What Is This Season For?

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Q_Fiona

One of my daughter’s first words is “moon.” She points it out in her storybooks and is really excited if she spots it in the sky. I love that she notices. I love that, because of her, I get to watch the waxing and waning of that beautiful silver globe through the month, see it begin as just a slither of fingernail until it becomes heavy and round like my own pregnant belly.

The world is ever-shifting around us, reminding us, if we would have eyes to see, that there is a time for everything—the darkness of the new moon and the light of the full moon—and a season for everything.

It’s a question that’s become so important to me: what is this season for?

This current moment in my life looks very different than I had expected even half a year ago. The past six months have brought an international move and a surprise pregnancy. In many ways, I’m not where I wanted to be: I miss working; I don’t particularly love being a full time stay at home mum; I worry that the dreams that got set to one side will never be realised.

Recently my spiritual director asked me, what do you most need right now? And from the mess of thoughts and anxieties and desires, one word floated up: contentment. I’m exhausted by all these unmet expectations and unfulfilled dreams. I crave a little contentment.

But I can’t switch off who I am. I can’t forbid my mind to come up with new ideas. I can’t stop wanting to be able to put my gifts to work. The dreams settle into my heart and soul and I don’t have the strength or will to evict them.

And then my little girl interrupts my thoughts again with her loud shout: “moon! moon!” It hangs two thirds full over the Baltic harbour outside my in-laws’ window where we are seeing in the New Year. And I remember that there is a time for everything.

As Mordecai put it to his niece Esther, as the future of their people hung in the balance: “And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14). If I’m learning anything as I watch the seasons shift these past months, it is that every season is necessary. I may not enjoy the rainy grey cold of an English winter, but it’s absolutely vital to produce the beauty and abundance of an English springtime.

So what is this season for? Is it a season of rest or one of growth, a season of sifting or a season of harvesting, a season of retreat or a season of embracing?

For myself, I believe maybe there is a way to find the contentment I am so desperate for without denying the desires of my heart. The Israelites never stopped dreaming of the land flowing with milk and honey, even as they collected their daily portion of manna in the desert—just enough for today.

As I cross this wilderness, I can complain mightily like the Israelites did, and attempt to shore up more than my portion of manna, out of fear of it never being enough to satisfy my hunger.

Or I can trust that this is a good gift from a good God, a God who knows me, knows my heart and my soul, knows I don’t experience this unexpected slowness of life as a gift yet, but nevertheless knows just what I need in this season. I can choose to experience this season as one of abundance rather than of scarcity, and in doing so, maybe I’ll discover that I was created and prepared and trusted for such a time as this.

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Fiona Koefoed-Jespersen
Fiona lives in London with her Danish husband and her two young children. She is determinedly seeking the sacred in the ordinary, learning to see that even the most mundane moments of her day can be spiritual if she wakes up to the Divine in those places. She is in training to become a Spiritual Director, and baking is her favourite spiritual practice. You can follow her through her blog at fionalynne.com.
Fiona Koefoed-Jespersen
Fiona Koefoed-Jespersen

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Fiona Koefoed-Jespersen

Comments

  1. AbztheVicar says:

    “For myself, I believe maybe there is a way to find the contentment I am so desperate for without denying the desires of my heart.” This resonates in my heart, it is the place where I am vacillating between rest and contentment and yet longing and embracing the adventure and brave new world that beckons. Thanks Fiona for sharing your heart

  2. Nicole A. Joshua says:

    Yes, Fiona. Yes. I’m right in this space with you. And this: “I can choose to experience this season as one of abundance rather than of scarcity, and in doing so, maybe I’ll discover that I was created and prepared and trusted for such a time as this.” This I’ll hold on to as I too learn to trust in the goodness of God.

  3. Something is budding under the snow Fiona… then flowers in their season, fruit the season after. Here on the equator I am savouring December rain after months of drought and my eyes are feeding on the green, so much greener to because of all the months when there was only brown.

  4. Fiona, observing and entering into the cycles of creation has become really important to me too, especially since becoming a mother. And I’ve really come to feel that there’s a strong link between contentment and embracing cycles. It’s so hard to hold contentment and longing in tension. When I acknowledge the cycles in my and around me, whatever I’m feeling seems less out of place.

  5. Love this, Fiona, and have been wondering similar things myself. Taking your wisdom and applying it to my own season as well 🙂

  6. Every month, you astound me at how you are so thoughtful in this season … I hear your voice getting stronger and stronger … Poetic. Lyrical.

