“For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1
“So I decided there is nothing better than to enjoy food and drink and to find satisfaction in work. Then I realized that these pleasures are from the hand of God. For who can eat or enjoy anything apart from Him?” Ecclesiastes 2:24
Since starting at Dollar General three months ago life has changed dramatically. In the beginning I held on to the belief that this was going to be a short gig. Something that I would do for a couple weeks, maybe a couple months until everyone wised up and decided that maybe it wasn’t that good of an idea after all. I knew that God was using this job to humble me in ways that cleaning the toilets and scrubbing the gunk out of the bottom of the dishwasher doesn’t. And I was mad. I was mad and oh so resentful that God was making me do a job that had “nothing” to do with my calling. For three months as I’ve gotten more comfortable in my new surroundings some of the resentment and anger has slipped away, but it has left behind something I wasn’t expecting. A longing for my children that I’ve never had. I’ve never had it because I’ve always been with them. I’ve always been there to watch them and make them lunch. While they were preschool age I was in the same building with them 24 hours a day unless they were with another family member. When they started school things changed and I wasn’t with them all day long, but they were at school with their friends and learning and being kids and that was OK. Now I’M the one that’s away from them and it’s hard for me.
At the beginning of the summer I was still clinging to the hope that this working outside the home thing wouldn’t last very long and so missing them wasn’t so hard for me. But lately, since I’ve started manager training, things have gotten really real. This isn’t a short time gig. This isn’t something that I’m going to do for a few weeks and then walk away from it.
I had a text conversation with my prayer partner at the beginning of the week about how much we missed each other and spending time together. It’s been part of the price of working at DG. The 20-25 hours that I used to spend with my friends in prayer and Bible study are now being spent ministering to the customers and employees at DG. Anyway, it was that very conversation that shook something loose in me that night. It was my friend expressing the very feelings that had been plaguing me that enabled me to speak to those feelings and tell them what was going to happen. There were two revelations that stuck out to me that night as I put the dog to bed and then lay down myself.
If I never let go of the past I can’t ever fully grasp the future.
This is my life.
As wonderful as that last season was, and it WAS WONDERFUL. I can’t stay there. For everything there is a season and that was LAST season. Just like last winter’s clothes, I can’t keep wearing them throughout the summer! It would be silly and really uncomfortable. At some point I have to realize that that season of my life is OVER. It happened and was wonderful and was also filled with a lot of really hard moments, like the winter snow and cold, it’s melted away. And with that the sun and warmth and fun of summer has begun. Slowly but surely, it’s happened. It came all the same. And the last thing I want to do is to go swimming at the beach in long johns and a puffy coat! I want to shed all those winter layers and let that glorious sun caress my skin. I want to feel the sand between my toes and the water splash between my feet. I want to smell the spray of a fresh breeze that can carry all my troubles and worries from last season with it.
This is a new season. It’ will contain new worries, new troubles and new hassles. But it will also hold treasures untold! Treasures that I won’t get to hold, if I keep clinging to the old worn out ones that have been so dear to me. I may not be able to see or understand all the plans that He has for me. But I can look around and see all the good He has given me in this life and know that whatever the future holds, He is the one who is holding it. And that means I can trust that it will be good for me. No matter what it is. So, I decided that there is nothing better than to enjoy food and drink and to find satisfaction in my working at Dollar General. It’s His plan for me for right now, and therefore it WILL contain pleasures and those pleasures are from the hand of God. Apart from Him I can do nothing. BUT. A part of Him I can do EVERYTHING! Including working at the one place I’ve dreaded working for the last four years. God MUST have something awesome there waiting for me and I’m not about to miss it all because I was clinging to the past! I want to grab onto this new season with both hands, grab the bull by the horns so to speak! I want to get everything out of this life that I came here to get! I want to do everything I was sent here to do and be everything that God created me to be. And if He created me to be a manager at Dollar General in Sheridan, then by golly, I’m going to be the best manager they’ve ever seen this side of the highway! I don’t want to miss a blessing because I was holding myself back from loving this next season of my life. Every season has good in it if you’re willing to see it.
Lord, please open my eyes to SEE You and my ears to HEAR You. Open my mind to KNOW You and my heart to FULLY RECEIVE Your love for me in this new season of life. Thank You for opening my hands and prying out the old in order to make room for the new! You are so good to me! Thank You Jesus!