To Everything, a Season

I started writing this blog post six weeks ago.  It is the first time in four years of blogging that I felt called to write something that I could not finish.  I wrote what was on my heart, what I felt God was calling me to write, but couldn’t figure out what on earth He was trying to say. I finally decided to just scrap it.  I am glad I didn’t permanently delete what I had written because it took two long months of writer’s block but God finally told me the ending so that I could write it here.  I have written on this blog, in months and years past, about God’s timing.  Apparently God put it on my heart to write about the seasons in life, but, in His own timing, did not tell me the end of the story until many weeks later.  Which, as it turns out, was all a part of the story.  Have I confused you?  I’m sorry, please read on and all will be explained.  Here is my part and God’s part, in the order in which I lived, and wrote them.


Part 1

{written September 2012}

Both of my babies were born with the change of seasons.  One fading, the other emerging.

My toddler boy was born at winter’s end, his first weeks marked by early red bud blooms and open windows.  I can still feel the breeze, the snowflakes of that March finally over.

Our new baby boy was summer’s grand finale.  In the final days of that long pregnancy I walked through early contractions barefoot on the beach. I was waiting.  Waiting for a new season.  Anticipating.  In the days following that sweet baby’s birth, fall was alive and fierce with its suddenness.   In a matter of days, everything had changed.


At the time our baby James was born, his great-grandmother Helen lived out the last of her days in a hospital bed, 900 miles away. God’s words played over and over in my mind during those days, like an old record with an insistent skip:

“To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heavens.  A time to be born and a time to die.”  Ecclesiastes 3:1

They tell me they whispered in her ear as she lay unconscious, “James is here, Mama.  He is born.”  She was waiting for him, I think.   Soon after he came, she was gone.  And how she had longed to hold him!  Yet God’s truth played and played over and over, a comforting cadence, that record spinning ’round and ’round . . .  “to everything there is a season.”

“to everything there is a season.”

Part 2

{Written December 2012}

In those early fall weeks, we tickled baby toes and mourned and celebrated a life, 93 years beautifully lived.  We started to think toward closing our beach cottage for the winter and returning to North Carolina but the house we had rented the previous winter and spring had been sold.  We had looked online at houses to rent or buy nearly every day all summer but nothing was right.  And in a manner that is entirely uncharacteristic of me, I didn’t worry about it.  I was sure that God, in his timing, was preparing a place for us.  Then, as only God could have authored it, we were graciously invited to live in Helen’s house, which by then was sitting empty and waiting.  In North Carolina.

We, of course, accepted.

The next step in our journey was being written and as I have at every juncture, I prayed that we were walking in God’s will.   It has been 2 years since God spoke reassurance to me by way of a kitchen window.

“Are we still on the right path, Lord?”  I questioned.

“Are you still with us?”

And then God, as only He could, reassured me.  We got to Helen’s house the day after Thanksgiving and we walked through room after room of her extensive home. Then finally we came to her master bedroom at the very back of the house.  And I stood in an otherwise empty bedroom and God spoke to me.  Yes, we were in the right place and yes, He is here.  Beloved, He is always there.

“Oh that’s just something that I cross-stitched for Mama years and years ago, ” my mother-in-law explained, as she followed my fixed gaze to the wall at the far side of the bedroom.

“You can take it down . . . ” she offered.  There was nothing else hanging on any of the 4 walls of that room.

“No, it’s not that,” I said, shaking my head and running my fingers through my hair.  I laid my hands over my face and just shook my head in what I would otherwise call disbelief, but in this instance was a belief as plain as the writing on the wall.

Father in Heaven, hallowed be thy name.

Please continue to speak, Lord.

Speak, for your servant is listening.  1 Samuel 3:10




  1. This is my story! I share this experience with you. My great-grandmother died a few days after my daughter died. Her spirit actually visited me several days later to comfort me. But the amazing thing is I stitched this same verse and it hung on my great-grandmothers wall. Thank you for helping me connect the dots after all these years.

      • Sheila, I am so glad that was a typo, for some reason I thought that it was when I first read your comment!! Thank you for sharing, that is lovely.

  2. I am so touched by God through your story. We might not know each other but I truly believe our God is the same God and He always reminds me of Him whenever or whatever I do. God is good. Bless you all!

  3. How perfect and beautiful, Erin. I am constantly astounded and at the same time not surprised by God’s timing. I JUST experienced his perfect timing this weekend.

