About Encouragement for Today

Proverbs 31 Ministries is a non-denominational, non-profit Christian ministry that seeks to lead women into a personal relationship with Christ. With Proverbs 31:10-31 as a guide, Proverbs 31 Ministries reaches women right in the middle of their busy day through free daily devotions, radio program, speaking events, conferences, monthly magazine, resources, online communities, and Gather and Grow groups. We are real women offering real-life solutions to women who are striving to maintain life’s balance, in spite of today’s hectic pace and cultural pull away from godly principles. Wherever a woman may be on her spiritual journey, Proverbs 31 Ministries exists to be a trusted friend who takes her by the hand and walks by her side, leading her one step closer to the heart of God.

When You're Not Ready for the Season of Life You're In - Encouragement for Today - March 9, 2016

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March 9, 2016

When You’re Not Ready for the Season of Life You’re In
CHRYSTAL EVANS HURST

“Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.” Ruth 1:16b (NIV)

It's official ... I’m the mother of the mother of a child. Just call me the #MMC.

I hope you understood what I’m trying to say because I can’t bring myself to say the “G” word yet.

My daughter and her husband graced us with their daughter the day before Christmas. Yes, our new little princess is beautiful. Yes, I feel all of the love in the world for her. Yes, her birth was wonderful and beautifully surreal.

But her birth means a change in seasons for me. And I’m not ready.

But it doesn’t matter because she’s here, and I’m officially a gr … Mother of a mother of a child.

Seasons change, don't they? Life shifts.

One day you can describe yourself and your life one way, and the next day that description can totally change.

Sometimes those shifts are welcomed and celebrated. Other times those shifts are regarded with a bit of anxiety. Life is always changing.

Maybe the changes you've recently experienced or anticipate in the near future have you so excited you can't stand it. Or maybe those changes are making you so nervous that you shake a little in your boots every time you think about them.

Either way, life has seasons — some of which we are ready for and some we simply don’t think befitting or suitable for who we think we are or what we think our life should look like.

I don’t think Ruth expected her season of widowhood.

A young girl gets married expecting to be happy, to have a family, to live together for a long time. Instead, as we read in Ruth 1:3‑5, Ruth faced a childless, widowed and destitute existence after her husband passed away. There was no one to ensure financial security, nuclear community or generational progeny. Her future was not what she expected, and her identity shifted as a result.

Maybe your season in life has shifted unexpectedly.

Young wife. Now widowed.

Working. Now unemployed.

Healthy. Now ill.

Married. Now divorced.

Calm. Now stressed.

Comfortable. Now stretched.

Not all shifts in seasons are negative. Some simply push us into places that require a major adjustment in our hearts, mind or will.

Employed. Now the promotion is more than you bargained for.

Childless. Now motherhood is the hardest thing you’ve ever done.

Single. Now marriage is not as straightforward or simple as you thought it would be.

Content. Now God has led you to a place where dependence on Him means discomfort or uncertainty and forces you to grow in your faith.

The book of Ruth is the story of girl who trusted God with the unforeseen, the unanticipated and the surprising. She teaches us that by embracing the changing seasons of life and the circumstances that God allows, we can come to see God in a new light as we walk through new situations.

Yet as we see in today’s key verse, Ruth tackled her new season head on. Even though her shift in season was unexpected, life-changing and unsettling, she embraced it.

She moved fully into the season of life God allowed, trusting that in the end it was God who was her Sustainer and Provider. She trusted Him with her identity, her station in life and the direction of her story. And in trusting Him she learned that new seasons, even the unexpected ones, can lead to the most beautiful places.

What does it mean to be a gr … grandmother?

I have no idea.

But I do know that Ruth’s decision to walk with bravery and boldness into a new season paved her way to be the grandmother of King David and ultimately in the lineage of Jesus Christ.

Even though I probably will forever consider myself to be 27, I think embracing this new life-changing, redefining season of my life will allow me to see what God looks like as I walk fully in this place. And I might even be surprised by the impact He allows me to make in His power.

What does it mean for you to be widowed or a wife, unemployed or promoted, divorced or in a blended family, financially strapped or financially responsible, a new Christian or a seasoned saint?

I don’t know.

But I do know we should walk boldly into the seasons that God allows, trusting that He will show us how to maximize each moment we have there.

Dear God, I don’t know how to handle the season I’m in. Please show me how You would have me to operate in this place and give me strength to move forward in a way that brings You glory. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Proverbs 31:25, “She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.” (NIV)

Psalm 33:11, “The counsel of the LORD stands forever, The plans of His heart from generation to generation.” (NASB)

RELATED RESOURCES:
Are you struggling to focus on God and His Word in the midst of your shifting seasons? Check out the Proverbs 31 First 5 App as a way to jumpstart each and every day in His Word.

For a reminder to walk boldly in the season God has provided or allowed, visit Chrystal Evans Hurst’s blog to download a free printable she has made available just for you.

REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Do you believe that the God Ruth served is the same God we serve today? If so, how do your words or actions show you trust Him?

Do you have practical tips to share for embracing either the welcome or even the unwelcome seasons of life? Share those in the comment section so that they might be an encouragement for someone today.

© 2016 by Chrystal Evans Hurst. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries
630 Team Rd., Suite 100
Matthews, NC 28105
www.Proverbs31.org