    I understand you may not see the slow growth, but o, I see it. You are strong and o, so beautiful, right here.

  7. This is lyrical and lovely, Fiona. I need these good words–to trust that there is a way to have contentment in any circumstance, given God’s power working through us. Not to let go of our dreams ad our good desires, but to trust that they will be spoken aloud at the right time. Praying that for both of us this morning.

    • fiona lynne says:

      Oh thank you, Heather. I remember the day I realised that before that oft-quoted “I can do all things through Christ…” verse, Paul was actually talking about contentment. It was a huge aha moment for me. That even this, this finding peace when things aren’t how I’d like, is possible in him. x

  8. I think about seasons often, too, Fiona. We live in South Florida that feels season-less and I wonder how that plays with our psyche to be in a place considered the permanent vacation land. I love this place, but what am I missing without the visual cues seasons often bring? And my husband and I are at a time in our lives with a new “season” on the horizon. Thank you for the reminders from Esther and the hope shared in your words.

    • fiona lynne says:

      My husband and I spent two months in Florida one summer when he did a work exchange and it was so strange to be in a vacation state when everyone was elsewhere! Are there other shifts you notice, despite the lack of four seasons? The movement of the rains or the migration of the animals? I am certain nature drops hints of God’s heart and character the world over!
      Blessings as you transition into a new season. Those transitions can become such a “thin place” in our lives, a way to glimpse the holy in new and transforming ways. I pray that for you and your husband x

  9. carameredith.com says:

    Oh Fiona, I love your thoughts, perhaps because they so much mirror my own after I left the full-time work force. Questions of season, while not full of sweetness in the moment, help me see and understand the bigger picture.

    • fiona lynne says:

      It’s such a common struggle isn’t it? And yet for all that, I don’t know that there are enough safe spaces to truly voice aloud the frustrations and the difficulty of transitioning into a different role, for however long or short a time. Thanks for being here with me x

  10. Helen Burns HeleneBurns says:

    What a helpful, hope-filled post Fiona. Last Sunday my husband taught about the gap between what could be (our dream) and what is (our present) and called it frustration which is the ‘mother’ of all change and transformation. I so identify with your post and as I look back on the journey of my life, I have come to realize that in those seasons where I felt such frustration, but desperately wanting contentment, God was truly building some of the greatest spiritual platforms into my life that I would later confidently stand on in His abiding strength.

    One of my eldest daughter’s (40) and her daughter’s (19) first words was also moon – so your story of your daughters fascination with the moon made me smile as it brought back similar memories…. how the seasons run so quickly, but the moments and memories last for a lifetime. Enjoy this ‘for such a time as this’ season beautiful world-changer Fiona… xoxox

    • fiona lynne says:

      Helen, it is such an encouragement to hear from you with your perspective looking back. I hope I’ll be able to see some of that same platform building in my own life during these seasons. I am trying to always lean in to the emotions that come rather than pretend they don’t exist, in the hope that God will meet me in my honesty and do something good there in me. xx

  11. Unbelievable, Fiona.
    Just this morning, I wrote two words in my gratitude journal because of so much that is unresolved in me today: “The wondering.”
    Then I find your words here that say (with beauty) that this place of wondering is no more empty of purpose than a drop of pond water is empty of activity.
    I guess every season of life will have its question marks that need to be celebrated.

    • fiona lynne says:

      “no more empty of purpose than a drop of pond water is empty of activity.” Wow, that is a beautiful image Michele. We just need eyes to see. I love too that my post followed Saskia’s yesterday, when she opened with that quote “some years ask questions, some answer them”. I think there is truth in that too, some seasons are for question marks. x

  12. Sounds like a girl smack dab in the middle of transition — uncomfortable with where you are but not sure where you are going yet. The wilderness is the place where he takes us (well, at least me!) as preparation for the promises that lie ahead. Hang on, he is with you! Look forward to meeting you in London soon (with granola in hand).

    • fiona lynne says:

      Oy, it’s just when that season of transition seems to go on and on and on… 😉 But I have seen God’s hand so clearly in some moments, even if it has looked very different to previous seasons, and harder to articulate to others. So looking forward to meeting you in person!! x

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  1. […] She Loves Magazine is hosting a month of questions from their writers, and this is mine: What is this Season for? Click through to their site to read the rest of my post… […]

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