The wind comes racing through the trees, sending pine needles and leaves pelting down like hail on a tin roof. All around us the trees are a dazzling display of yellows, reds, oranges and the few green leaves refusing to surrender to the season.
It’s been 10 years since I had a real Fall, where the air crisps and the leaves crunch and you wear sweaters for warmth more than fashion.
As the wind whips the leaves around me and drops them to the ground, something in me settles as well. When you’re not racing to hurry up and wait in the endless pursuit of being busier than everyone else, you’re left with yourself and your life and weighing the sum of your days.
And I wonder, how foolish have I been in carelessly hurtling through my days in a vain pursuit of my best laid plans? How often have I fought the changing seasons, only to nearly miss the gift I’m being given?
We weren’t supposed to be here this fall. I’ve always had a special place for home, and the place that rooted me but it seemed like such a step backwards. No one makes a name for themselves outside the big cities, away from the spotlight and the constant push and the never ending pursuit of greatness. Right? Right??
But a soul can get lost in the big city, and we confuse busy for purposeful and 10 years go by and you wonder what you’ve been doing with your time, with your life. You wonder if you actually made a difference for His Kingdom or if you were too consumed with building your own.
So I’m out here in this home overlooking a lake where it’s quiet and the closest grocery store is 25 minutes by highway. One month turned into three and maybe a few more and Jesus whispers, “You’re welcome.”
I fought the move and I fought the change and the ending of a season and now I’m standing here with tears in my eyes as I realize this summer was exactly what my heart desired. I just didn’t know it.
This God that breathed life into dust, that spoke light into existence, He knows what my heart will ache for before I’ve even asked. Who am I that He should notice me and count my days? His no to my prayers for one place was because He was saying yes to something better.
This summer a brother got married. Another headed off to the Army. A third went off to college in another city. And I got to be here to see it all, to enjoy the last few days and moments before the sun set on one season as a family and rose on another. I got to be here to watch my daughters play with their uncles, to celebrate birthdays and births and new beginnings with the ones who make my heart ache with how much I love them.
And I almost missed it.
Because Plan A felt like Plan B and I was fighting the step backwards when it was really a giant leap forward. I’m seeing how terribly I plan my life and thanking Abba that He keeps moving me into the next season even when I’m pleading with Him to keep me in the old one.
This counting of days, it doesn’t come easy to me. I can’t seem to get the habit of being present and grateful, moving to the ebb and flow of a life in constant motion. I want to hurry up to the exciting, to the memorable, or to settle down, build my altar and never leave the mountaintop.
But time keeps marching and seasons change. They have to change. Sometimes a thing in us has to die before we can see new life burst forth. And when you’re walking through the valley of the shadow of death, you want to know that spring will come eventually.
Every season we walk though has purpose, even when we can’t yet see what it is.
My daughter crashes through the leaves and I’m watching Summer flame out in glorious color, a stunning goodbye. And it’s the end of something but it’s also the beginning and I’m thanking Jesus that He loves me enough to keep turning one season into the next.