Lean into the Seasons
There is a chill in the air in Colorado today. It feels crisp and cool and all around like fall, my favorite season. Though this weather is probably a tease and we have many more summer days ahead of us, I welcome the preview of the season to come. Today is also a monumental day because I was reminded that I signed my studio's lease one year ago (thank you Timehop app). The signing of that lease was one of the greatest milestones in the process of opening my business and marked the close of a season of waiting. I've written about many of the challenges I faced in opening my studio here and here, but I'm not sure that any period of time was more miserable than the time I spent trying (and failing) to sign a lease.
I'm aware that 5 months may not seem like a long time to someone else. There are millions of people in the world with much larger stresses that could be waiting an indefinite period of time for an answer. However, in this specific process, those 5 months were hell. 5 months is almost half a year. It's a long time to go without a direction, without a paycheck, and without a purpose in a brand new place. When I was approved to open my studio in March of 2014, it felt like the yes after a very long line of nos. But then I entered into 5 more months of nos, all the while trying to support myself and acclimate to a new place.
I wish I could tell you that I leaned into this season with ease and always kept a positive outlook. I didn't. I was about as patient as a toddler with an ear infection on an airplane; I took the whole experience kicking and screaming and demanding my own way. God had a plan, this I knew, but I couldn't understand why He didn't do it my way. Rational, I know.
The ironic part is that, one year later, the lease that I wanted to sign for the studio would have been the worst space in the history of spaces. Imagining that reality today makes me cringe. I'm fully convinced that my studio would have been crippled beyond repair if I was anywhere but the place I am now. If it weren't for those 5 months of waiting, of rejection, and of silence in a time when all I wanted to do was run full speed ahead, I wouldn't have been forced to get out of my own way and make space for something better.
"Refusing to release often means refusing to have peace," Lysa Terkeurst writes in her book The Best Yes. That quote hits me hard. I have the remarkable ability to become so convinced that my understanding of a situation is the only side of the situation. In turn, I miss out on what could be, if I would just let go.
We aren't always given clear hindsight, but in this situation, I will never forget how lucky I am to have had that period of waiting. Those 5 months slowed my progress, absolutely, but they also allowed me to find a better space and hire a better team. I did more research and felt more prepared. Most importantly, I was able to actually enjoy my season of wedding planning and get to go on a honeymoon instead of postponing it for my studio's opening. That is a gift that I will always cherish.
Just because you feel a shift in the breeze, remember to lean into the season you are in right now. This is a lesson I'm still struggling to learn, but it's undeniable to me that all things happen for a reason, even when the reason isn't clear. I recently read an article by Henri Nouwen that discusses the value of discipline. He said, "In the spiritual life, discipline means to create that space in which something can happen that you hadn't planned or counted on." Let's become masters of practicing discipline so that we can get out of our own way and let God act.