The Emotional Seasons Of Life – How To Cope & Thrive

Most everyone has heard these famous seasons of life quotes. “This too will pass”, and “to everything, there is a season.”

All we have to do is look at a calendar, the news, our journals, or in a mirror to realize that things are forever changing: our circumstances, the world around us, and yes, even our bodies.

If you are like many people, adapting to change is sometimes hard. We need strategies to make the transition easier so we can cope with the ever-changing, emotional seasons of life.

Seasons of life meaning

Someone has taken the calendar and compared it to human life, with 4 distinct climate divisions. So what do the 4 seasons represent?

Drawing of the four seasons of life.
  • Spring represents our birth, growth, education, etc.
  • Summer involves being an adult, working hard, accumulating possessions, and so on.
  • Fall is when we start slowing down a little, reaping the reward of our summer efforts.
  • Winter represents the end stages of life.

But I wish to focus on different seasons of life that surely come our way and not necessarily in the order of the calendar.

We are going to look at seasons from the perspective of our feelings.

Bible verses about seasons of life

So what does the Bible say about seasons of life? The most well-known passage can be found in the book of Ecclesiastes.

“There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every matter under heaven—

A time to give birth and a time to die;
A time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted.
A time to kill and a time to heal;
A time to tear down and a time to build up.
A time to weep and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn and a time to dance.
A time to throw stones and a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace and a time to shun embracing.
A time to search and a time to give up as lost;
A time to keep and a time to throw away.
A time to tear apart and a time to sew together;
A time to be silent and a time to speak.
A time to love and a time to hate;
A time for war and a time for peace.”

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 NASV (Thanks to Bible Gateway)

When you look at the changing seasons of life mentioned in the Bible, there are a lot of emotions involved. Some are within our comfort zone, and some are not.

That is the way life goes. One minute we are feeling fine and the next we are down in the dumps.

Emotional seasons of life

Our emotions are forever changing just like calendar seasons. The human heart is tethered to events and life changes. 

For instance, 

  • We can’t help feeling seasons of grief in the face of adversity. 
  • We can’t help feeling anticipation and excitement when we recognize personal growth in a season of learning. 
  • We can’t help feeling a bit of anxiety when major changes occur and there has been an insufficient amount of time to understand what the set of circumstances will bring to our personal life. 

Natural transitions in life are easier to adjust to because we anticipate them coming. But when life takes a different direction, doing a 180-degree turn in the blink of an eye, well let’s just say that it brings more turbulent seasons of emotions. 

The EMOTIONAL SEASONS of life can be divided into 5 major groups being intertwined into all areas of your life. 

  1. Joyful seasons of your life
  2. Frustrating seasons of your life
  3. Lonely seasons of your life
  4. Painful seasons of your life
  5. The final season of our life

Joyful seasons of your life

In this season we find that life is full of joyful moments sparked by new and exciting things. 

From the passage in Ecclesiastes, we see a number of times when joy is a dominant feeling: a new baby, laughing, dancing, hugging, and loving.

Today we would include:

  • getting married
  • receiving a promotion
  • going on vacation
  • watching our children perform in school plays
  • enjoying the company of friends
  • finding Scripture verses that promote gratitude and praise
  • I bet you can come up with many other joyous moments in life. Why not mention them in the comments? Your insight will help others recognize the many joyous gifts that God allows us to have.

These seasons usually cycle and we need to use them to prepare for the hard times when life won’t be so wonderful. We need to let those many memories become some of our inner strength.

Frustrating seasons of your life

These seasons are not terrible, but they do stretch us sometimes. Just accomplishing our everyday responsibilities sometimes come with challenges.

  • You are running late for the carpool and you can’t find your keys
  • The lawn needs watering but the hoses keep getting tangled as you move sprinklers around
  • It’s time to harvest on the farm and the tractor needs repair
  • You have a big presentation to make and the PowerPoint file has disappeared
  • On your day off you planned to sleep in, but the neighbor starts mowing the lawn at 7 am

None of these frustrations will matter 20 years from now. But at the moment they are occurring, our feelings can flash into panic, anger, or fear.

Lonely seasons of your life

Feeling lonely is a common condition, but not the same as being alone. Feeling lonely is a state of mind.

Feeling lonely can happen with:

  • wanting to be married when you are single
  • being married but having an inattentive spouse
  • having gone through a divorce
  • becoming a widow
  • when an “empty nest” becomes a reality for a single mom
  • a recent move to a new city
  • starting a new job
  • growing old and all the youngsters are off doing their own thing

Just because you have experienced these situations does not mean you will automatically feel lonely. It all depends on your mindset.

