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Sometimes change is hard, especially when it’s life changing. Our vocabulary is full of idioms about seasons: Seasons come, seasons go, the changing of the season, in season and out of season, open season, and season greetings. You get the idea.
I’ve been living out a life-changing season this year of 2018. Recently, I’ve been asked, “How are you doing?” To which I respond, “I’m doing good. Thank you.” But in the past few weeks I’ve been getting an interesting follow up question… “Really? Are you really doing good?” At first this question surprised me. Maybe it was the tone, or the nature of the relationship of the people who asked me. But then I realized something. Most people were genuinely concerned and also pleasantly surprised by my answer. “Yes, I actually am in a really good place.”
I can say this now wholeheartedly, but it hasn’t been for long. Truthfully I had not been in a good place personally for quite sometime. In fact it has been a long, hard road. But I’m changing seasons now. I purposed myself to be present, and live out my last season of life. I wanted to be intentional to touch base with who I was and where I was spiritually, physically, and emotionally. I didn’t want to rush through it, pass by it, or deny it. It was not easy. I learned ugly things about myself, my heart, my intent, my insecurities, my faith or lack there of, and my fears. But I also changed with the season. I purposed to do the hard work. Yes, Jesus is the reason for all my freedom. I know this full well. But Jesus doesn’t just take over when we surrender. He doesn’t control our every move or micromanage us every step of the way. No, he asks us to get involved, to be a part, to do the work required. He asks us to increase in what is holy, righteous, and good. He invites us to participate, to step in and step up.
I love fall. In basic fashion… “Fall is my favorite season.” Every October I begin to get excited and expectant for the upcoming fall season. Even though I hate Halloween and refuse to entertain anything pumpkin flavored… latte or beer. No thank you. But I do absolutely love the cool crisp air, the vibrant colors in our North Carolina trees, and cozy fireplaces. I delight in drinking hot coffee and hot tea all day everyday. I celebrate the lack of bees and wasp (I get stung way more than the average person). But my absolute favorite is an old fashion bonfire with those I love most. Hay bales, the smell of the burning fire, the beauty of the roaring coals, and the flying bright embers that disappear up into the night. Boots, flannels, and jackets combined with hot dogs, chili, and possibly a whiskey neat. But it’s the outdoors, the conversations with your favorite people that get me the most. When everyone puts their phones away and has real, honest, face-to-face conversation. It is life giving.
I believe I can enjoy fall to the fullest because I try to live summer to the fullest. If you are able to be present in one season you can fully embrace the changing of the new season. Being present today allows us to let go and move on when tomorrow comes.
Fall is here. The seasons have changed. And I am moving on, excited and expectant of all that is yet to come.
Consider this. Every aspect of your life can always change for the better. This includes every circumstance, and every relationship. The key is to not wait for others to do the changing or sit and wait for your season to change. The key is to do the changing needed within yourself… this, my dear friends is the only thing you can do and the only thing required of you. When you ask God to be a part of the changing I promise you will never be the same.
“God, give us grace to accept with serenity
the things that cannot be changed,
Courage to change the things
which should be changed,
and the Wisdom to distinguish
the one from the other.
Living one day at a time,
Enjoying one moment at a time,
Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace,
Taking, as Jesus did,
This sinful world as it is,
Not as I would have it,
Trusting that You will make all things right,
If I surrender to Your will,
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life,
And supremely happy with You forever in the next.”
– The Serenity Prayer