2011 began an unplanned transitional season for me. And it's when I started crying.
The tears came from unexpected disappointment and the shock of a broken heart. They flowed constantly from what seemed to be a bottomless well. Though I did experience some dry-eyed moments, the tears would well up randomly without my intention and flow like rivers from deep within my soul. Many times my tears were private, but they were also often public. They weren't quiet; they were accompanied by loud sobbing, and my lack of self control over my grieving was cause for my embarrassment.
Then, suddenly, I stopped crying. The well dried up, and I can't explain why. Unexpected change hasn't stopped; discouraging moments haven't stopped; only my tears seem to have stopped.
I have wondered, lately, about my limited tear supply. My tears were an intricate part of my life and brought much relief in the midst of my pain, so it's strange living without them readily available.
Someone told me once, before my tears stopped, that my season of tears would end—that I would enter a season of no tears. So I'm not surprised by my lack of them. I've thought about those words spoken to me many times when pondering these tearless times of mine.
My surprise has to do with my expectation. I thought my new tearless season would also bring settlement. I am settled, physically. But there is a difference between physical settlement and spiritual settlement. I never considered that until I noticed my lack of spiritual settlement.
Please don't misunderstand me. I'm settled in my commitment to relationship with God. I'm settled in my commitment to serving His purpose and will. And I'm settled in my willingness to go with the flow of His calling for me. There's absolutely no unsettlement for me in those areas of my life.
But I've noticed myself looking for that moment when I'll say, "Finally, this is it!" And, "This is what clarifies my journey thus far." And "Wow! It's in this purpose where I'm supposed to dwell." But not so. At least not yet.
Something interesting stands out to me. I'm completely different today from who I was 6 years ago. And I've come to doubt "settled" will be a part of my future story. Settled puts limits on the fulfillment of God's purpose in me. But God keeps reminding me that His purpose for me has no limits nor is it bound by expectations—mine or anyone else's.
It may be this tearless portion of my life, though it feels like a strange adjustment, is God's way of teaching me to discover true joy in my journey. Maybe He's keeping me unsettled to teach me how to bask in the exhilaration that can come with trusting His guidance into what I see as an undefined future. I can't say for certain.
What I can say is God is faithful and good. And no matter the amount of grief or uncertainty I am called on to endure, as long as I am submitted to Him, my landing or movement, whichever is His plan, will be exactly what He intends. I can trust Him through all of my seasons. My seasons are where He grows me.