Grieving Your Seasons w/ Taryn Golightly

You know what I love? The Marco Polo app. It’s helped keep me connected with friends I’ve shared special seasons with who are now all over the country. What originally began as fun catch-up conversations developed into heartfelt sharing, and that’s what inspired my invitation to my friend, Taryn, to join us here on the blog. What she’s shared in our personal conversations about seasons and transitions was much more rich coming from her heart than I could recapture with words. We all find ourselves moving out of one season of life into the next, and at times the transition can be difficult or overwhelming, or it can be exciting and refreshing. Wherever you find yourself in this process of looking back or ahead, I encourage you to press into this present moment and receive this honest reflection from Taryn.

“Life as a fairly new mom has been exciting, busy, frustrating, and wonderful. However, as I am finally getting into the swing of things – despite the new learning curve that comes almost every three weeks – I have begun to notice a few things. As young adults we go through a myriad of changes in such a short amount of time. Graduating high school, going off to college, finding a career, getting married, developing new friendships, having kids, etc. It’s a whirlwind and takes everything in us to keep the seatbelt strapped down to prevent us from flying out of the roller coaster that is life. Now here I am. In a consistent routine and beginning to feel “normal,” but something is different. I feel sad. This new normal feels like something is missing and I can’t help but cry out to the Lord, begging Him to fill in that gap. The pressure is heavy and I feel as if something was stolen from me. A part of myself that I’m not sure I will ever get back.

After college, I got married and three years later I moved states and became a mom. Before and during college I was a dancer. So much so that I believe I made that a part of my identity. It was rare for me to have a single day that I was not dancing. Either rehearsing, choreographing, or taking classes. Dancing was a huge part of my life and one of my greatest passions. I felt free and discovered so much of the Lord through the art form. After I was married I had a few performance opportunities that kept my dancing urge at bay. It wasn’t until I had my baby and moved states that I realized I may not have any other opportunities to dance, and turning on music and dancing in my house was not enough to feed that craving. I became sad, and almost resentful of the new life I had. This life that I urgently asked the Lord to give me. This gift of a child that I prayed fervently for. He gave me everything I asked for and yet I still found myself getting angry that I had this new life of mine but no longer possessed the opportunity to express myself through dancing.

One day as I was cleaning my house with my sweet baby strapped to my back, my mind began to race. I reminisced on all the dance experiences I was fortunate to have, and I began to cry. Right then and there I realized that I never allowed myself to grieve the loss of dance in my life. That rollercoaster of life swept me away and I never took the time to stop or even slow it down and truly process what I was leaving and where I would be going. So I cried. I grieved. I told God how much I missed dancing and performing. I told Him how I long again to be able to express myself through movement. I validated and thanked Him for all the times I was recognized and honored for the role I played in each piece I performed. I recognized that God did put that desire and gifting within me and that He sees me now and does not take that desire and gifting for granted. I even took the time to tell myself how great of a dancer I was and still am and relish in the boastings of the past, while also letting the Lord boast over me as well. I continued to cry until no more tears came and I took a breath.

In that moment, my tears of sadness turned into a heart of gratitude. I felt so blessed and thankful for where I am now rather than resentful of where God took me from. You see, I was beginning to believe the lie that God stole dancing from me and I was not able to see all that He had given to me. While dance is still a desire of mine and rests within a tender place of my heart, because I took the time to grieve a past season, I am able to fully see the wonder and possibility of what is to come! And most importantly, I am able to be grateful for the season I am in right now. Motherhood requires sacrifice, but just because I must sacrifice something does not mean it is forever stripped from me and I won’t get to have that gift returned to me again.”

Taryn’s reflection helped me realize that between my college graduation, move across the country—then across the world, then back home—diving into the workforce, getting married, and starting graduate school, I’d never taken time to reflect on what those seasons meant to me, which led to a lot of unresolved feelings that hindered my full attention and enjoyment of the present. This is not what the Lord desires for us. He desires for us to enjoy the present, and sometimes that means reflecting on the past.

Now I get it, grieving your season doesn’t exactly sound like a happy ole time, but it doesn’t have to mean sitting in a corner looming over the past. Far from it, it’s simply taking God’s hand and saying, “Lord, I really liked that, and I miss it. In fact, at times my heart aches for it.” What I’ve found is that the Lord is faithful to listen to us, and His response is always full of hope and affirmation. “Yes, daughter. Yes, son. I saw how much joy you had in those seasons. It brought a smile to My face, too. Can I show you how I’d like to give you joy in this season?” When we have joy, God has joy, and He is attentive to what thrills the hearts of all of His children. He doesn’t shame or condemn us for missing a season. Rather, He uses the ache in our hearts to point us to a greater purpose.

What are those sweet moments you are needing to acknowledge so that healing can come? My encouragement is that you, like Taryn, go back and joyfully reflect on them, allowing the Lord to show you the greater purpose. Was it to show you your need for community, or your desire to express yourself in creative ways? Perhaps it was to show you that you’re stronger than you feel right now, or that it’s time to take a step back from or pursue something again. Whatever the reason, we hope that you find healing in the reflection, so that ultimately the Lord can confirm that your best days are not behind you, but ahead.

Christ as my Anchor

Joshalyn McHargue

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