Seasons

We fast and pray asking for the Lord to bring healing in our times: for men to be bold and to walk in to relationships with women, for women to be soft and willing to be molded by God’s gracious plan in their lives, and for God to give the good gift of marriage to those who desire it.

When I moved to Florida I thought I would love the year-round summer and never miss the other seasons. While I loved looking outside and seeing palm trees, I did find myself missing the seasons. Like the beginning of spring when you can roll down your car windows for the first time and the flowers and trees start to bud. I also missed leaves changing color in fall and snow days in winter. Florida only has winter indoors with the air conditioning turned to subzero temperatures. I used to joke that Florida seasons were just degrees of heat (hot, HOT, and hotter).

I eventually left the heat of Florida and returned to the land of seasons. Some may think I’m crazy for moving away from the Sunshine State, but for me the seasons were beckoning (among other things). There is just something about the change of seasons… a range of temperatures, new wardrobe options, different outdoor activities, scenery variations, and the list could go on. I like seasons!

It’s popular these days to talk about life in terms of seasons. Perhaps the writer of Ecclesiastes started it and then The Byrds put it to music with:

To everything (turn, turn, turn)

​There is a season (turn, turn, turn)

​And a time to every purpose, under Heaven

A season for this and a season for that, turn, turn, turn! Here is my deal, I have an issue with using the idea of seasons when discussing certain aspects of life. It’s not that I think the writer of Ecclesiastes was off his rocker and missed hearing from God on the seasons thing, because there is a “time to every purpose, under Heaven.” I struggle with referencing singleness and marriage in terms of seasons. Like you are in your single season of life and when you get married that’s the married season. Using the word season, implies a change is coming, that the status is temporary, and has a start and stop point. Singleness has a starting point for everyone, birth, but may not have an ending point for everyone. Marriage has a starting point, but should not be thought to have an ending point, ya know the whole “until death us do part” thing. So to refer to singleness and marriage as seasons is not really correct.

I think the seasons changing in Ecclesiastes is a direct reference to the word “purpose.” I may be single for my entire life, but my purpose in life will go through changing seasons as my vocation, geographic location, relationships, involvement in church, and other aspects of life evolve and flux through the ages. I spent a season of my twenties involved in youth ministry, my purpose during that time was directly related to my vocation. I’ve had seasons of clarity and seasons that were cloudy, seasons of feeling super connected to God and seasons when I struggled to hear Him, and times when my purpose was clear.

There is a season that is changing. The FastPray blog has served a season of nearly 9 years, but it is time for a change. Fasting and praying is definitely not for a season, and we hope everyone out there continues to seek God through fasting and prayer. It’s through our prayer times and in consultation with former FastPray writers that Amy and I, as the remaining writers, have felt led to end the FastPray blog. We love the community this blog has gathered, and have been encouraged by you. I know for me, it’s time to take a break from thinking and writing about singleness for a while. Writing about singleness and sharing my thoughts with this community has been a pleasure and a privilege, but it means that I’m always thinking about singleness and what I’m going to share with the FastPray community. I need some time to not have to think about singleness as my primary identifier.

We will continue writing and sending out posts through the end of July. While we understand this may come as a shock to some, we hope that you understand this decision was not taken lightly. As we share our parting words over the next several weeks, know that you will continue to be in our prayers long after we stop appearing in your inbox.

A time for every purpose, under Heaven!

Michelle

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34 Responses to Seasons

  1. Rebecca says:

    Thanks for all the encouragement and wisdom you have shared over the years, while I will miss the posts every week, the posts shared here have touched lives. Sometimes the struggle in singleness feels crazy hard, but knowing that others have faced similar issues and have sought after God in the midst of the annoyances, struggles, and joys has been helpful. I wish you the best as you move on to new adventures.

  2. Alina says:

    The words expressed on the weekly posts have resonated so deeply with me over the years. You have encouraged, inspired, and challenged me over the years. It would be remiss of me, if I failed to mention how much I’ve come to look forward to that weekly email in my inbox. I am truly sad to see this season end, but I sympathize with your reasons and support you in your decision. I will miss you and the community you have built here.

  3. lwinzarni says:

    I will miss your weekly encouragement. Thanks for a great reminder that “singleness will not be my primary identifier.”

  4. Cheryl says:

    Thank you for sharing the gift of your time and energy with us these years! These beautiful writings of fast.pray. have given voice to what many of us have felt yet couldn’t express. Sending a prayer for you!

  5. Karis says:

    Michelle (and Amy, and of course Connally)), thank you for leading this journey I’ve been a part of for at least 7 years myself! I appreciate your words about seasons, and support your transitioning to a different season regarding this blog/group. I contributed an article about “praying and posting a guard,” and have since mailed out about 260 letters to people I know asking them to introduce me to someone. I mention this only to say that there can be a season for letting the Lord speak/work, and a season for taking on some of the responsibility ourselves, as well as a season for just focusing on something else. All of that is good, and the Lord will CONTINUE working out His purposes for His glory! I hope that other readers/participants might take this opportunity to redirect some of their energies as the Lord leads them, and blessings to both of you on your next seasons!

