This blog comes from a season of sadness for me as I’ve watched a close friend pass away. In this season of loss, however I’ve learnt so much that I will share these things with you my precious readers to encourage you as you too may have walked some hard relationship journeys.
I’m talking about the seasons as a metaphor for relationships and how they can move from springtime, new, fun and exciting, to summer, the fullness of a relationship. Then comes autumn, when things are getting a bit stale followed by winter when we might struggle so that other things suffer. We are biopsychosocial spiritual beings and each part of us influences the others. So if our relationships are struggling, then the other areas will too. For example if someone is struggling physically, their relationships might be off too. Or, if they’re emotionally challenged, their physical health might be challenged. It’s good to have some perspective that as we move through the seasons of life, we also move through seasons in relationships.
In the very hard seasons, if we stick out the winter season of difficulties, we will eventually move to a season of springtime. Think about King David,who had all sorts of ups and downs in his relationship with Saul (see 1 Samual 16-24). Initially, in springtime Saul and he were close and Saul had David play music to sooth him, which led to the summer season, when all was bright and Saul favoured David. Next came Autumn and Saul began to suspect David’s motives with the relationship turning bleak. Then came a winter relationship season when Saul hated David and began pursuing him intent on killing him. David, however remained true in the dark season and eventually moved into other personal seasons of spring bringing life and then the summer fulfilment.
Working through winters in our relationships, takes courage and dedication which can include being kind to oneself whilst persevering in relationships. This may mean planting into the spring season with seeds of love, kindness, forgiveness or other Christian fruit and values that we see from Jesus’ example. From these seeds will come a time of summer harvesting bringing fullness of life, love, joy and more!
'Now may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness..'
2 Corinthians 9:10 NKJV
We can learn from the friendship seasons that we pass through. As I thought about the 51-year friendship with my friend that I have just lost, I realised that over those many years, there had been different seasons; some better than others, but at the end, when friendship mattered, I was there for her when she needed me. During this tough winter season, there were some summer moments as I learnt many lessons from her suffering: patience, forgiveness, acceptance and strength.
You can go through seasons of how you relate to yourself outworked in your self-worth and confidence. This may be impacted by your relationship with God - at times that relationship might seem a little dry. He always shows up however and you can look forward to a more fruitful season coming. With the Maker of the universe, you will be able to do the hard stuff and get through the winter seasons, learning about life and others on the journey.
So hang onto Hope and you will make it through to your summer harvest time in the strength and power of God!
Love to hear your thoughts,
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