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How to Navigate Through Your Wilderness Season

“He leads me along the right paths for His name sake” Psalm 23:3.

Have you ever been in a season of uncertainty? Where you’re restless, lost, or not sure of the plan?

I don’t mean just a few bad days of wandering. I mean an entire season.  You wanted to resist it. You wanted to run away and quickly jump over the season and into a more joyous one.

Yet you knew deep down this was right where God wanted you.

If you showed me a year ago what my life was to look like now, I may have laughed, maybe even cried. It was like it happened over night. Like everything got all scrabbled up. My head and heart were scattered  and I was sitting in a broken mess trying to put all the pieces back together.

No one said in a year your family would move to another state, your kids would start school, and you would no longer be a women’s ministry leader. Not only would you go through a huge transition you would do it alone; without the support and encouragement of your church community—the very church you were awakened in.

Suddenly, in a turn of events I was stripped of my so called “identity.” No longer a leader, mentor, or homeschooling mom. Every position seemed to be stripped from me, and I found myself unsure of how to fill my days.

I was and am now in a spiritual wilderness season.

I find myself resisting this season. Wanting it to look different. Wanting to join the PTA?, get a job, or jump into another ministry position. Something to fill the void. Maybe you know exactly how I feel. Maybe you have experienced the desert. Did you embrace it? Did you resist it only to find yourself reentering a wilderness season a few months later?

I know I am not alone, and this is why I write.

There’s nothing glamorous about the wilderness. I would much rather be “doing something for God.” It’s foolish to think we can bypass this season if we want to get to the Promise Land.

This is why I heard Holy Spirit whisper, “Embrace the season I have placed you in.” 

I rage against God as I sometimes crawl through this season.

“Lord, I am in the middle of the wilderness. This can’t possibly be you. I feel so restless. My kids are struggling. We have no church. Friends have turned their backs on us. I feel so dry.”

Let go of familiar, embrace the manna of the wilderness. It is vital to know who you are before you know what to do.  

God’s goal for us is not a well put-together life. It is to refine us from the inside out. Our only option is to go straight through the wilderness. We can’t go back to our old habits or circumstances. And we can’t camp out were we are. We have to walk through. Our human instinct, just like the Israelites, is to go back to what is familiar, even if it was toxic for us.

Friend, I know it is not easy, but let’s grasp hands and walk through.

The words of John Piper speak to our wilderness and give us hope as we journey on,

“Occasionally, weep deeply over the life you hoped would be. Grieve the losses. Then wash your face. Trust God. And embrace the life you have.”

Remember, God placed you where you are to increase your value, never to diminish it.

The Wilderness Changes You

If there is one thing the Bible makes abundantly clear, it is that God redefines His chosen ones in the middle of the wilderness. “Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the Devil” Matthew 4:1. Again and again we see in scripture how God uses the wilderness.

Don’t believe me? Look at the Israelites. They signed up for a three-day journey (Numbers 10:33), and they wandered around for 40 years. Their refusal to embrace the wilderness costed them 40 years.  And I don’t know about you, but I don’t have an extra 40 years to keep going around the same mountain.

Let’s decide to embrace this season and allow God to work.

As we walk through, He will heal our broken hearts, wounded souls, and tormented minds. We will be restored, renewed, and reset in the wilderness to thrive in the Promise Land.

It is a difficult season, but we must trust abundance is waiting for us on the other side.

Forfeit God’s pruning season, forfeit your purpose.

Embrace where He has you. Listen to His voice, obey, and surrender to the pruning process. He can be trusted!

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