time, potentially we will glimpse the larger picture and understand why God had us wait on Him. Perhaps God never will reveal to you why you are enduring certain trials. In that case, the ultimate difficulty is learning to praise the Lord despite the situations we are facing. Relationship with the Lord is the best remedy for equipping yourself on how to cope with a difficult season, especially when dealing with trials beyond our control or understanding.
Remember God is omnipotent and omnipresent
The Lord is not human. He does not operate by our definition of time. He also does not take things as they come in the way that we do. The Lord operates by His own eternal schedule. According to God, everything that is already has been; God operates by an “eternal now” wherein he sees past, present, and future now. In other words, he knows everything we have ever needed before we knew we needed it. This is assuring when you’re feeling isolated or hopeless. That moment, that season, that struggle you’re facing… God has already been there and already provided for you before you knew you needed providing for.
Read Isaiah 46 and Ecclesiastes 3 and meditate on the word. An amazing series called Understanding Times and Season For Our Lives Pt. 1, 2, and 3 are on Youtube. I recommend this series (the pastor yells quite a bit, but the message was on fire). Hopefully this offers you peace of mind, food for thought, and insight on how to cope with a difficult season in your own life! I also pray that you receive this message and are encouraged for the days ahead of you; the very days the Lord has prepared before you before you were even conceived.