We have a tree in our front yard that has been spectacular this fall. The fiery, orange-reds of its fall color were beautiful. Until we had a couple of nights of freezing or near freezing temperatures. That, and a stormy Halloween night have taken their toll. It now stands stripped of most of its beauty. What is left has curled into itself in a last act of self preservation. But those curled edges are singed. Burned my the cold. Burned by the change in seasons, yet still hanging on.
We all have dozens of seasons in our lives that mirror those in nature. The seasons of our lives don’t follow nature’s calendar, sometimes catching us off guard. Fall has always been my favorite time of the year. I’m not sure why. There’s not one thing I can pinpoint that makes me say, yes, this is why I love fall. I love a lot of things about this time of the year. I love the crispness in the air, the colors, the sounds, the smells. All of those things trigger fond memories, making me feel nostalgic and oftentimes lately, melancholy. A pervasive sadness that I just can’t seem to shake. Much like the tree in my front yard, I’m still hanging on to those last remnants of beauty. Things that were beautiful for a season. Things I know I have held onto for too long. Well passed the point of being good for me. Things I know I need to let go of.
“For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest. A time to kill and a time to heal. A time to tear down and a time to build up. A time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to grieve and a time to dance. A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones. A time to embrace and a time to turn away. A time to search and a time to quit searching. A time to keep and a time to throw away. A time to tear and a time to mend. A time to be quiet and a time to speak. A time to love and a time to hate. A time for war and a time for peace.” Ecclesiastes 3:2-8 (NLT)
And there’s also a time for letting go. In God’s Furious Longing, Brennan Manning says, “The men and women who are truly filled with light are those who have gazed deeply into the darkness of their own imperfect existence.” Now is that time for me. To embrace the winter that’s coming. To take the time to face my own darkness in order to accept His light. To take the time for restoration. For renewal. To learn to fully accept and fully know that he loves me.
Maybe in another season I’ll write of those things. For now, I’ll rest in this season, this winter if you will. All the while, holding onto the hope of the coming spring. The hope of new life and new beginnings. Praying, Abba, I belong to you…