Embracing Seasons of Anonymity in Our Lives

These are the days that no one sees… goes part of a Paul Westerberg song. …they run together for company.

I think it’s safe to say that for most of us, we struggle with feeling like we’re not achieving what we should, we’re not making a difference, we’re not living up to our potential, and we can easily get discouraged by it all.

A couple years ago I read a book called Anonymous, which talks about this sense of “anonymity” we often feel. The author, Alicia Britt Chole, looks at it a different way, though, seeing these seasons of our lives as an opportunity from God to prepare us for our seasons of action, of affecting the world.

One of the analogies she uses is of trees and how the different seasons affect them: During the summer, their leaves are full and coat the limbs, but when winter comes, the leaves fall off and all that is left is the tree’s infrastructure. So it is with us: What the plenty of summer hides, the nakedness of winter reveals. When the winters of our life hit, we are stripped down to bear the strength of our infrastructure–our character.

But we must take time to grow and build up to be able to withstand those winters. It’s these seasons of anonymity, when we go unseen and seem unnoticeable, that protect us and prepare us so that we have time to create and forge that infrastructure. Then, when we undergo the winters of our life, our underlying strength will be strong enough to shine through and sustain us.

Chole writes in the book, “Anonymous seasons are sacred spaces, they are formative and to be rested in, not rushed through–and never regretted.” And, “We can easily mistake fruitlessness for failure. We naturally grant more weight to the visible than the invisible, so it’s easy for us to underestimate its vital importance. We must not think unseen = unimportant.”

This will be for the LORD’s renown,
for an everlasting sign,
which will not be destroyed.

Isaiah 55:13

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{ photo by manunited }

1 comment:

  1. I cannot tell you how much this rings true for my life! So many times when I felt vulnerable and anonymous and aching and hurting, the Lord was building me up for something so much bigger--those were the seasons in which my roots were in a tendril, but down into the love of God, refusing to be taken away from God! I cling to His Word and promises, refusing to be anything but purified. Praise God for these seasons that, even if feel lifeless, produce so much on the inside!! "No one's ever seen or heard anything like this, Never so much as imagined anything quite like it— What God has arranged for those who love him." 1 Cor. 2:9 (The Message) :)


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