“You can have it all, whenever you want and still be happy.” Or can you? Can I be a gorgeous looking woman, great wife, helpful mother, successful business owner, loyal friend, loving sister, dedicated volunteer – all while maintaining my joy?

I’m not sure I can ‘have it all’ – maintain my true identity and retain my joy.

I think many of us are journeying through life with a fake smile and a sad heart. We’ve lost the joy of living, because we’re tired. We’ve become bogged down with trying to live up to the unattainable dream of being all things to all people, all the time.

We live in a highly competitive culture, which feeds into our need for approval – approval from others, who are longing for approval from us. Before we give up all hope, there is one way we can free ourselves from the need to earn the approval of others.

Surrender to your season.

Rather than going through life with gritted teeth and clenched fists, endeavouring all the while to fight your way through every interaction, hoping that somehow the people you connect with will think highly of you; take a deep breath, relax, open your hands and surrender. Surrender to the season you’re in and be at peace with who you are, where you’re at and who you’re with.

The book of Ecclesiastes in the Bible highlights the beauty of the different seasons of life:

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 to 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)

So, what season are you in?

  • Pause for a moment and consider your life. Silence the clutter. Turn off the noise of social media and still your heart and mind long enough for you to really feel who you are.
  • Allow yourself to ask the tough questions. Who are you when you’re alone, when no one can see or hear you apart from your Maker. Are you happy? Or are you hurting?
  • Open your hands and your heart and surrender. Surrender to the one who made you, the one who really knows you, surrender to the time and place you’re in, surrender to the people who matter most to you, right now, in this moment.
  • Breathe in your new life. Allow yourself to feel alive. Laugh out loud. Do the one thing you ache for, not because anyone else is watching but because it’s the right thing to do in this season and it makes you feel truly alive.

And smile contented, as you surrender to the season you’re in.