To Embrace or Brace

Embracing or Bracing?

It occurred to me after making my shocking admission on Facebook Live last month that most of you probably didn’t see that video.  And, that’s fine with me.  Maybe a good thing, actually.  If you didn’t make it to that (horrible, tearful) Facebook Live, read ahead, and I’ll explain things.  There is more to it now that time has passed, and this post explains the revelations God handed me.

God got my attention recently in the area of unforgiveness – with needing to forgive others.  (What?  Me?  Not me!)  I had no idea I needed to forgive someone.  God revealed that there were unforgivenesses (possibly a made-up word, y’all) about which I had no clue I’d harbored in my heart.

Sometimes, things are hidden so deep we don’t see clearly.  That’s why we listen to the Lord.  Because He knows.  I started working through the issues and later thought I was done.

God let me know real quick that we were not done.  There was more.  And, it involved my lack of forgiveness of HIM!  (What?)  I had never heard of such a thing.

God does not sin!  What’s to forgive?  Right?

I discovered I had held God accountable in my heart for allowing the tough seasons these last five years, especially the prodigal season.  As if the Lord was supposed to act according to MY will, not His own.  Ludicrous, right?

Apparently, though, this thing I’m describing can be a real thing.

After my Facebook Live reveal, a few friends and fellow embracers said that was definitely an area they should explore.  They understood how it could be a thing – how we might hold God in contempt for what He allows in our lives, and not forgive Him for what we thought too hard and/or harsh.

How could it be that I withheld forgiveness from the One Who forgives all?  ALL!
And how could I even need to forgive He Who is sinless?

After a few days of work and contemplation over the topic of forgiveness and hard seasons, I discovered something else.  Wait!  First, let’s back up a little.

God gave me the Embrace This Season title two years before this blog came to be.  He knew how hard embracing my prodigal season was at that time – and how much harder embracing future seasons would become.  The Lord knew (of course) I would need this continual reminder to embrace every season, whether tough or triumphant.

And, I thought this blog was all about helping you.  Ha!  God is so sneaky, not satan sneaky, but lovingly sneaky.

How could it be that I withheld forgiveness from the One Who forgives all? ALL! And how could I even need to forgive He Who is sinless? Click To Tweet

The Lord knew I would lean toward bracing for impact of the next season rather than embracing.  Do you sometimes feel you are bracing for what’s ahead?  Are you gun-shy, preparing for the gunfire to blast your eardrums?  Do you brace yourself against the next sudden and surprising blow?  Are you bracing for the impact of your next hard season?

. . . A time to embrace and a time to turn away. (Ecclesiastes 3:5b)

A closer look at embracing our seasons:

When looking at the seasons of nature, we see the new life of spring, the colorful and delicious vegetables we enjoy during summer, the fall beauty in the leaves that color our world, and the pretty, white snow during winter.  Even the bare trees during winter offer beauty and strength in their very structure.

Yet, each season has its drawbacks.  Springtime is, at least for us, a high season for tornadoes.  And those constant March winds!  (We live on a prairie, of sorts.)  Fresh plantings in spring require continual care and nurturing during the heat of the summer, which brings us to the downside of the summer season.  How we all run inside to the air conditioning and iced tea for relief!

The fall of leaves brings work to maintain a manicured lawn.  Not a problem here in the sticks, but I remember spending many hours in the old neighborhood.  Raking.  Sweeping.  Blowing leaves off the driveway and walkways.  When a delay occurred in removing leaves, rains would come and cover all with a layer of mushy, wet, slippery-ness.

The quiet beauty in the white covering of winter brings work of scraping snow-packed pavements and spreading salt.  It all becomes a brown slushy mess only days later.  Plus, that’s our fear season – fear of colds and flu sweeping through our towns.

To Embrace or Brace

The remedy?  We must find contentment in the blessings of each season and be grateful for its goodness.  Enjoy the highlights of each season completely.  Thoroughly.

The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you;  (Numbers 6:24-25)

Here’s the clincher for the tough parts:

While we enjoy the highlights of our seasons with joy and thanksgiving, look at all we learn in the hard parts.

How we look forward to the change to the next season ahead!  While we rake leaves, know that it’s only for a time, and then it will be over.  There is satisfaction in the completion of it.  Then, onward to the beauty of the next season.

In God’s sovereignty, He designed seasons to offer newness repeated over and over throughout our years.

Even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me. (Psalm 139:10)

In life’s seasons, we look to the Lord.  Look back to your last hard season.  Do you see all you learned there?  We find ourselves closer to God in the season of hard.  How He showers us with blessings and walks beside us all the way, holding us steady in the winds of change.  Giving us strength for the enduring.

As we draw to the end of this year, take note of the highlights during this year’s seasons in nature.  Think of the highlights in this year’s life seasons, as well.  Consider what good things God brought you through – and the tough things, too.  He was there!  He was beside you, holding you, guiding you every step of the way.  Praise Him for it all.

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10)

Even after the hardest life seasons, few of us would trade those times for something different (or “better”) because we know the richness of what (and Who) we found there.  See how we embrace them after the fact?  Embracing our past hard season’s enrichment helps us embrace what we have now, no matter how difficult, and what may be ahead.

Perhaps we need to turn away from the mindset of bracing.  And return to embracing.

Any thoughts on this you’d like to share?  Have you been bracing for impact like I was?

Because He lives~

signature

Hi and welcome! It's wonderful to have fellow "embracers" during some pretty tough seasons - and some triumphant ones, too. I invite you to enroll to receive my blog posts by email so you don't miss what's coming next.

6 Comments

  • Dale Shadden

    Thanks for this encouragement!! God is SO good!
    HE is using you in an amazing way! His light shines thru you!
    Love you,Kim!!

    • Kim

      Thank you, Dale! Yes, God has walked us through some stuff, and He is faithful and true! He doesn’t give up on us, either. You encourage me so, dear friend. Hugs! 🙂

  • MARIA ISELA SANDOVAL NUÑEZ

    Thank you KIm! Your post is so timing for me!

    I did get to see your video, and as it touched my heart it made me want to ponder on my own heart situation… and now this amazing post is here at the very right moment, as I reflect on His Mercies during this year and I realize that although it was a tough year at times, His love was very present!! (Ro. 8:35-39)

    Yes, you just made me realize I was bracing for the days ahead, which will only get me exhausted and will only hinder my faith!!

    Thank you again Kim for your words and your testimony. Praying you and your family will enjoy and embrace His Love and Favors during this Christmas and through this coming 2020!!

    Big hug, love and blessings!

    Mari

    • Kim

      It’s nice to know, Mari, that I’m not way off base here, that others may be bracing, too. God’s love, mercy, and grace are His mainstay for us to hang onto. What would we ever do without the hope we have in Jesus? Thank you for your Christmas and 2020 prayers of blessing. I pray you and your family make many beautiful memories this Christmas and in 2020 – and that 2020 is filled with seasons of blessings. May there be no more reasons to brace for impact! Love and hugs, Mari!

  • Rhonda

    Kim, what a thought provoking topic and post!! I am pretty sure I have some things I need to forgive Him for too but I admit it is not a concept that I have explored very deeply. (Sigh). And expect that when I do, my pride will be wounded as it should be. Not a coincidence that two of your scripture references have been put in front of me multiple times over he last few days. Makes me wonder what season is coming….
    Blessings and Peace to you Dear Friend.

    • Kim

      Hi, Rhonda! I admit that it wasn’t something I wanted to hear God say, either. Our Lord is so tender and gracious in His dealings with us. I pray many blessed seasons ahead for you, my friend. Hugs!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *