As I sit here in my cozy spot in my kitchen, I look outside at the vast greenery and splashes of bright colors from the many summer flowers. But soon those colors will be replaced by the more subtle hues of fall bringing another splendid scene out my window, similar in some ways but different in others. My life is a reflection of these beautiful seasons: so many cherished memories and moments but many changes along the way.
I recently sent my third child off to college prompting me to spend some time reflecting on my roles as a wife and as a mother and the seasons of life they have brought allowing these changes to unfold, just as the seasons of the calendar year.
As I have reminisced, I remembered a high school English class project I did entitled “My Philosophy of Life.” We were to choose any topic - I chose family - and write about our thoughts and aspirations on it. I wrote not only about the various members of my family and our relationships, what society thought about them and how they impacted me, but also about my hopes and dreams for my future. I shared about my desire to get married and one day become a mom. Through many prayers God granted this desire of my heart, and it has been more rewarding and challenging than I could have imagined.
I have been blessed with an amazing husband and four kids. Oh, how I cherish them! But it hasn’t been without tears or heartache. I have questioned my ability to parent in difficult times. I have felt more alone than I ever dreamed during the low days and the early days of motherhood, in every uprooting move to another state, each threatening health crisis, and difficulties with my husband’s job. I have lost a child to miscarriage and dealt with the waves of grief that followed. But through each of those times I have had one constant. My relationship with my Heavenly Father. My life has been wrapped in prayer. He has been with me.
As a young wife and mother, He was with me and helped me care for my kids (even as my husband traveled fifty percent of the time). As a mom of teenagers, He was with me to guide and direct them as they grappled with their own faith and identity. And now, as the mom of one married daughter, one college daughter and one college son, I have the joy of seeing them grow and be all God has made them to be. My Heavenly Father is with me. He is with them. The answers to the prayers of this mom are being revealed before my eyes. God’s faithfulness to me and to my family is what I see.
As I reflect back on the seasons of my life thus far, those difficult days are not the moments that come to my mind first. I remember the absolute joy and laughter! Their little faces when they were young and the funny things they did; the countless treasured moments we have shared in the ordinary days of life; teaching them about Jesus and leading them to Christ. The thread of God’s faithfulness has been woven through every season of my life.
Thankfully, I still have my youngest son at home with my husband and me. I’m not quite ready for this season to be over! But just as I can look back on the hand of God in my life years ago, I trust He is with me now. This season of my life will come to an end, but a new beautiful season is on the horizon. I’m beginning to see a glimpse of it. The hues of joy may change but the faithfulness of God will remain.
“Your faithfulness continues through all generations; you established the earth, and it endures.”
MELANIE SCHILLINGER is Willowdale’s Associate Director for Children’s Ministry. Her passions are summers at the beach, reading for pleasure, walking at dusk and drinking her coffee in the morning before anyone else is up. Check out her full bio here.