There is no season where change is as tangible as autumn.
In autumn, change flashes in brilliant reds, oranges and browns. It cascades to the ground and swirls in the wind. Change catches your foggy breath on the cool mornings and blazes across the late afternoon sky.
All of nature sings its’ song, a maudlin melody, a solemn symphony.
I have an autumnal heart. Fiery and passionate, wild and chaotic.
This season will always be my favourite. The cooling down from the hot, sticky summer and the gentle easing into the deep chill of winter. The feeling of wrapping up in layers and bracing yourself to be met at the door by a brisk wind. The scent of rain on the pavement and damp foliage on the driveway.
In autumn, the leaves take turns changing into brilliant colours and falling slowly to carpet the ground.
What once was bright and alive, dies off to make space for the new.
As I’m watching the trees glorious transition I see pieces of myself turning the same golden hues. Right here and now I am evolving, Shedding my old self and becoming something new.
This process requires making peace with the past.
That girl I was three years ago sitting in that first lecture feeling overwhelmed by the flurry of information that had just been dumped on me. The girl who shyly hid away in her dorm room all year, only making an appearance at mealtimes. That girl who was ashamed of herself, unsure of herself, afraid of herself.
That girl was me and still is me.
I hold her close to my chest. I keep her near to my heart. I love her because she reminds me that as people we evolve.
And we need change in order to do that. Pearls need to be rubbed around in that oyster shell. Diamonds need to be squeezed depth beneath the earth. Butterflies need to force their way out of their chrysalises.
So I’m not embarrassed of the girl I was. I’m so very proud. She did the best she could with what she had. And for that I am grateful.
This is how I am letting go, by extending kindness to the pieces of myself that I might not be most proud of.
And it seems my life once again is swirling with change.
I hoped that by the time my graduation ceremony came around I would have clarity about my future. I thought I may have a full time job or at least an inkling of my next steps, but instead, I find myself slipping back into unemployment and uncertainty.
Here I am again, with a door closing behind me and nothing on the other side.
And it makes me wonder, do the trees know for certain that summer will return again? Are they sure that the winter will end and they will have the strength to sprout new leaves and shoots?
It seems to me that they just fall.
They just let go. They just keep moving forwards and we have to as well. Regardless of what lies ahead, that’s the only way we can trek.
These seasons of change, these major life transitions often catch us off guard. They can make us feel as though the rug has been ripped out from under us. And it is these moments more than ever that we find our faith being tested.
This is the place where the rubber meets the road.
It’s foreign and yet somehow familiar. I’ve been here before. I know the signs of a changing season. I’m still afraid.
But what I’ve learnt is that there is wonder in the waiting. That lonely place of unknown is beautiful because it places us dependent on God to meet all of our needs. It strengthens and grows a faith that actually means something.
A faith based on real events rather than flaky opinions and secondhand beliefs.
That’s the kind of faith I want. Deeply rooted in truth. Completely receptive to change.
So this time around I’m taking my cues from the deciduous trees. I’m flinging myself headfirst into the unknown. I’m leaping forwards because it’s all I know to do.
This is how I am moving on.
I won’t be wallowing, moping or feeling sorry for myself. You will not catch me succumbing to the crippling anxiety again.
This time I’m just going to fall.
Because I know now that clarity requires movement. We can’t just sit around hoping for writing in the sky or neon signs to flash the answer. We have to just start walking, and as we do, we find out where we are going.
It’s one of those crazy upside kingdom rules. We step out first and then the faith comes. We jump and then we’ll find where to place our feet.
It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense when you are standing still but looking back over your shoulder you’ll remember how you’ve been here before. You’ll see all the big ways and small ways that God was faithful to you.
Well I do at least. He brought summer before and I know He will do it again.
That’s the truth when everything is changing. You simply have to cling to the one who is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.