Years ago, my husband and I had felt God call us to move to a new state, and we left behind friends and family and stepped forward in obedience. But we struggled to find a new home church where we felt we could fit in. And our young sons, ages one and three at the time, were receiving diagnosis after diagnosis. My life began to revolve around their therapies, doctor’s offices, fighting with insurance, and researching online how to help my boys. Anxiety and depression took turns settling into my life and making themselves cozy.
I thought of the quote, “When life hands you lemons, make lemonade.” I held on to my growing pile of lemons and prayed for some mighty act of God to miraculously turn them into lemonade. He didn’t.
God felt far away and no longer like the good God I had loved and served for the majority of my life and I experienced a crisis of faith that scared me.
Releasing the Lemons
In desperation I turned to scripture and stumbled upon a verse in which we are commanded to “Let go of all bitterness, rage and anger….” (Ephesians 4:31) and I realized I was holding on to a lot of negative things in my life. I had become bitter and angry at God because He wasn’t being the God I expected Him to be and I wasn’t living the life I had always expected to live. I had to surrender all those lemons of expectations and bitterness and doubts and struggles to God. I had to be open to what He wanted to do in my life.
I started thinking about all the heroes of faith in the Bible. No where do we see our Bible heroes getting everything they wanted and desired. They all go through a lot of struggles, sometimes decades of trials, before God’s plan comes to beautiful fruition. Joseph, Abraham and Sarah, Moses, Job, Ruth and Naomi, David, Jesus, the disciples, Paul, and many others had to go through their share of lemons and hard circumstances.
But they became heroes of the Bible because they didn’t allow those lemons to paralyze them like I had. They didn’t cling to rotting lemons. No, they decided to focus on God and God was able to turn those lemons into something good.
A Season For Lemonade
In Ecclesiastes 3 we are told there are different seasons in life. Seasons of grief and mourning and lemons. And seasons of joy and dancing and sweetness.
It’s ok to go through seasons of hard times and grief and lemons. But eventually, we have to let those lemons go. We’re not meant to carry them forever.
As I learned to release the lemons I’d been holding, I began to see all the sweet things in my life. I had so many things to be thankful for. Precious children and a loving husband. A new strength and a new purpose that came through my special needs parenting trials. And so much more.
What lemons are you holding on to? Seek God and what He has to teach you with your lemons. And get ready to sip on some sweet lemonade.
Written by Jenn Soehnlin
Jenn Soehnlin is a mother to two young boys who are precious blessings and who both have special needs. She is the author of Embracing This Special Life: Learning to Flourish as a Mother of a Child with Special Needs.
Jenn enjoys blogging about faith and special needs parenting at www.embracing.life. You can also find her onFacebook, Twitter, andInstagram.
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