Dr. Tammy

Acceptance and Seasons of Life

     Just as we have summer, fall, winter, and spring—we have different seasons in our lives.  With summer we have warm temperatures and sunshine, fall welcomes in changing colors and falling leaves, spring births glorious blooming flowers, and winter ushers in cold weather, and for some—a winter white wonderland.

     Each season offers beauty, purpose, and challenges.  And with each season we can expect adjustments, challenges, and unpredictability.  But for us to make the needed adjustments for our life seasons—acceptance is essential.  

     Acceptance is key for us when we face challenging and difficult seasons.  Acceptance is what enables us to walk graciously through stages of life that we’d rather not walk through.  And acceptance ultimately helps us embrace God’s perfect will and plan for our lives.

     Some people I have worked with have acknowledged the changing seasons of their lives quite well, but other folks have experienced tremendous difficulty in this process (understandably so).   

     Marsha came to see me to help her manage losses she had recently experienced.  The moment I met her, I could see she carried the weight of suffering like a precious little mule weighed down with an exceptionally heavy pack. 

     Pessimism and dejection permeated her countenance.  And throughout every session we spent much of the session reliving how life used to be before her losses.  This lovely middle-aged woman remained stuck in her past life.  Sadly, she could not accept the reality life had changed, and she no longer lived in the yesteryears her heart desperately longed for.  

     Marsha represents many folks I have worked with.  They have an inability to accept their current place in life.  And consequently, they have little—if any—peace and joy.   

     Most of us long for those blessed days of long ago.  And it’s not harmful to have those wistful moments—they can be very sweet indeed.  But we need to make sure we are not stuck in past seasons of our lives.  Acceptance helps us graciously move into our next season—and helps us walk through the most challenging times of our lives.

     So how do we know if we are in a place of acceptance with our current stage, or placement, in life? And if we are not, how do we get there?  Let’s explore the first question:  Where are you right now?

     We don’t often take the time to assess our feelings about the season of life we are in, but that is part of the problem.  How can we move toward acceptance if we don’t recognize, and acknowledge, our emotional response to our specific time?  Here is a list of questions I’d like you to ask yourself:

  • Are you, right now, where you thought you would be 10 years ago? 20 years ago? Or when you were in your 20’s or 30’s?
  • Has your life gone in a direction you had no intention of going toward?
  • Did you start out on your chosen pathway and then experienced loss along the way (marriage, child, career, finances)?
  • Do you find you spend more time thinking about those good old yesteryears than the present?
  • Where are you with the sovereignty of God in your life—even with those painful losses?
  • Do you often think about where other people are, i.e., family and friends, and compare yourself with them? Maybe they are doing things you wish you could do?

     Now, with each of these thought-provoking questions, I ask you to consider your emotional response to those that relate to you.  Take your time—this is an important exercise.  We need to identify our current feelings about our place in life before we move into acceptance. 

      What emotions came up for you as you went through the questions?  Anger, resentment, regret, longing, or sadness? Perhaps peace and joy?

     One definition of the word acceptance is the “willingness to tolerate a difficult or unpleasant situation.”  Acceptance does not mean defeat—nor does it mean giving up.  And it certainly doesn’t mean you have failed to________!  (You fill in the blank).

     With a clear grasp of how you feel about your current season of life—perhaps winter—and an understanding of what acceptance is, let’s address the second question.  How do we transition into a place of acceptance?

     We begin with some words I opened with, each season offers beauty, purpose, and challenges.  In our minds, and hearts, we must see the beauty and purpose within our place in life.  And we need to know God is sovereign—He has a plan in mind.  He has a purpose.  And He makes beauty out of our ashes. 

     Here are some helpful steps you can begin taking today to help you move toward acceptance of wherever you find yourself today: 

  • Open your heart to the truth that all seasons of life have beauty and purpose in them.
  • We cannot control many circumstances and events (even traumatic ones) that enter our lives, but we always have a say in how we respond to them.
  • Spend time meditating on the sovereignty of God.
  • Remember, seasons change—winter is not forever.
  • And with God’s help, we can graciously accept the various seasons life brings our way—even the most difficult seasons.  

     The truth is, we can grow and blossom in any season.   But the key is acceptance.  If we can accept that there is beauty and purpose—even in the bleakest of valleys—we will find peace and joy in our journeys.  




They Saw Into Eternity

September 15, 2020

I was recently informed that someone from my past, who had betrayed me and hurt me, was now very wealthy and owned a beach-front home. For several days after hearing this news I couldn’t shake feelings of unfairness about the situation.

Most of us will face unfair situations in our lives, and we will even have experiences like the one I just described. And we will want to scream and shout out “but it’s not fair God.” I certainly wanted to yell this out from the highest mountain top.

In Hebrews 12: 1-3 The Lord reminds us, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”

What a beautiful and inspiring passage. When we are weary and grow tired of the wicked advancing while we struggle, God instructs us here in this passage not to lose heart because believers before us endured unfair treatment and hardship, but they did not give up. And the Son of God, Jesus, did not give up even when he was being scorned while hanging and dying on the cross. I cannot imagine what our Lord went through for us. And He freely laid down His life for our sin. He was mocked and spat upon–by the very people he was dying for. But what is so remarkable is some of His last words before he died, “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

So when we struggle as we are mistreated or when we witness the ungodly advance in this life, reflect upon those who have gone before us–especially the Son of God. And if Jesus can have such an incredible attitude while hanging on the cross, with God’s help I can overcome the hurt and frustration that I feel when I have been treated unfairly. The hero’s of faith in Hebrews chapter 12 were also able to continue following God and obey His will for them because they saw into eternity. And Jesus definitely saw into eternity as He hung on the cross.

You and I can move beyond the unfairness of life, and we can rise above the people who betray our trust, people who hurt us and treat us unfairly. How can we do this? Just like Jesus did while on the cross, and just like the people of faith did who have gone before us–they saw into eternity.

Eternity is forever! It never ends–that’s a bit of a mind blower I know. But nonetheless it is true, God’s word tells us this. This life, on the other hand, is not eternal. We all have a time limit on how long we live, some of us will live longer than others. My friends grandmother is 101 years old, and she is just now close to going home to heaven. But sadly, my youngest daughter only lived 20 years, her life was cut very short.

The point is that this life with quickly pass, and then every individual person will enter eternity. Those who have received Christ as their Lord and Savior and have given their lives over to Him, will enter heaven for all eternity. But unfortunately, those who do not belong to Christ and have not received Him as their Savior will parish for eternity. This is a painful truth for the nonbeliever, but a joyous truth for the believer in Jesus Christ.

So as we run our race for God, living our lives the way that He has called us to, may we keep our eyes focused on eternity. And because we do not know how many days we have on this earth, may we serve God like we are going home tomorrow.

Run hard and steady my friend!

Faith And Hope

We can have hope in any and every life circumstance or situation when we put our faith in Christ our Lord. Life is always changing and unpredictable, but God never changes and His promises stand firm. He says His word is the same yesterday, today and forever. So as we face the uncertainties of tomorrow, remember that God is already in our tomorrows, and He knows just how to care for us.

Dr. Tammy