I dreaded last fall. Absolutely dreaded it. The spiritual warfare happening in my heart and soul was so intense. I was a mixture of anger, grief, and nearness to God. It was September 21st before I was done wrestling with the idea of fall. I was ready with arms (tentatively) open wide for the change of season. I had no clue that I would hit some of my lowest lows in the following October.
We all go through seasons like this.
And so these words are for you however you stand in this new fall season.
I rolled out of Grocery Outlet with a cart full of pumpkins for a fall party my husband and I were having. Is September too early to have a fall party complete with a Fedorko Pumpkin Patch? Naw, NEVER! My mom snapped a picture of the pumpkin cart and my grinning-wide face.
And it occurred to me that this grinning-wide face and these pounds & pounds of pumpkins would have never happened last year. I was too broken up, too sad. I was in the crucible. Last fall kinda just passed me by while I learned great and deep things about my God, while I sat in the ugly and embraced God’s truth, while I opened up my heart to first surrender and then to heal.
But today, I look at this picture of a grinning-wide face and pounds & pounds of pumpkins and I see God’s miracle in my soul. I see what life He has made within me and I know He did it all without me. I see how my nothing could be the best kind of something in His hands, because of the heart of love He has for me. I see that I am not the same struggling woman of a year ago. I am a joyful woman with a celebrating soul…still learning how to celebrate.
I see that that brokenness began another beautiful and long valley of healing. I see that God is mercy and grace. I see that last fall became a scary seed that God gently planted. This scary seed has grown into a fall season already full of life…to the brim….and overflowing. I see that God is not finished with my heart and soul. I trust that I will soon see with great wonder all the more He will do in me...despite me.
And it’s been pressing on my heart to share this with you, because I need you to know that it’s okay to let this season be whatever it is. And I’m asking you to be be in this season fully in whatever way that means right now.
If you are grieving, grieve! If you are angry, search for the promises of God and get the help you need! If you are tired and weary, fall deep under the shadow of God’s wings. If you are battling emotions and somehow coming up emotionless in your walk with God, sink yourself in the Psalms. And don’t come out until you heart knows what your mind knows…which is God loves you and He is for you and He will never leave you and He is making the best story in you…leading you to Him, holding you close. Don’t come out of the Psalms until you know and believe the truth!
Let this season be whatever it is and don’t force yourself to feel festive. Rather bring your hard feelings before God. Lay them down again and again. Don’t avoid the season of your soul by forcing yourself to squeeze into the happy season outside. Let this season be whatever it is and know that the end of a year can never take away God’s power to miraculously work in your heart and soul.
If God changes the seasons gently and fully four times a year, He will take even greater care to change you into joy, to make you into a beautiful song which you will be able to sing for Him one day. Anticipate this!
Don’t worry about the seasons changing all around you while your slow-motion soul tries to drag along. Just bring the storm in your soul before God. Lay your heart on the altar. Gaze on the other side. Trust that the Lord will bring you to the land of the living, that He will make nothing into the best kind of something, that He will make you radiant and never ask you to walk this wilderness-way without Him.
And after thousands of prayers, hundreds of surrenders, a grief that cocooned you, and a new joy that will burst you open…there will come a day that you push a cart full of pumpkins for a fall party that was once impossible and insurmountable. The seasons change steadily outdoors, but it’s like slow-motion in our souls. Still there we stand a year or two or three or ten later, fully changed by our unchanging God who delights in our becoming.
God does life.
And He is life.
And this is life with God.