The last few months have brought some big changes for my husband and me. We bought our first home; he began working part-time on the side of his full-time IT career as a professional pianist for a ministry based in Jacksonville; I left my job of two and a half years to become a marketing and communications consultant and also work for a local church….it’s been a joy and a whirlwind of God’s grace leading us into the path He has designed for us.
How to Know It’s a New Season
I would be remiss if all I did was say, “yep! I’m in a new season!” and didn’t give a word a two about how to recognize a new season when it hits. God’s Word tells us that “To every thing there is a season” (Ecclesiastes 3:1). Of course, each of our lives are different. Each of our journeys are unique to us. But there are a few tell-tale signs that I have experienced at every change of a season in my life. It’s God’s way of nudging us into a new thing. And then it’s up to us to take the steps forward and walk in the blessings of the new.
1. Pay Attention to Open and Closed Doors
When I think about new seasons of life, I picture myself in a vast expanse surrounded by doors. Most are closed, a couple are cracked somewhat open, and there’s usually one open wide that I’m standing in front of. When I look through the open door, there’s nothing but more vast expanse on the other side, but I know as soon as I walk through, there I will be in my future along a new path. I just have to take the step. If only decisions were so easy as looking and seeing the single open door and walking through it. In reality, it’s much more subtle.
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Finding the open doors in life comes from following the blessing. What are the areas God’s hand is on? Where is the favor? Likewise, when doors are closing on past seasons or we are seeking after a closed door, things are much more difficult. Even if things seem to be going well by the world’s standards, there is a certain sort of frustration that lies over the situation. There are times when open and closed doors are more obvious – getting a job offer, not getting a job offer, etc. – but many times in in the nuances. Follow the breadcrumbs of God’s blessings in your life, and you will find the open doors.
2. Follow the Peace
In conjunction with following the blessings to find the open doors, we also must follow the peace within us to enter into the new seasons God has for us. When a season is ending in our lives, we can start to lose our peace. For some reason, things just aren’t sitting as well as they were before inside of us. That’s the Holy Spirit’s way of letting us know there is shift happening. It may be a small shift that needs to occur (change in routine, advocating for yourself in a certain area, stepping out to say yes or to say no to certain things), or it may be a big seasonal shift. Either way, the more in tune we are to the peace of God within us, the more adept we become at recognizing and following the shifts in life.
3. Listen to Loved Ones
God puts people in our lives to come along side of us and support us. They can be our eyes and ears when we can’t see so clearly what’s going on. Sometimes when you’re the one living a certain situation, it can be difficult to get a bigger picture. Godly loved ones often are able to spot shifts in our lives before we even can. They can sniff out frustrations we are facing or where God is blessing us in surprising ways. When loved ones begin to speak up about shifts, changes, and new seasons in your life, it’s time to listen. Take their words to heart and consider what they are saying within your spirit to make sure it resonates. When the words of a loved one matches up with the open and closed doors and the peace of God in your life, it’s most likely that you are in the midst of a season shift in your life.
What to Do
It’s great to be able to recognize when a new season of life is upon us or when shifts are occurring, but recognition will only take us so far if we don’t know what to do when we’re entering into a new season.
1. Listen to God
First and foremost, we have to listen to God. Of course, we need to listen to God all the time, but in new seasons and shifts in life, posturing our heart in a humble position to hear from God will set us up for success in whatever He has prepared ahead of us. God doesn’t leave us hanging when we seek after Him; at the same time, He also doesn’t show us more than we need to know at a given time. He won’t give us the entire roadmap at the beginning of our journey. Instead, He shows us one step at a time as we continue to listen to Him. If we knew all the steps to take from the start, we would begin to rely on ourselves. But our need for God is magnified as we walk into new seasons of life because without Him, we quickly become lost. In order to walk gracefully in seasons of shifting in life, we have to set ourselves in a position to hear God’s leading. This means not just taking normal quiet time, but also engaging with God throughout the day, staying in tune with the Holy Spirit, following His peace with each decision, and maintaining humility joy throughout the process.
2. Don’t feel like you have to have all the answers in advance
We all know much less than we think we know. And this is even more true when it comes to entering new seasons of life. Part of the unease of shifts in life is in the not knowing. In fact, one of the biggest reasons people don’t step into new seasons is because they are comfortable where they are and they are happy with the predictability of things. But the truth is, we never really know what’s going to happen. When life is shifting and we are stepping into a new season, one of the best things to do is to be content with not knowing. It’s not easy, and it’s a decision that has to be made over and over again each day, but it’s so worth it. Nothing will be made easier by worrying. But coming to terms with our own lack of knowing sets us up to trust more completely in the only One who does know.
3. Take the leap of faith
New seasons in life are never comfortable at first. It’s scary to take the jump into a new season. But to walk in the fullness of what God has, we have to take the leap of faith. I’ve heard it said that you can never grasp the new thing God has for you until you let go of the things you are holding on to, and that is never more true than when it comes to the seasons of life. As soon as we decide to let go of the circumstances, the job, the friends, whatever it may be that we are holding so tightly too, God begins to work in ways we never could have expected. It’s frightening, and yet it’s the safest possible place to be. When we trust what God is telling us and act according to the Holy Spirit’s guidance and peace, we can rest assured He will take care of us and see us through the transition and guide us each step of the way in the new season of life and in every new season that we will face.
What to expect now from Honestly Rebecca
With all that said, it’s safe to say that I am in a new season and Honestly Rebecca is too. I’m excited to embrace all that God has in store one step at a time, one day at a time. And in the midst of that, I’m looking forward to sharing more with you on the blog.
Here’s what you can expect coming soon from Honestly Rebecca:
- More posts
- Posts on new topics – home, travel, recipes, relationships, and more!
- Creative projects – poetry, artwork, short stories, etc.
I’m excited to start this new season for Honestly Rebecca, and I’m looking forward to sharing it with you!