Grieving the Loss of the Last Season | Seasons of Transition
Fall has always been my favorite season, but in Middle Tennessee it's especially gorgeous. It's still beautiful and warm, so you can't help but want to spend time outside. The trees start changing colors and the whole world feels like it has a golden glow to it.
Every year, my husband starts to get hit with nostalgia around this time of year. "Don't you feel like we should be pulling on sweaters and walking to chapel before our first class right now?" he'll say.
The chill in the air throws him back in time to when we simply swiped a student ID for Chick-Fil-A and spent our nights in the library worrying over finals and dreaming of a future, distant life somewhere off our little college campus.
Until recently, I didn't realize that what my husband was experiencing in his nostalgic fall season moments, was a bit of sadness over the loss of that season of life.
Before moving into the new thing or the next season God has for us, we have to grieve the last one. Sometimes that's grieving the relationships that accompanied that season, sometimes it's a place, or sometimes it's the person we were before, the innocence our life held, the understanding we had of God, or a dream we had that we had to lay down.
What have you lost?
If you find yourself in a season of transition, look back on the prior season. What have you lost? My husband and I still talk about our college friends, the ease of life as a college student, and we joke about the things that felt so all consuming in that season of life, if only we knew!
What have you lost in your past season? Acknowledge those losses. Maybe it's a friendship, a dream, a position or title, a habit you loved that you can't sustain anymore.
Facing the sadness accompanied by that loss is an important part of moving into the next season God has for you. In the midst of any loss, you are reminded, "The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit" Psalm 34:18 NIV.
Moving Through Loss
Throughout the Bible there are stories of people who experience great losses including Jesus Himself. One of my favorite proclamations comes from Joseph after he spent years falsely accused, imprisoned, and rejected. He proclaims,
"You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives" Genesis 50:20 NIV.
Moving through any loss takes time, but God doesn't intend for us to stay stuck there. He intends for us to move through it. We are meant to walk through the valley of the shadow of death.
In the Amplified Bible, this popular verse says, "Even though I walk through the [sunless] valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod [to protect] and Your staff [to guide], they comfort and console me" Psalm 23:4 AMP.
If we keep moving through even the most difficult transitions, God is with us protecting us from harm, guiding us, and comforting and consoling us.
God is infinitely good. In any loss, His promise to us is restoration. The biblical meaning of the word "restoration" is remarkable:
"The biblical meaning of the word “restoration” is to receive back more than has been lost to the point where the final state is greater than the original condition. The main point is that someone or something is improved beyond measure."
When we have lost something, whether it was taken from us wrongly or we are choosing to leave it behind, we can have confidence that God will restore. This is big news in the Kingdom because it's not putting us back in the same position, it's leading us into something better, something on the other side of moving through those losses.