I heard my phone chime as I was finishing up a coffee meeting. Practicing restraint, I didn’t check the new text message until we’d said, ‘good-bye,’ and I was in my car. It was from my friend Patty, who is also pastor to the Lake City Ladies and a work colleague. Patty was in a pinch. The planned speaker for a meeting just a few days away was called to California for a family emergency. “Would you share with the ladies?’ Patty asked.
“What’s the topic?” I typed in reply, and then headed off to the grocery store to pick up applesauce. (Some nice lean center cut pork chops were all thawed for dinner. I know Ron likes applesauce with pork and also knew we had none.)
The phone chimed while driving on Highway 95 on my way to Super 1 Grocery. Again, I waited until I was safely parked to check Patty’s answer to my question. “Experiencing Joy in Crazy Seasons.” That’s all she said. My first thought as I looked at her answer was, Yikes! I can’t do that! While sitting in my car in the grocery store parking lot, my mind raced to all the times when I hadn’t been joyful during ‘crazy seasons.’ Instead, I remembered all those ‘crazy-season’ times when I’d whined to God, nagged my husband, yelled at my kids, lost sleep, resorted to eating junk food and escaped into watching television or reading a novel.
As I sat pondering the dilemma, that ferocious condemning voice began to mellow, and the voice of reasonable truth reminded me that, yes, I’d done those things, but over the years, I have grown. The ‘still small voice’—that voice, which speaks so kindly to me—assured I could speak words to encourage women at the Tuesday gathering. Be authentic and vulnerable, the voice seemed to say. My boss, Rodney, said almost that same thing when I talked with him about my apprehension. If I heard the same message from Rod and the voice of the Spirit, I knew I must be hearing correctly!
While preparing to talk to the ladies, I was reminded of a poem I’d written during one of those very ‘crazy seasons’—a time when I was trying to tread stressful waters, but often wondered if they were going to suck me under.
My Tuesday morning talk went well. I was authentic. I was vulnerable. We laughed as I recounted some of the absurdity of my behavior during stressful times. Several women told me the message was exactly what they needed to hear. I was grateful, humbled and reminded once again how much we need each other to encourage us during not only ‘crazy seasons,’ but in every season.
If you’re going through a ‘crazy season’ right now, I hope the words in this poem—and especially the Scriptures I’ve referenced—will encourage you.
1. Philippians 4:6-7 New International Version (NIV)
6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. ↑
2. Matthew 6:26-30 New Living Translation (NLT)
26 Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? 27 Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?28 “And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, 29 yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. 30 And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith? ↑
3. Psalm 139:13-14 The Voice (VOICE)
13 For You shaped me, inside and out.
You knitted me together in my mother’s womb long before I took my first breath.
14 I will offer You my grateful heart, for I am Your unique creation, filled with wonder and awe.
You have approached even the smallest details with excellence;
Your works are wonderful;
I carry this knowledge deep within my soul. ↑
4. Ephesians 2:10 New English Translation (NET)
10 For we are his workmanship, having been created in Christ Jesus for good works that God prepared beforehand so we may do them. ↑
5. Hebrews 13:5 New Living Translation (NLT)
5 … God has said, “I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.” ↑
6. Isaiah 43:1 & 2 New International Version (NIV)
“…Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. 2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you…
All Scripture references were taken from biblegateway.com
During a ‘crazy season’ when it seemed like I was being sucked under the raging waters, the still, small voice of God’s Spirit reassured,
“Be anxious for no thing;
(The beauty of creation my husband captured in the sunset over Lake Coeur d’Alene speaks peace.)