    • fast. pray. says:

      Thank you Karis! You’ll have to let us know how the letter writing works for you!! We appreciate the outpouring of support for the decision to end the blog.

      Michelle

  6. austriagom says:

    I have been on this blog almost since its beginning, and have appreciated everyone’s insights and thoughts. I never anticipated being single all my life, although I have had serious relationships. But am thankful for God’s guidance and protection from unwise decisions. I need to consciously focus on thankfulness and praise, as the psalmist does, and remember God’s goodness, faithfulness, and grace. We don’t always know what God has protected us from.

    One decision made early on was to give the love I would like to give to a husband to as many people as possible. Also to focus on Christ’s commission to make disciples, even if it’s not as a couple or a team. Meanwhile, I’ve also learned through temptations how I can help and pray for others.

    Thank you to all the writers for the work have put into this! And to everyone: May God continue to encourage, strengthen, and use us until we meet someday before the throne!

    • fast. pray. says:

      Amen! Very well stated! I love your perspective and heart to give instead of become bitter because of what you don’t have. Praying for you and your heart’s desires!

      Michelle

  7. neelamc says:

    Thank you so much for your years of serving. I found this blog in 2009 and it’s help me identify and beat back (some days better than others) . . . wrong thinking, envy, discontentment, entitlement, pride, and other lovely sins. And it’s given me hope, encouragement, and faith when I’ve been fighting to hang on.
    I’m a 40 plus Indo-American gal, who would still love for God to answer that long felt prayer and am doing my best to surrender more of myself each day and to live joyfully today, but with hope that God can do anything at any time and I can trust Him regardless.
    Michelle, I pray your home situation works out soon and for you, Amy, and Conn, that God answers the desires of your hearts.
    God bless you and the other bloggers for having been transparent, open, and real in this blog. Have so appreciated it.

    Blessings,
    Neelam

    • fast. pray. says:

      Thank you for being a faithful reader all of these years! I join you in the 40+ group that still has hope that one day I’ll be married. Until then, I’ll enjoy all of the benefits of living single and with God’s help continue to become more like Him. Praying for you and for the longings of your heart to be fulfilled in God.

      Michelle

  8. Maria says:

    Thank you for serving us in this way! My small group has had many discussions spurred by your blog posts. 🙂

  9. Wow Wee!! I can only say THANK YOU and you have blessed so so so many people including me! Blessings and prayers to follow you too! Again THANK YOU!!

    • fast. pray. says:

      You’re welcome! All of the writers have felt honored to be given this platform to encourage single women. Thank you for being a part of the community!

      Michelle

  10. Kristi says:

    Thank you all for your dedication to serve Christian singles. I found your blog 4 years ago while going through a difficult transition from a relationship. Your posts were always the encouragement I needed and I have shared them many times with other singles. Last year I finally met the man I’ve been praying for.

  11. adeline says:

    I am forever grateful for this blog and will miss it when it comes to an end. Indeed there is a season for everything – thank you for sharing this. I did look forward to reading it every Monday, knowing that I would be encouraged to continue for another mile. God bless you all.

  12. Lydia says:

    Thank you so much to you and the whole team for your years of investment, praying, thinking and sharing along this journey. I can’t remember when I started reading fast/pray – but I have continued to read even after entering what has unfortunately been a difficult marriage; and have shared this blog with many. I pray we all thrive as children of God. If the team has future endeavors long this line, I hope to know about them – it’s been a gift to be held up and to hold up by others who are seeking to glorify Him, even when we are in unexpected places in life.

  13. marisa este says:

    I will miss the encouragement. I always looked to reading my emails on Monday. We shall miss you Michelle. Truly there is a season for everything. The God of seasons will surely bring forth a new season.
    Este

  14. mkate2012 says:

    I, too, will miss the weekly encouragement as I have been a reader since 2012. Thank you for your service through writing. May God bless you all as you faithfully serve Him.

  15. Caroke says:

    I’ve often thought that Heaven would at last be the place where “singleness will not be my primary identifier”…but there’s no reason *not* to start that Heaven here on earth. Certainly it’s been Hell long enough for me on this earth as I’ve tried to wrestle this issue into submission…with no real luck to date. But I like the idea of forfeiting the match and maybe turning my back on an unrelenting standard ( happy marriage) that’s always had its back turned against me…best wishes to you all…we all deserve better, and if it won’t start now of its own accord (or through grace anytime soon) then maybe this struggle is just not worthy of us… Best wishes to you all!

  16. beth says:

    I’ll miss the encouragements, the like-mindedness, and the authenticity. But there’s a season for everything.

    Thank you for blessing us with this blog.

    • fast. pray. says:

      Thank you Beth! It’s encouraging to me too to know there are other like-minded women out there!

      Michelle

    • Pat says:

      My sentiments exactly. I will miss your writing. I have not found anyone else who talks about singleness the way that you gals do. I hope you leave the website with archives up. I will probably read through it all again.

      Best of luck!

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