    Something I had been praying for that wasn’t working out for months finally came together at the very moment when I needed it the most. I kept trying every angle and nothing was working but yet something inside of me was stirring and would not quit looking for another way. I nearly gave up on it altogether as I felt so alone not hearing from God for a while. Then, all of a sudden He nudged me to try something I hadn’t thought of before and to go out on a limb. I believe the Lord waited to give me the new idea this week and not 3 months ago like I had originally hoped so that what I was waiting for would arrive in its proper season. 🙂

    I can so relate to beginning a post and leaving it for weeks until things become clearer. I’ve done that so many times and although the writer’s block can be frustrating you just opened my eyes to the fact that sometimes it’s a good thing and there is a greater testimony or message coming! Thank you Erin for always waiting on Him and sharing your life with us too!

  4. Oh how I love this! 🙂 So beautifully written. God speaks in so many ways and we just need to listen. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    • I agree entirely Gina, I always say you have to still your mind and train your ear to hear God’s whisper in a loud and hectic world.

  5. I needed to be reminded of this today. Thank you so much. Peace and Blessings.

  6. Brought tears to my eyes—beautifully written—thank you for sharing!

  7. This is beautifully written. I can feel God’s presence in your words. Thank you for sharing it with us.

  8. Completely beautiful, Erin! I, too, have had my “A-ha” moments when I knew God answered specifically. And yes, sometimes the wait is long enought we almost forget that we have asked the question, But when the answer comes, it is as clear as Mary’s cross stitch on the wall.I wish I heard from HIM clearly more often, But that too is in His good time. Thank you for sharing. You did it with remarkable grace and beauty.

  9. Thank you dear Erin for listening and sharing His great Mercies yet again,
    this is a beautiful treasure!

    • Thank you Beth!! As long as His mercies are new every morning, I will continue singing them from the rooftop! 😉

  10. This is awesome. SO amazing. Our God is incredible. Your words are always my thoughts but sewn together so much better than my own! We found out in early May 2011 that our last bundle of joy would be joining our family. At the end of that very month we learned my father had terminal cancer. My entire 2011/2012 have been celebrating our beautiful daughter and the joys that God bestows upon us and the devastation that death brings. Losing a loved one is true pain. He got 7 months with his new (& last)grandchild. He witnessed her baptism where I saw him cry for the only time. Ever. My daddy loved his adopted home state of North Carolina. I sure he welcomed Mrs Helen on a big porch swing with open arms and a sweet tea, where they can watch over their grand babies.

    • Jennifer, your comment made me cry and it made my mother-in-law cry as well, thank you so very much for taking the time to comment.

  11. This is encouraging. We have been in a season of waiting, longer than we’d imagined, but also not a serious issue (like waiting for a child or for better health) … its just a house. 🙂 It is neat to see that even little things like a house can become special messages from God.

  12. This is encouraging. We have been in a season of waiting, longer than we’d imagined, but also not a serious issue (like waiting for a child or for better health) … its just a house. 🙂 It is neat to see that even little things like a house can become special messages from God.

  13. Oh what a beautiful and stirring story! Thank you so much for sharing those blessings with us!

  14. What a stunning post. God still moves, in the heart of His people, HE STILL MOVES!

  15. So beautifully and achingly rendered. It’s a lovely gift that you have shared your words with all of us. I do so love it when the Lord steps through time and allows us to see with understanding how His mighty power is at work in our lives. It is that glimpse of eternity that we long for. Our soul always soars in response, does it not? We can do nothing but stand amazed.

  16. I love what God is speaking to your heart….
    I love that he longs to speak to us…in those still, small, gentle whispers.

    He is teaching me in this season to hear his voice and to not doubt it is him. 🙂

    you are always such a bright light in blogland….thank you!

  17. Erin, Once again God has used you to touch my heart. I just got off the phone with a spiritual daughter who is having such a hard time right now, everything in her life seems out of order…but God’s timing is always right, there is indeed a time for everything, and so we wait upon the Lord and declare, “All is well.”

    Thank you!

  18. I just love your blog, Erin. Thank you for courageously and selflessly sharing your stories with us.

  19. Such beautiful words about listening and timing. His always perfect timing, His always perfect seasons. Thank you for sharing His heart through yours…

  20. Oh my, you have such a sweet heart and love The Lord and all the blessings you have been given around you. My friend told me earlier tonight about your blog. I have since then been reading each entry with tears in my eyes, smiles, laughs and anticipating reading another entry. Thank you, thank you for your beautiful and inspiring words. Thank you for loving Jesus and thank you for being so simply precious.

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