For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest. A time to kill and a time to heal. A time to tear down and a time to build up. A time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to grieve and a time to dance. A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones. A time embrace and a time to turn away. A time to search and a time to quit searching. A time to keep and a time to throw away. A time to tear and a time to mend. A time to be quiet and a time to speak. A time to love and a time to hate. A time for war and a time for peace. Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, NLT 

I was having dinner with a friend the other day and God kept bringing the above verses to us in different ways. Enough so, that I pressed in. And as I began to consider these seasons, I knew he wanted to show me something.

Being older, I have lived through many of these seasons. Three times I was blessed with a child, I also have walked through the heart-wrenching decline and death of my parents, and experienced years in ministry where we planted so many seeds, but no outward response—then suddenly our youth group grew to hundreds with many coming to know Christ. I have grieved deeply and danced with abandon. Memories came flooding as I read and thought over these verses. Mainly, I felt joy and thankfulness. However, it isn’t always easy and sometimes when we enter a new season, it can feel overwhelming.

Last week, I found out that our school district was cutting the mentoring program due to budget issues. I was so honored when I was asked to serve in this mentor role two years ago. I loved the model—I spent half my day teaching and the other half working with new teachers. I have learned so much over the last two years—a different perspective outside of the classroom, experiencing life as a VE, VPK, and block teacher, and tackling difficult conversations and educational challenges with other educators that I deeply respect. These new teachers have become my friends and I treasured the time that I spent meeting with them and in their classrooms. My heart was sad, and if I am being honest—kind of mad. I truly felt God’s direction in taking this job.

So, now what? Do I go back to the classroom, seek a literacy coach position, or look at teaching college students? I felt bewildered, and then these verses came to mind. There are seasons in life and as much as I loved doing what I was doing, I can’t hang on to it. God had a purpose and a reason for this time, but obviously, it was a new season. He promises to never leave me and always care for me. Then another one of these verses jumped out at me. There is a time to grieve and cry. It was okay for me to grieve and mourn this job. I loved these teachers and poured my life into them. They are special to me and I can be sad. I just can’t stay there.

Ultimately, even in my sadness, my heart was also acknowledging that God is sovereign. This time is a part of my “seasons.” Who knows what God will do next?

My friend and I had also just finished reading The Hiding Place, which is the amazing story of Holocaust survivor Corrie Ten Boom. Her life was not what she expected at all, but oh, what a beautiful life! It’s amazing to think about what God did with her seasons! She even said, “Every experience He puts in our lives is the perfect preparation for the future that only He can see.”

I’m going to let myself grieve, reflect on the blessings I have, and look forward to whatever God has next for me. He’s still writing my story.

Dear Lord, Please mend my broken heart. Point me in the right direction and help me to remember all the wonderful seasons You have given me. Help me to let go and embrace this new season. You always know best. In Jesus name, Amen.

Copyright Trish O’Boyle.
Trish is a member and a 4th-grade ELA teacher/Instructional Mentor in Harmony, Florida.

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Walking in the Opposite Spirit

4 Responses

  1. Thank you! I am retiring from a job that I love… mainly because my husband has a health condition and we want to have some special time to share together before it is too late. I am also looking for how God will use this time. Thank you for the sweet reminder that there is a season for everything and that He is faithful.

    1. I will be praying for God’s peace, protection, and healing over you and your husband, Nancy! And that He may grant you sweet memories together and reminders that He is sovereign!

  2. this is perfect reminder, God is sovereign, and He is doing a similar thing in my life right now, ending a teaching job that I loved, and poured myself into.
    Now I am left not knowing what is next and that is hard. And while I feel the pain of loss I was also struggling with allowing these feelings to exist when I know God is in control. and I should feel joyful knowing He has a good future for me, as He has never failed me in all my seasons.
    I loved your words regarding grieving the loss and
    ” I can be sad, I just can’t stay here”
    such an eye opener.
    thank you.

    1. I love that you said he has never failed you in all your seasons. That was a good reminder today for me.


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