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Naming [and Doing] the Hard Things…

“I can do hard things, if it’s only for a season” is what I kept telling myself, as my mama’s care demandingly increased. What an incredible honor and how exceedingly joyful it was to serve her so well in her final weeks, days, and moments, but caring for someone you love going downhill that fast in a pandemic-riddled world was far from the life I envisioned just a few months earlier…

Each Christmas, my family would travel west on I-40 in a jam-packed car for twelve-ish hours from Nashville to my childhood hometown in southern Oklahoma. Upon our arrival, the really hard work would commence, Operation Christmas. This usually included decorating [and cleaning] the house from top to bottom, grocery shopping, wrapping all the gifts, and subsequently feeding an army that averaged in the dozens for a solid week. Needless to say, Christmas had become a personal stressor for me. My mama, not one to let the holidays suffer since my daddy’s death, refused the idea of slowing tradition. And each subsequent year, I reminded myself “You can do hard things, if it’s only for a season. One day, this will no longer be the norm.”

So, here I am—one year later, in a new life season living outside my hometown after thirty-plus years and in what feels like a cruel joke, without my mama. It’s a season of hard goodbyes and even harder hellos… But it is a beautiful season despite its barren, stark nature. It is a season of endless promise. And a season of overflowing gratitude. It is a season for the rejoicing of answered prayers—mama’s and mine. And it is a season for grieving… But more so, than-ever-before, it is a season for truly finding meaning in the journey.

I’ve mentioned often, how I sensed God moving us long before He confirmed it. And at lightening speed, I might add. But little did I know one year ago, my vibrant mother wouldn’t live to see eighty-one. If I had not been listening and watching—so very closely, I could’ve missed it all! So, I hope to challenge you before the season-of-all-seasons descends upon us. If you’re in a hard season or if you’re simply longing for new holiday routines, live fully in the season you are in because you can never return. And you can never get those years back. Have no regrets. Name the hard things and remind yourself, seasons change… 

“He has made everything beautiful in it’s time.” – Ecc. 3:1

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