Blog | Lindsey Smallwood

God of Every Season

Lindsey SmallwoodComment

My family and I just moved from Berkeley, California to Boulder, Colorado in January.  

I lived in the San Francisco Bay Area for almost nine years, most of my grown-up, post-college life happened there.  I had people there, lots of people.  Good ones.  I left a book club and a mom's group and my teacher friends and the college students I mentored and a couples small group at church and fabulous neighbors and worst of all, my girl friends.  The call-in-the-middle-of-the-night, ready to get right to prayer or get right to Pinot Noir or sometimes both kind of friends.

I really miss my people.  

But I've been meeting a lot of new people since we arrived.  And one of the interesting things about meeting new people is that I feel like I'm constantly sharing stories from the past, as you do when you're building relationships from scratch.  

With my friends in California, they knew my stories, or in some cases, had lived them with me, so there wasn't a need to tell them.  But here, as I've been connecting with different kinds of people, I find myself pulling out different parts of myself, different parts of my story. 

Lindsey, the former debate team captain;

Lindsey, the novice backpacker who fell off a glacier and cut open my shorts in view of everyone else on the trip;

Lindsey, the campus pastor to undergraduates at Stanford University;

Lindsey, the eating disorder patient on the psych ward;

Lindsey, the special ed teacher being held at gunpoint at my inner city school in Oakland;

Lindsey, the bride with a heart full of hope that put a bird on everything at my wedding;

Lindsey, the expectant mother having a D&C to complete a miscarriage of my first baby on my 30th birthday.

As I tell these stories, the overwhelming emotion that sticks with me is gratitude to a God who has seen me through it all.

I've been loved and I've been lonely, I've been hurt and I've caused harm.  And through each season of life, I can see how God has knit my stories together, breathed His redemptive grace into my life.  

Psalm 139

1 You have searched me, Lord,
    and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
    you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
    you are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue
    you, Lord, know it completely.
5 You hem me in behind and before,
    and you lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
    too lofty for me to attain.

It really is too wonderful for me.  But I'm so thankful.

I wrote the following hymn this week as a grateful response to a gracious God. 

In Yosemite National Park

In the summer of our living

Walking faithful in the sun

Knowing you, our surest comfort

God, Son, Spirit, Three in one

 

You have planned for us to prosper

Made good works for us to do

Your treasure here in earthen vessels

As you heal and make us new

-----

In the autumn of our turning

Like every leaf we feel the change

Above all life's moving chaos

You alone remain the same

 

You're not shifting in the shadows

You're the Father of all light

You sustain your vast creation

with Your grace and with Your might

-----

In the winter of our aching

Trapped and lonely in the cold

There you meet us in our sorrows

All our cares and hurts you hold

 

You have borne our every burden

In Your body on the cross

You come close to hearts so broken

Present in our grief and loss

-----

In the spring of our becoming

When hope blooms, and in us speaks

As we dream of life's adventures

You lead through valleys and o'er peaks

 

Your Word guides and gives us wisdom

We find rest under your wing

Your grace for us is all sufficient

Of your love, o Lord, we sing

-----

God of every season

Hope of every heart

Humbly we stand before You

In awe of who You are