Enjoy Everything

To give some background on what this phrase means to me, this phrase of ‘Enjoy Everything’ became a sort of motto for both my family when, 8 years ago, my 19 year old cousin was killed by a drunk driver in a hit and run. In his pocket there was a To-Do list for the next day, one thing to do was pay a ticket and there were a few other things. But, the last thing on his list was simply Enjoy Everything. In hindsight, this phrase and the simple yet powerful reminder it provides has been applicable to my entire life.

This sentiment of “Enjoy Everything” can be applied to the various situations we all have gone through and will go through. Good or bad.
As I prepared this, I sat down and read Ecclesiastes; most people are familiar with Chapter 3, the first verse states-

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens”.
The chapter continues and goes through different situations and conflicts. I won’t go through all of them, but I definitely encourage you all to read Ecclesiastes. It only takes about 10 minutes, and it is so applicable- at least for me, to this season- and it serves as such a great reminder on perspective.

Each season and moment in our lives has rewards, heart breaks, and challenges. I think, for those in this college season in our lives, we can think of something that fits each of those categories. Maybe the reward of A’cing an exam or utilizing a student discount. Maybe the heart break of failing a class or being away from your family. For those in a season of Middle or High School- maybe the reward of winning a sports game or making a team. Maybe it’s the heartbreak of losing friends who you thought would be with you forever.

Obviously, there are worse things and I am sure each one of us has been through our own personal seasons of heart break, of challenges, and of rewards. But, I want to encourage us to enjoy everything in every season. Even if that season is watching as doctors turn off life support. Even if that season is burying someone you love. Even if that season is losing everything you have.

I know I sound crazy- I am telling you to enjoy things that break your heart into a million pieces and that change your life. But, here’s the thing- God is working for our good, always. My dad, and I am sure you have heard this if you have been to church or around Christians, always says, “God is good, All the time”. He is good and He is working for our good. When we are in the thick of the situation, of the challenge, it is hard to see the good and it is hard to imagine there could be anything good about it. But, God.
God sees the big picture, God is shaping us; He is molding us into who we are destined to be. When God breaks us, He is still there- He is holding us and crying with us, His heart breaks with ours. Then, in His perfect timing, He picks us up and makes us into something even better. In Ecclesiastes, it also says that a sad face does good for the heart.

We can trust Him. Why? Because we have a promise, His promise.
His promise in Romans 8:28, that He will make something good out of the storms that bring devastation in our lives.
His promise in Isiah 66:9, that He will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born.
His promise in Jeremiah 33:6, to heal us and give us abundant peace and security.
He is working for our good, always.

I don’t know if any of you can relate to this but, a lot of times I find myself neglecting the season I am in, planning and dreaming for the future, thinking once I get there I will be happy, content, and can finally enjoy my life. But we shouldn’t be waiting to enjoy the next season, we should enjoy the one we are in.
As much as we don’t like to think about death and our lives coming to an end, at least I don’t; we only have a certain amount of time on the earth to make a difference and to live our earthly lives. Some people have a longer time, some shorter. When we are laying on our death bed at the end of our lives we won’t have a “next season” to plan and wait to enjoy- besides Heaven of course.

Each new challenge, each heart break is a chance for us to grow and to let God do what He wants in us and through us. Throughout my life, growing up, I never, ever thought what I have gone through to be part of my testimony and may be able to help someone else one day. I wouldn’t change a thing about my life or experiences.

Enjoying everything takes faith. Faith doesn’t mean everything will be great, it’s believing God knows what He is doing even when. He has our back, He promised and He can’t break His promises.
This ride of life may be bumpy, but we can have peace in the fact that He is working for our good.

sabrina hope

 

The Season of Waiting

In Ecclesiastes, we are told that there is a season for everything. In fact, Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 provides a long list of the seasons that we might face. There are seasons of joy, seasons of weeping, seasons of love, seasons of peace, seasons of loss, and even seasons of silence. It is explained that every season has a purpose, but what about those seasons that are almost unbearable? What about those seasons of complete frustration? What about those seasons where we feel like nothing will ever work out? What about the seasons of waiting?

We all have goals. Some goals are small, like only drinking one cup of coffee a day or making it through finals week. However, most of our goals are big ones that we dream and Pinterest about constantly. Goals such as owning your own house, having an actual career, getting married, having children, or travelling the world. These big goals are the ones we find ourselves constantly thinking or worrying about. These are the goals that we wish to obtain ASAP. These are the seasons we wish would just hurry up. Unfortunately, instead of being in those grand seasons we dream about, we are sometimes met with a completely different season. This is the season of waiting.

The season of waiting is not a very glamorous season. I mean, who has ever looked forward to sitting in a waiting room? The season of waiting can be uncomfortable, frustrating, and even a little discouraging. Maybe you are waiting to graduate high school, for a job opportunity, to go to college, to pay off loans from college, or to get married. No matter what you are waiting for, the season of waiting is never easy. It’s uncomfortable not knowing your next step. It’s frustrating not being able to do exactly what you want to do and when you want to do it. It’s discouraging to see everyone else’s plans work out while your plans are still on hold. The season of waiting is a hard season; however, there IS a purpose for this season.

When we are waiting on the Lord’s perfect timing, we must remember that the season of waiting is a significant time. It’s a time of building trust in God’s will. It’s a time of casting every single care on Him and believing that He will work everything out. It is a time to build strength and break down distractions. When the Lord ushers us into the season of waiting, this season is not meant to be a punishment. The Lord is using this season of waiting to remind us to look at Him, trust in Him, and follow Him. Lamentations 3:25 says, “The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him.” This reminds us that if we wait for the Lord and His perfect will, He will bring so many good things into our lives. Isaiah 40:31 reminds us that those who wait on the Lord will have renewed strength and will mount up with wings like eagles. Those who wait on the Lord will run and not be weary; they will walk and not faint.

So again I remind you, there is a season for everything and every season has a purpose. When you pray for the Lord’s will, He will bring you into the season He chooses. We must trust in His timing and wait upon the Lord. We must find purpose and beauty in the season of waiting for “…God has made everything beautiful for its own time (Ecclesiastes 3:11).”

Things you can strive to do during your season of waiting:

  1. Create a routine every day for reading your Bible and praying
  2. Establish good habits
  3. Examine your life and discard worldly distractions
  4. Pray for the Lord’s will
  5. Remember that the joy of the Lord is your strength
  6. Be a light for Jesus
  7. Get involved in church and volunteer activities
  8. Prepare yourself for the next step in your life
  9. Memorize scripture
  10. Glorify God in everything you do and everywhere you go!

about sarah

Sarah Barnhill, 21, is from Texas and is the middle sibling out of three girls in the Barnhill family. She recently graduated from Stephen F. Austin State University with her Bachelor’s degree. Her favorite snack happens to be Cheddar Jalapeno Cheetos!