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Changing Seasons of Life – NOT a Fan

I love how we live in an area that has four distinct seasons. Each seasonal change offers something different and unique. Fall is probably one of my favorites, with its crisp, cool air and brilliant hues in the foliage that create a banner season for us. Because our winters in the Midwest can often be cold, icy, and snowy, my husband and I tend to have more down time. At this stage of life, our grandchildren don’t have as many sporting events where we can be spectators, so we enjoy more time at home. We spend our time catching up on Hallmark Christmas movies, completing a long-awaited project, and curling up in front of the fireplace reading a book. Spring brings the beginning of our travel season. My husband and I are blessed to have the freedom right now to reserve approximately one week per month to enjoy touring God’s creation. Jumping in our RV and taking off for a new or beloved destination brings us much joy. Then we hit the sultry, muggy days of summer, a “benefit” of living along the Mississippi River. But there are things to love about our summers—nights at the ballpark watching our grandchildren play, the colors of the gorgeous summer flowers my husband (the gardener) plants for me, and lots of sleepovers with grandchildren who are out of school.


As much as I love seasonal changes, I DO NOT look forward to changes in the seasons of life. I like a “perfect world” defined by consistency, steadiness, evenness, and absolutely no ebbs and flows. However, I have learned through my six plus decades, being able to stay planted in one season of life, no matter how cherished, is not a reality. So how do I navigate these life-changing seasons successfully? Only by allowing the Word of God to guide me.


Because approaching a new season of life can be a battle for me, it helps to approach it through a spiritual lens. Several years ago, I completed a Priscilla Shirer Bible Study, “The Armor of God.” By the way, I highly recommend this study! Ephesians 6 reminds me to:


10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.


Most importantly, this favorite passage reminds me the battle is not mine, it is the Lord’s. I am a visual, auditory, tactile person. If I can see it, hear it, and do it, no matter what the concept, it will stick with me. So I go through the actions of standing in front of a mirror as I speak His words. I begin with buckling His belt of Truth around my waist. I fasten on the breastplate of righteousness. I make sure my feet are fitted with the Gospel of Peace. I literally go through the action of lifting up my Shield of Faith to display. I raise the Helmet of Salvation and place it over my head, and I go through the actions of wielding the Sword of the Spirit. All of these actions are paired with time on my knees, lots and lots of time, as I seek His guidance and strength to approach and persevere through the approaching seasonal change. Too often we forget, or at least I do, that communion with the Holy Spirit through time with Him is what will get us through the discouragement and doubts often associated with coming changes.


I have grown to realize that too often I approach change defensively, cowering back in a stance to protect myself. However, after fully putting on the Armor of God He has so graciously provided me, I am able to be in more of an offensive mode, ready to plow ahead in His strength and through His enabling, to take on any changing season He allows to come my way. I was created to be a warrior so bring it on! God and I are ready!


“I Can Do All Things Through Christ Who Strengthens Me”- Philippians 4:13


 


Pam Bandermann, from Cape Girardeau, MO, is married to Rick and they have 3 sons and 7 grandchildren. Pam is a semi-retired school district administrator and her passions are traveling, reading, serving college students through the ministry of her local church, and spending time with family and friends.

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