Painful seasons of your life

Many people suffer from physical or emotional pain. There are so many things that hurt, and most involve some kind of loss. 

  • loss of relationships through death or divorce
  • betrayal by someone you thought was a friend
  • loss of all your possessions to fire or flood
  • chronic illness
  • injuries
  • beginning to sense that the world is moving on without us, that our skills are no longer needed
  • loss of physical function and independence

These seasons of change usually produce stages of grief. In these times we need incredible strength in our spiritual journey to maintain emotional health. 

The final season of our life

Yes, we all must face a time when our bodies wear out and won’t heal themselves any longer. Our immune system is an amazing thing but it won’t last forever. And our body’s ability to build new tissue will wane.

As we age these realities begin to occupy more and more of our thoughts. 

Yet, we don’t have to despair.

If we have a relationship with Jesus, death is the beginning of something grand and glorious. Earth is not our home. We are just passing through. We will graduate to the promise of heaven.

Coping with the emotional seasons of life

Coping sometimes requires hard work. It means being flexible and adapting when all you want to do is bury your head in the sand.

Yet, hard work during seasons of change pays healthy dividends.

In fact, we can not only cope, we can even thrive as we grow spiritually and emotionally. Life lessons can be our greatest friend. 

Seasons of joy and frustration

Never underestimate the value of joy and frustration. These two seasons are where we can have formative experiences and practice for the other seasons of life. 

When we are experiencing great joy in our lives we need to take the time to thank God for them. These are the good times that we should not forget. And if we look closely, we often will see some intricate details that God has worked out for us to have these moments.

Write these details down. Later you will be glad you did. They will help you remember that God is good. They will enhance your spiritual journey. 

Even in our frustrations and challenges, there is value. It is here that we can practice. They will prepare you for the next season of your life. 

But practice what, you may ask? We need to practice quoting appropriate Bible verses to ourselves.

  • I don’t know what to do but God does (2Chronicles 20:12)
  • God is good and anything He allows in my life will be used for good, even if I don’t understand it right now. (Nahum 1:7, Psalm 145:9, Psalm 34:8, Romans 8:28)
  • God is with me, helping me even now in my challenge. (Deuteronomy 31:6, Hebrews 13:5, Isaiah 43:2, 1 Corinthians 10:13)

These are only a few Scriptures that as we practice quoting will come naturally when life gets harder. They give silver linings to the clouds that threaten to rain on our parade. 

This of course assumes that we have been reading the Bible and memorizing important Bible verses.

Charles Spurgeon once said, “A Bible that is falling apart usually belongs to someone who isn’t.”

The more we immerse ourselves in Scripture, the greater our coping skills will be when it comes to the emotional seasons of life.

Seasons of loneliness and pain

Loneliness and pain stretch us more than we really want, but since it is part of life, we need to have coping skills down before these times come. On this side of heaven, we will always have a certain amount of loneliness that only God can heal. We can’t count on anyone else to do it. 

Remembering Scripture is essential as well as a good support system. Knowing we are not alone goes a long way in helping us cope.

Our final season

Many people avoid thinking about the end of life because it scares them. I get it. There are so many unknowns involved. It can be an especially difficult season if we have not prepared and built a strong relationship with Jesus.  

Fortunately, we can learn from many of those who have gone on before us. Some have left a legacy in the stories of their last days.

I have found these two stories especially encouraging, taking a lot of the mystery out of the end of life.

The final season from a retired person’s perspective

Donna was one of those we can learn from. She was so focussed on how other people were doing she almost forgot about her own struggle. She had little time left but she made the best possible use of it. 

At one point she had an encounter with Jesus which completely erased her fears.

Finding peace in terminal illness is Donna’s beautiful story.

The final season from a young person’s perspective

Brooklyn is another beautiful soul who was in hospice at age 24. She knew beyond the shadow of a doubt that she was going to be with Jesus when she took her last breath.

Her story is remarkable. On Facebook she let people follow her journey as she shared what it is like to be terminally ill, but emotionally safe in the arms of Jesus. Her story will encourage you whether you are in your last days or not.

Brooklyn left this world to meet Jesus face to face on March 1st, 2022. The last post by her family read, “Brooklyn is home.”

Don’t miss “Brooklyn’s Journey Home.

Final thoughts

Just about the time we have things figured out and life is predictable, everything changes along with our emotions.

Coping with our changing circumstances as well as our feelings about them is not always easy. But we can find help in Scripture and a good support system.

We don’t have to be alone in this journey we call life.

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