As we officially move into autumn, the world is changing. The kids have gone back to school. Summer vacations and adventures are over. The air is starting to cool. Halloween and Thanksgiving are around the corner.
Autumn is a time of reflection. We think of the past with a certain amount of nostalgia. When Jeff was a young missionary at age 20, he was a young idealistic man full of life who naively believed he had all the answers and that life would be an endless Summer, enabling him to help other people with their problems while he coasted along in his own trouble-free life.
Over the years that followed, disappointments with his career and losing an election, a business, and a long-term marriage took some wind out of his sails. At age 42, Jeff was a broke, devastated, single dad who longed to be hopeful again. Reflections from Jeff:
"Perhaps I had to lose everything to really appreciate my life when those blessings were eventually restored to me. I take nothing for granted anymore. Of course, I still try to help people, but this time out of a reservoir of painful experience. I don't assume I have all the answers anymore, or that they are always obvious or simple. But, looking back, I know how a lot of extra pain could have been avoided and how I could have achieved peace and happiness faster after loss. That's why Cathy and I write these letters and serve as single life and relationship coaches. It's the reason we wrote Intentional Courtship. We minister out of our own pain and teach people how to find the joy of redemption. As an enthusiastic 20-year-old, I couldn't relate to good people whose lives had turned upside down. Now, I understand. After losing that idealistic part of me, I happily report that I am now hopeful and optimistic again. I am grateful for all I have learned and for blessings that have been restored. My Father in Heaven knew the man I needed to become and provided the path for me to get me there. Real hope grew out of difficult experience."
Friends, in the middle of Fall activities, Halloween parties, back to school nights, and preparing for the holidays, take a moment to pause and reflect about all that is good in your life, and your hopes and dreams for the future. We experience joy to the degree that we appreciate all that is good. May we all reflect on our lives and find joy in our journeys.
Enjoy this month's insightful interview with therapist, church leader, and not yet married single Kathryn Reynolds. She shares reflective thoughts about faith, confidence, ambiguous loss, trusting heaven, thinking about our various life circumstances in ways that affirm our unique paths, attracting people into our lives who are good for us, and knowing God cares about our desires and wants us to have joy.
LILY Pod: Singles in the Church with Kathryn Reynolds (LISTEN)
LILY Tube: Singles in the Church with Kathryn Reynolds (WATCH)
LILY Coaching is available to support you individually. Simply visit loveinlateryears.com to schedule a FREE Consult with Jeff or Cathy. We will provide you with a roadmap to your desired destination!
To heal from relationship loss and create more love in your life, read Intentional Courtship (available on Amazon).
If you enjoy this letter, forward to a friend. Our goal is to support as many single adults and later-married couples as possible so please share this letter with those you love!