I saw a meme several times this week that expressed dislike for calling attention to a “season of being single.” Essentially, the meme is highlighting the unnecessary hurt caused by labeling singleness as a season.
It got me thinking about the different phases I’ve had in my life. There was a season of being a new believer. The phase of being a newlywed. The time of being deliberately disobedient to God. The time of military service. The part about of infertility disappointments. The transition to retirement.
I thought about my own season of singleness in my mid-30s, which admittedly was really awesome at times and really sucked at others. I’ve concluded that every single phase of life each of us faces has highlights and lowlights. Parts of each season are incredible, which counters the parts that are cloudy darkness.
In the days leading up to Easter celebrations this last week, this meme against “single seasons” also got me wondering about the seasons that Jesus’ mother, Mary, faced in her life.
Her season of being an unwed teen pregnancy statistic. Her season of being a newlywed with an infant. Her season of her son “running away” to the temple. Her season of learning more from her child than He learned from her. Her season of watching His trial…of watching Him die.
How incredibly heart wrenching each of Mary’s phases must have been. On the counter, how incredibly enriching each phase would have been.
In Luke 2:39-53, we read about how Joseph and Mary would travel to Jerusalem annually for the Feast of Passover. Imagine how she felt when at age 12, Jesus disappeared from her sight and they don’t even notice until they are already on their way home to Galilee. Everyone is searching frantically for him, issuing the equivalent of an “Amber Alert” 2000 years ago. Three days later they find him in the temple sitting among the teachers.
This would have been Mary’s season of panic. Panic over a lost child. Panic over realizing He was more knowledgeable then they could even imagine. Panic over the thoughts of a future, which would include the child learner becoming the grown-man teacher.
This time of panic would have been laced with joy. There could have been joy and pride at seeing the child learning so intently. Pride to hear the teachers of the temple praising Jesus’ attentiveness. A maternal love when sensing that the child was about to embark on His destiny.
In Luke 2:51, after rebuking Jesus for worrying His parents, we read “But his mother treasured all these things in her heart.”
Mary had to make sense of what she was seeing in her child. She knew of Gabriel’s announcement, of Elizabeth’s and Zechariah’s prophecies, and of course, she had experienced her own divine appointment with the Lord through the immaculate conception. Imagine this question facing Mary: How do you raise a child you believe is the Messiah?
When one looks at seasons of their own life, there is a give and take between the good and the bad of those phases. Mary saw that first hand through the seasons of motherhood.
If Mary’s transitions offer us a glimpse into seeing both sides of a scenario, shouldn’t we be able to apply that to our own walk with Christ? I believe that if we look at our own seasons we can discern positive qualities as well as negative qualities in each. As in Mary’s time, this look at our “seasons of life” allows us a moment of reflection on what God is trying to teach us.
No matter the phase we are in, we are still learning. Imagine we’re sitting in the temple at the foot of the great teacher.
I encourage you this week to reflect on your current season. What are the negative and positive attributes of this time?
4 thoughts on “Seasons of Life”
This is phenomenal! I often speak
with others regarding periods of epiphany, questions, and being. We truly live a life of transitions and I typically recognize mine in hindsight. Nonetheless, this blog resonated with me!
I’m glad that this week’s blog resonated with you! I think it’s a marvolus cycle that God created…we’re either going into a transition, in transition, or coming out of transition. Always. It’s intriguing to know that there are lessons in each phase. God is Good!!!! ~Emily
Hi Emily. I’m not sure what a ‘meme’ is or even how to say it, haha! But seasons are times set apart from other times within a life, a year, a journey…so many things. Often ‘phase’ makes it seem almost trite, like a passing phase of puberty for example (“oh, they’re just going through a phase”). So, wherever the time of singleness was referred to as a season, I bet it was more than a phase; it clearly is one type of season, set apart in someone’s mind from the other seasons of his/her life that are not spent single. It could be 18 years, or 18 eternities; good or bad, happy, sad or all of it…if it’s a season to someone, why dispute them? I’m probably glad I didn’t read what you read. I’ve written and spoken on SEASONS OF LIFE so that topic always sparks my interest. I like what you’ve said here. Also this reminds me of a really good book titled “The List” by Marian Jordan. From what I know, she is still single, and encountered several seasons within, so in that case, I wouldn’t guess you’d call singleness a season. Just some thoughts about yours. Trisha
Good morning Trisha, I love your comments! I agree that there is a distinct difference between phase and season. I think we’re quick to interchange words that have subtle differences. I’m in agreement with you that seasons are times set apart. In the example you provided, if a woman has a life of singleness, then couldn’t that be simple labeled as “single” rather than “season of singleness”? To be honest, I think that the meme I saw was directing it’s disastifaction with the term “season of singleness” to recently divorced and/or single mothers. I sensed that it was more personal than reflecting on a life of being unmarried. I appreciate the book recommendation…I ordered it this morning so I can dig in. As always, thank you for reading Iron Porch!!! ~Emily
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