September 17, 2019

A Season of Uncertainty by Lynn Dove

One of my favourite Scripture passages comes from Ecclesiastes 3:1-8:

A Time for Everything

There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens:
    a time to be born and a time to die,
    a time to plant and a time to uproot,
    a time to kill and a time to heal,
    a time to tear down and a time to build,
    a time to weep and a time to laugh,
    a time to mourn and a time to dance,
    a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
    a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
    a time to search and a time to give up,
    a time to keep and a time to throw away,
    a time to tear and a time to mend,
    a time to be silent and a time to speak,
    a time to love and a time to hate,
    a time for war and a time for peace.

When I was a young Mom, I lamented over the fact that I had no time to accomplish all the things I wanted to do during the day.  I was so busy chasing after two toddlers, caring for their needs as well as figuring out how to accommodate the schedule of my tweenager, there just didn't seem to be enough hours in the day to fit in other household chores, Bible studies, or eking out time for daily devotions.  I had no time for myself, let alone trying to have a date night with my husband.  Getting ready for Sunday morning worship services was a task all on its own, and I found myself so spiritually unprepared for the service because I knew I had probably broken a few commandments on route to church just wrestling kids into car seats! 

A Godly, older woman I admired for her strength of character and wise counsel, spoke into my life on numerous occasions.  This time she smiled at me sympathetically as I sought out her wisdom with regards to my time constraints and my guilt for not being a "perfect" wife and mother. 

"Lynn," she said calmly, "there is time for everything, and everything in its time.  This is an important season of life for you.  ALL seasons of life are important, and your walk with God will be different in each one, but your main priority in this one is looking after those three children.  God gave them to you.  They are His gifts to you.  They are your responsibility to train up in the way they should go so they will never depart from it.  You may not be able to spend time on doing everything on your "to do" list, but embrace this season of life.  It is fleeting. Your children are only babies for a short amount of time.  Enjoy this precious time with them.  There will come other seasons in your life, when they will be grown up and you will have time for all the things you may think you're missing out on now, but you'll never have that time back with your young children. So, take advantage of this season of life now before it's over and then prepare for the ones ahead."

My first cancer diagnosis in 2001, changed me in ways I never expected.  All of a sudden things that had been priorities before, now were not important.  I was fighting for my life, and all activities were put on hold as I battled.  My entire family joined me on the journey.  I am only now beginning to realize how that season of my life, affected each of my loved ones in a variety of emotional and spiritual ways.  We all grew in the Lord, especially my sixteen year old daughter.  She had to lean entirely on Him for wisdom and guidance as she took on the role of caregiver to her two much younger siblings when I was too sick to look after them myself.  She was determined to not burden me with the load she carried every day, trying to excel at school, and be available at home.  I didn't realize at the time what a toll it was on her, but I couldn't have managed without her. 

I was so immersed in the battle, I forgot time even existed.  My husband's role fluctuated daily with caring for me, his children and working full time too.  It was an exhausting season for him.  Then when I was declared cancer-free, I started to embrace life again.  As a family, we took a big breath of relief and started making plans again.  I lived one day at a time, thankful for each day.  I wrote my first book during that season, followed by two more in the years that followed my battle with breast cancer.  I went to seminary and got my Master's degree.  I helped plan my daughter's wedding.  I began blogging.  As I told everyone, who seemed to admire my new-found lease on life, I was a "thriver" not just a "survivor".  I embraced that season wholeheartedly.

When my two youngest children hit their teen and young adult years, they had outside interests that didn't include me.  I was so immersed pursuing my hobbies, my writing, and participating in Bible Studies, that I forgot my priorities.  Sometimes I over-extended myself, having the inability to say, "No" to some activities.  It came at the expense of spending good, quality time with my two adolescent children still living at home.  Even though I was involved in worthwhile activities, I was not as engaged with my younger kids at a time when they needed me most.  It was a hard lesson to learn and a hard season followed. 

It was only after they had both moved away from home that I remembered too late, the advice from my friend that time is indeed fleeting, and I should have embraced all those precious years more readily with each of my children.  It seemed I had squandered a lot of time "chasing after the wind" to find a lot of what I had accomplished meaningless.  I was unprepared for being an empty-nester and so I poured my heart out to God, asking Him for direction through this new stage of life, and try to redeem some time again with my adult children.  God was faithful.

I started to write again, particularly on my blog, Journey Thoughts.  As the readership and followers grew, I realized God was growing it from just a collection of my musings, to a full-fledged writing ministry. I was once again fully immersed in a new season of writing, reconnecting with my children, husband, and my church.  Grandchildren were born, and I found myself telling my adult children the same advice that was given to me when they were little: embrace this season with your young ones because it is fleeting.  Thankfully, they seem to be heeding that advice.

In April of this year, when I was starting to settle into a routine with blog writing, and was eagerly embracing the thought of spending my retirement years traveling with my husband, another cancer diagnosis, this time endometrial cancer, floored me.  Every plan I had made was immediately put on hold.  I once again had to re-evaluate what my priorities would be moving through a new season of uncertainty.  In the scheme of things, time cannot move fast enough to get me through this season, and yet, God is teaching me so much about Himself through this most challenging time, I hesitate to rush through it too fast for fear of missing out on all He wants me to learn. 

My life verse: "In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps." Proverbs 16:9, has brought me comfort through every one of my seasons.  God has faithfully brought me through every season of life and I know He will get me through the ones to follow. 

Lynn Dove is the award-winning author, of the YA “Wounded Trilogy”- a contemporary Christian fiction series with coming-of-age themes.  A wife, mom, grandmother, and free-lance writer with articles published in several magazines and anthologies including Chicken Soup for the Soul books, her blog, “Journey Thoughts” is a Canadian Christian Writing Award winner.  Readers may connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and at   


  1. Your journey has been an inspiration to many, including me.

  2. Thank-you, Tracy! 🤗

  3. Love you Momma ❤

  4. I could so identify with your lamenting that there weren’t enough hours in a day to do all that you wanted to accomplish. Alas, I also wanted to be the perfect wife and mother, teach well prepared lessons at school, and squeeze in a little writing on the side. I can remember a conversation I had with my mom on that very subject.

    I feel for you, Lynn, when I see you, by God’s grace, surviving and even thriving through more than one bout of cancer. May God’s face shine upon you and be gracious unto you. May he lift up your countenance and give you peace. (Numbers 6:24-26)

    1. Thank-you for your encouragement, Sharon!

  5. Your post resonates, Lynn, especially this: "Even though I was involved in worthwhile activities, I was not as engaged with my younger kids at a time when they needed me most. It was a hard lesson to learn and a hard season followed." Sometimes you think you're doing a good job, but you're really distracted and the consequences can be heavy. Definitely wise to focus and pay attention to the most important people in your life.

    Wishing you healing and health.

  6. Thank-you for your continuing prayers on my behalf!

  7. Blessings to you Lynn as you have another cancer journey of great challenges. He does show himself in most personal ways while we have these difficult roads to walk. Thanks for an inspirational post.

    1. Jocelyn, thank-you for your encouragement!

  8. Thank you for what you shared today about a time for everything in life. May the Lord continue to encourage you in the stage you are going through right now.


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