Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.  Isaiah 43:18-19

     We all go through seasons in life, and with those seasons come change. Some are expected: our kids grow up. We get older. People move on. However, some seasons come and we aren’t prepared; sometimes we didn’t see it coming, and it is really hard.

     I just talked to a man I grew up with. We had lost touch and he called when he learned that my brother had gone to be with the Lord. I asked how he was doing, and he said, “I’ve had Parkinson’s for seven years. It’s hard.”

     We all are reminded in big and small ways that the life we are living may not have been what we signed up for. Things have not turned out as we planned. And while we may be at peace with the sovereignty of the God who plans our days, we may have to mourn the loss of what used to be—or what may never be.

     All of us face disappointment. How do we get help with the nagging feeling that we are being denied the life we think we should have had…or the life, that, if we’re honest, we feel we deserved?

     Vanessa Rendall Risner, a writer who struggles with a debilitating disease, says that she has gained peace in this place from counsel spoken by John Piper who says “Occasionally, weep deeply over the life you hoped would be. Grieve the losses. Then wash your face. Trust God. And embrace the life you have.”

     Weeping can be healing. Identify what you are crying about and let it all out, as my mom used to say. Sometimes we are too guarded about our pain, because we are trying to be strong (or spiritual). There can be a sweet sense of release when you shed tears and acknowledge what is hard. Feel it. Mourn.

     Then, after you have wept and grieved, wash your face. Redirect your thoughts to the Lord. This is a deliberate act, a choice to focus on God, not on your pain or your problems.

     Finally, embrace the life you have. Wholeheartedly. With joyful acceptance. Be fully present. Find joy in the moment. Be grateful for something. Then praise the Lord. He says He will “make a way in the wilderness-- He will do a new thing.” A beautiful thing. Embrace the life you now have--with joy.

*What do you need to grieve? Will you do it? What do you need to embrace? Will you embrace it?

I praise You that You are God of every season of my life. And in every season of my life. Help me to release any pain and hurt I am still harboring and carrying. I want to give it to you and be comforted. I want to embrace with joy and acceptance the life I have. Thank You for walking with me. Amen.

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