It’s fall ya’ll!!!
The calendar has officially flipped to fall here in the midwest, and that means a couple things for us Ohioans. The time has officially come to break out your flannels, to order all things pumpkin spice, to attempt to find that one weekend when the leaves are in perfect peak color, to force your families to go to all the pumpkin patches and participate in tall he apple picking, to sit around the bonfire with your s’mores, to bundle up for football on Friday nights, Saturdays, and Sundays.
This is fall in the Midwest!
The thing that absolutely cracks me up, though, is that people start dreaming about fall here as soon as summer hits, and it only gets worse as the heat and humidity set in, and the thoughts of leaving the air conditioning are no more than torturous ideas. On those balmy 90 degree days, it makes me laugh every time I see a meme on social media wishing for “all things fall” to get here–typically the dirt roads, flannel shirts, hoodie weather, fires, and all things pumpkin spice.
I can’t say there hasn’t been a few sticky summer days where I’ve had daydreams of cool, comfortable days and hoodies in the evenings. Really, though, it isn’t just the literal seasons of spring, summer, winter, and fall that I’ve been known to wish away. And, I’m guessing you’ve had those seasons too.
It’s the season of waiting, where we just pray and pray that the waiting will end so we can finally move on to the next vacation, job, relationship, house, etc.
Or, maybe the season of wishing, wishing for change to finally come, for our loved one to be healed, for our partner to find peace, for our kids to figure it out.
What about those seasons of chaos and turmoil, where we never know what the next day might hold and we are anxious for the trauma to end so we can just begin to heal and move on.
The angry seasons.
The fear of the unknown seasons.
The grief seasons.
We love Fall Cliches!
When the calendar turned to fall this year, my teenage daughter, Kate, and I were excited! We love all those cliches Midwestern fall has to offer–the flannels, sweatshirt weather, all the pumpkin spice, the bonfires, the football, the s’mores, the pumpkin patches and apple picking! All of it! My husband, though, informed us he hates fall!
There was about to be a coup right there in our living room.
We questioned his humanity. And his American identity. All of it.
Then, he solemnly explained how fall just represents dying, how it is literally a season of imminent death.
Well, okay debbie-downer. Thanks for that.
Of course, we tried to give him all the positives of fall and all the lovely things fall had to offer, but he just wasn’t having it.
He’s right, though, in a way. Fall is the precursor to winter here in the midwest. It is the season where our flowers die or go dormant, our trees lose their leaves, our grass turns brown. It is the season that represents death. Without fall, though, without that death, there could never be the rebirth that happens in the spring.
Every season has a purpose.
Just like every season has a purpose for our environment, every season we go through in life has a purpose as well. It’s so, so easy to get ticked off, discouraged, disgruntled, and depressed in some of those seasons, especially the ones that are seasons of waiting, wishing, trauma, and grief. I get it. I’ve been there.
Maybe that’s what this season is for you.
Maybe this season feels like nothing but death, and you are struggling to hold on just to make it to tomorrow, let alone the next season.
I’ve been there too.
I remember some of my darkest seasons, feeling hopeless, like the season would never possibly end. I remember the despair and the heartbreak. I felt like nothing but the death of everything I knew was imminent. Thankfully, though, those seasons have passed for me, and they feel like they were a lifetime ago.
Guess what? I’m still here–very much alive, very much redeemed, very much restored.
As you face your hard seasons, I hope you can remember that they are both temporary and necessary. I pray that God will let you see glimpses of what he is doing in you and through you in the hard season. Just like the beauty of the changing leaves or the comfort of a warm fire on a chilly fall night, I pray he reveals the beauty and comfort in your hard season too.
Just as the trees have to shed their leaves in order to gain new ones, sometimes we have to shed parts of ourselves to grow into something bigger and more beautiful.
I pray that you can stop and breathe, that God will show you the beauty among the death and the growth and rebirth that the next season holds for you.
Grace & Hope until next time,
Reflections for yourself or us (drop a comment or journal for yourself)
- What is this season for you?
- How do you feel about the season you’re in?
- What are the hard parts of this season for you?
- Is there something in this season of your life that you need to let die in order for you to experience growth?
- What are the beautiful parts of this season?
Scripture to reflect on:
Thank you for the reminder that every season has a purpose! It’s easy to forget and start asking why the hard times come. But they always come with a deep purpose. This blessed me today!
Thank you for reading! I’m glad it was what you needed today!