31 Days · Intentional Living

Stand Strong {#write31days}

In life, we are brought to circumstances we never envisioned. Sometimes we find ourselves living in a season that we never expected, or wanted. And it’s in those times that it takes a lot of bravery to stand strong and keep trusting.

I think most of us have an idea of what we want our lives to look like at any given time. Maybe we don’t have many of the details penciled in, but we have a general picture. And when things shake out and we are standing in an entirely different place than we hoped, it’s hard.

For me, I seriously thought I would go to college, find Mr. Right, graduate, get married, and settle down into a job and a family. After all, that’s what is expected after college, right? I wasn’t a hardcore “ring by spring” believer, but I was doing all the right things (to my young, post-high school mind), and I figured my life would shape up as so many others had.

Then sometime during my time at college, probably around my junior year, I looked around and realized I had missed out. And later, in the season of caps and gowns and tearful goodbyes, I tried not to let those feelings of “what’s wrong with me” take over.

Now at 26, going on 27, I’m still single. I’m still battling those insecurities. And more and more often, I’m dealing with the questions…you know the ones. Those well-meaning people that poke and prod into your singleness.

I didn’t imagine that my adult life would involve an extended period of singleness. It wasn’t a planned season, and now this season has stretched on and on. And for awhile, when I was moving abroad and beginning my service with the Peace Corps, I was okay with it. Then I returned back home and it became much harder to stand strong in my singleness.

And yet, in the last 6 months, I’ve been coming to contentment in being single. I’ve learned that standing strong doesn’t mean just accepting these unwanted seasons. It means intentionally embracing them and using those seasons to live fully.

For me, I don’t want to waste this season.

[bctt tweet=”I don’t want to live this single season out, simply biding time until it’s over. “]

I want to embrace it and use it to its fullest potential.

Maybe you’re in an unwanted season. We’ve all been in one, or will be in one. Maybe yours is empty nesting, infertility, job loss, or moving. I don’t know what your unwanted season is, but I know it’s hard. I know it plays on your insecurities and seeks to take you down.

[bctt tweet=”Don’t let it discourage you. Stand strong in your unwanted season.”]

Find the things that bring you joy, no matter how small they are, and embrace them. Ask God to bring you contentment, and then peace.

Learn to thrive in your unwanted season, not just survive. And then ask God to open your eyes and see how your ability to thrive impacts those around you.

Brave inspires brave

Because, dear friend, it does. Whether you know it or not. When you thrive in an unwanted season, you encourage others, and hand them the tools to thrive as well. When you stand strong and embrace brave in your unwanted season, you inspire others to be brave as well.

What is your unwanted season? Are you able to stand strong?

-Jen


This post is part of my #write31days series for 2015: Living Brave. Each day in October, I will be posting about living brave and what that looks like in everyday life. Curious about 31 Days? Check out the website and the hundreds of other bloggers joining in this year: 31 Days.

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18 thoughts on “Stand Strong {#write31days}

  1. So much truth! Unwanted seasons are opportunities to grow in our faith, or our bitterness… Look at Naomi in the book of Ruth. Unwanted seasons bring amazing miracles…

  2. I’ve had my share of ‘unwanted seasons,’ and God’s scenario is different from the one I once envisioned. I’m slowly learning to entrust everything fully to God.

    Thank you for sharing your encouraging post.

  3. Ah, I’ve had a lot of unwanted seasons in my life: my husband’s cancer, my daughter’s struggles with eating disorders; my struggle with depression. But I have clung to my Savior through each of them, and each has grown me in ways I never knew I needed to grow. May God continue to grow you in your unwanted season!

  4. Infidelity. Daughter’s addictions (she serves Jesus now). Prodigal sons (in this season now). Discontentment (delivered from this one).
    The first one I ran away from God the others? I ran so fast into His arms – I created a blur!
    Jen, your posts have been excellent. YOU ARE A WRITER.

  5. Amen to all these words. I am leading a book study on Jennie Allen’s book, Restless, and I was just rereading a section where she says to give it your all in every season and no matter where you are (meaning physical place). It hit me hard again that God asks us to be brave right where we are and He doesn’t want us to waste that time. Good words this morning. Keep it up!

    1. He does, and it’s hard. But well worth it. But it’s just so hard to find contentment and live well in every season, isn’t it?

  6. It is encouraging to make the most out of an unwanted season. I’ve had my share, and I can’t help but notice that they always prepared me for what was coming next. God’s ways are certainly not our ways!

  7. Jen, this is beautiful. I appreciate your honesty and courage to post this on your blog. I actually always thought I would be single for the majority of my life. I imagined myself as a kind of modern day Amy Carmichael, spending my life on the mission field as a single woman. Great was my surprise when God had other plans for me. I came to trust him with my uncomfortable, even though my uncomfortable looked like the opposite of yours. But looking back, I can see how He tenderly guided me on this path of married life, and how He knew what was best all along. Trust His heart, dear one, even when you don’t see His hand. He will never steer you wrong.

    1. Thank you, Asheritah. Some days I feel that way, and I’m okay with it. I have found a place of contentment, most days, and enjoy my independence. And then when I start to feel comfortable with the idea of remaining single, I sort of feel like that’s not the end….singleness is not the final season. So I have no idea. But I know God does, and He has the reigns here.

  8. I needed to read this friend! Thank You! THIS: “I didn’t imagine that my adult life would involve an extended period of singleness. It wasn’t a planned season, and now this season has stretched on and on.”

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