A note from Kelly King: As I read Kaye Hurta’s article this morning, a bluebird kept landing on my office window. Like many of you, I’m thrilled that spring is here. For many of you, spring is a time of new beginnings in your life. If you are resting in the hope of a new season, whether it is literally or emotionally, Kaye’s article gives some specific strategies toward moving in that direction.
Spring has sprung in Chicagoland! Well to be honest, it hasn’t fully sprung, but there is evidence of it beginning to spring, and I’m choosing to be positive! I find value in all the seasons, but spring is my favorite! I love the return of the robins and the bunnies. I love when the daffodils and tulips begin to pop through the ground and the trees begin to bud. Spring is full of new beginnings, new starts, and fresh hopes.
If the current season of your soul looks more like winter than spring, I am so sorry for your pain.
You are not alone. If you are hurting today, you may be wondering if spring will ever arrive or if hope and fresh starts are lost to you. Let me tell you, they are not. I believe that even in a season of pain, you can find hope, purpose, and new beginnings. I believe you can experience spring even in your winter. To do so will take every bit of strength and effort you can muster. It will mean you lean into what is hard, not dismissing it or denying it. It will involve holding life’s tension in one hand: pain and promise.
Here are seven strategies to help you move from a season of hurting (winter) to a season of hope (spring):
1. Make an honest assessment of your current situation. In doing so you must courageously name your pain and identify what, if any of it, is yours to own.
2. Say what you need. Before you can begin to set goals for a new start, you must be able to name the deeper understanding of your wants and your needs. Many of us are hurting because we cannot say what we truly need.
3. Manage your regrets. Regrets from your past can either work for you or against you. They can either sink you or they can be a floatation device the helps you shape your decisions and next steps for your future. Process the pain from your past with a wise, trusted friend or counselor; never dismiss it or minimize it. And those regrets? Use them to shape and guide, not sink and drown.
4. Choose to think differently. Romans 12:2 says, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will” (NIV, italics mine). This is more than adopting a positive outlook. It involves reframing our current situation and pain against the backdrop of God’s Word and His unfailing love and faithfulness toward us. How we think drives how we feel, so let’s adopt a God-centered mind-set based on truth.
5. Start small. Wherever you are, start there. The journey from hurting to hope happens one courageous step at a time. Resist the urge to compare your progress with anyone else’s and certainly don’t make the journey a competition.
6. Write down your goals or what that next step is. Next steps or goals are critical because if we aim at nothing we will surely hit it every time. When setting a goal, it should be “smart”— specific, measurable, assignable (who owns it), relevant, and time-based.
7. Enlist support. If you are hurting today, then you need a network of support to help you get through. In fact, even if you’re not hurting today, we ALL need a network of support to help us get through. We NEED each other. The Bible is clear on the value of community. In community we find hope, healing, help, encouragement, strength, delight, and more.
If you need a fresh start or a new perspective or if you desperately need to move from this season of hurting to a season of hope, I am pulling for you! Make a call today and tell your story.
Process these seven strategies with a friend. It will take courage and strength. I am praying for you right now!
Kaye Hurta has a Masters Degree in counseling from Liberty University and is a crisis counselor for Women’s Events through LifeWay Christian Resources. Whether speaking, singing, or listening, Kaye’s passion is to help others find intimacy with Christ and soul transformation through the living pages of His Word. Kaye met and married her husband Chris in Austin, Texas in 1987. They have two daughters through the miracle of adoption, Madison and Cami. They live in the Chicago burbs where they are both on staff at Willow Creek Community Church. Kaye is also a contributing author for the LifeWay resource, Women Reaching Women in Crisis.