Out Into The Wilderness
Have you ever had a tough season of life? It’s not just one thing that’s going wrong, but hundreds of things and when it’s raining, it’s pouring. Well that is the phase I am in at this moment. I ended 2018 thinking that I had everything figured out for this year. I had goals and expectations for myself and for others and, let me tell you, 2019 looks nothing like I’d imagined.
When I took these photos in early January, I never knew that they would represent the next season I was entering into. With a somewhat wilderness-esque vibe to them, they resonate with me. Many days lately I have felt entirely alone, not so much in a hopelessness way, but just in a sense of not seeing other people in my life having to experience the same things.
When we are in a period of waiting or hardship, we often keep it to ourselves. We hold it in and don’t let others near or we wait until the situation can be easily digested, not only for ourselves but for others as well, and then we explain why we were the way we were and how, now that we’re done going through that tough season, we are thankful for it.
Well I am nowhere near done with my rough patch, but instead of sharing an amazing revelation with 20/20 vision looking back, I want to share a few truths/reminders God has given me that has really helped me and will, hopefully, keep you encouraged in the long run:
You are never truly alone in this season
If it’s not friends and family you can lean on, a mentor, a teacher or a counselor, remember that God is always with you. Even yesterday I was scrolling through Instagram and there was a video clip from a sermon about “waiting well”. You are not walking through this alone my friend.
2. Do not invest yourself in worthless activities or interests at this time
In fact, I would recommend cooling down for a bit. Usually emotionally grueling seasons are when the most is being taken out of you, even if you’re doing every day things. DO NOT TRY TO FILL A VOID YOU ARE FEELING. Whether it be the acceptance of others through social media, one too many drinks or filling up your calendar with things to do, a void filler is never a good idea. A wilderness stage is usually a precursor to something new coming and wasting that time will not help you prepare for whatever is next.
3. This stage will not last forever
I know that’s a simple thing to say, but I cannot explain to you how many times I forget in this waiting stage that my feelings of impatience, unmet expectations and frustration will not last forever. In fact, the other day a guy in my small group (shout out to Jacob Engel) made an off-hand comment about how, in the Bible, God often makes future-focused promises and then immediately sends people into a wilderness, whether a physical one or metaphorical one. This really resonated with me because I view these types of seasons as a moment of abandonment. If we viewed this time as a chance for great preparation for what’s next, I think it would be much easier to walk through.
That’s all I have discovered so far, friends. I hope that these truths are hope you can carry in your heart and I hope that they make it a little easier to wait well through this hard stage you’re drudging through.
Thank you to Primp Boutique for collaborating with me on the styling of this shoot. The dress and jewelry can all be found at their Selby store in St. Paul. To learn more about Primp, click here. To shop their newest items, click here.