My morning walk felt different today. It’s the familiar feeling that overcomes me at this time each year. The seasons are changing. Summer is slowly slipping away. The hot days are reminders that summer is still technically with us, but the cool mornings signal something new around the corner, my favorite time of year — fall.
And while all bundled up on this crisp morning walk, memories played in my mind — memories of changes in my life. Just as the seasons change, so do we.
As I savored the cool morning air and took in the beauty of the color-changing leaves a twinge of thankfulness made my heart swell and brought a smile to my face.
Just as nature is in constant motion, changing from one season to the next, so are we.
Life is never stagnant, but forever shifting and moving and slipping by.
Some changes are simply a part of life and some changes happen because of choices and circumstances. All changes have one thing in common — the necessity of letting go in order for growth and new life to take place.
People will come and go; children grow up and move on into their own lives; loved ones pass away; and new life is born.
The seasons of our lives quietly slip into the next and in the blink of an eye you come to realize — summer is passing away while the autumn of life is beginning.
But even through the often hard things of change, there comes a time where we can bloom again.
Life does go on, the sun will rise again and seasons will continue to change one into the next all the while bringing new life.
Over the past years of my life I’ve walked though many changes, some way more difficult than others, but each one has taught me a vital lesson in my life — the pain of change is nothing compared to the joyous reward waiting on the other side.
When I have allowed myself to be fully present in whatever is happening and can lay down my worries, doubts and fears, I have been rewarded with new life springing forth from the ashes.
I’ve walked through abuse, and if I could, I would walk through it with each person who comes here, holding tightly to each hand and whispering encouragement that this is only for a season and if you allow it to die, if you let go and trust, there will be something beautiful on the other side. You will see growth and the springing forth of new life — your life can and will be renewed.
God can do that, He gives beauty for ashes — and He can and will do that for you, dear reader, when you choose to rise from the ashes, from the difficult circumstances you face, and take a step out in faith by letting go and allowing change to take place in your life.
“…to comfort all who mourn,
3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes…” ~Isaiah 61:2-3
For real growth and change to occur something has to die completely so beautiful life can come up in it’s place; other times that something needs to lay dormant through the winter season waiting for true change to happen so it can once again blossom with life.
Abuse is death to one’s soul. There is no life and never can be in a destructive environment. Letting it die, letting it go, is often the only way to ever find life again.
The hope is restoration, but the promise is beauty for ashes no matter what.
May we all make the time to breathe in the changing of the seasons and hold tightly to the One who gives us everlasting life. And may the ashes be turned into a beautiful life blooming brightly.