Rachel Jenae

“Do not remember the former things,
Nor consider the things of old.
Behold, I will do a new thing,
Now it shall spring forth;
Shall you not know it?
I will even make a road in the wilderness
And rivers in the desert…”
Isaiah 43:18-19

Seasons. When one season finally ends and a new season comes rushing in, it’s often like a breath of fresh air. It’s like after months and months of a cold, dry, dark winter, one day you step outside and realize you don’t need a jacket anymore. The dreary grey clouds have passed and you sit in your car for hours on your lunch break just basking in the heat of the sun that you haven’t seen in far too long. It’s just a glimpse of the new season that’s coming.

This past season I started my first garden, but now, as seen in the photo below, it is quite bare and lacking. Weeds are still clinging to whatever space they think they made a home in, but little do they know my plans for this weekend. I will be tilling up the entire bed. The season is changing and it’s time to prepare for the new. The soil needs some intentional preparation and stubborn weeds need removed.

If I look at the current season of my heart I find many of the same things. The past season was hard and I feel somewhat stripped bare. Looking back I can see areas of my life that I’d started simply surviving. I was throwing on layer after layer of self-protection to try and push through – fighting off cold and negative relationships, dark dismal days of doubt, and what seemed like scarce provision for my heart – and after awhile I found fear creeping in. Was I failing in this season? Was I going to be here forever? Was I being punished? Was I going to even survive? Would I even be myself after it was over? The garden of my heart needed some intentional care.

Seasons of life can make or break you – if you let them – but God doesn’t waste a thing, especially when it comes to your heart. He is fully invested in seeing you bear much fruit, even if it means stripping you bare for a season. The great thing is He never leaves you to walk through a season alone.

The entire chapter of Isaiah 43 is God reminding His people who they are and more importantly who He is to them through so many seasons.

“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by your name;
You are Mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you.
When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned,
Nor shall the flame scorch you.
For I am the Lord your God,
The Holy One of Israel, your Savior…”

Can you imagine the seasons the Israelites walked through? This passage is talking about literal “waters” and “fire” and God is saying they will not be overtaken or burned. He’s talking about walking them through the battles they fought. He’d done it before and He’d do it again. But the Israelites had a choice.  They had to choose to follow Him. To trust in His goodness more than they trusted their own physical eyes.

It’s like God is telling them over and over again, “Remember, you know Me. Remember my heart for you is good. Remember I have good plans for you. Remember. Remember how many times I have saved you already. Remember how I used those past things to set you up for success. Remember?”

Much like the Israelites, we all have a tendency to want to look back. We often look at past seasons through filtered lenses. We either see it far better than it was or far worse. It would be easy to focus on all that I did or didn’t feel was done right in my own past season – my own failings or ways I felt mistreated – but nothing about that helps me move forward. It focuses on what I see and feel and my very small perspective. It doesn’t take into account what God has been doing in and through it all. Maybe what I see as painful pruning is really setting me up for good. Maybe God is using the waters to cleanse and the fire to purify, but if we run from them we’ll continue carrying things He never intended us to carry.  More often than not it’s our fear of the waves and the flame that keeps us from trusting and following. The pruning sheers are sharp.

But we have a choice. Will we trust His heart?

We can water the weeds or till up the soil and prepare for the new. It takes intentional preparation to surrender to God’s timing of each season. Not all vegetables and fruits grow in every season. God knows exactly what you need in this season and how to refresh you after the last season. Our job in preparation is to confront the weeds like pain, bitterness, resentment, disappointment, lies of shame, etc. and bring them to our Father God who is bigger than any of that. Then we choose to trust Him. Trust is a choice, not a feeling, and if we give it all to Him, He is more than able to multiply the fruit and use everything else as fertilizer for the next season.

So it’s time to prepare. Start preparing the soil of your heart for the new things God has coming. Take a deep breath. You made it through the last season and God will use it all to set you up to ultimately answer the deep prayers and desires of your heart. Trust His process. He will not leave you or forsake you. So get ready, a new season is coming.