I was on a walk this morning. The brisk air filled my lungs and the ‘smoke’ that was produced by my exhale led the way. The clear blue sky sparkled above. I walked down and around, thinking and processing through circumstances in my life right now. I turned a corner and came upon a lovely yellow tree. I was startled by the beauty in front of me. Golden from the fall, standing so proud against the prairie. I stopped, gazed a little closer and noticed the bright sun peaking through the branches and leaves, glowing like it had something beautiful to say. I felt like maybe it was talking to me. A lump rose in my throat as I marveled at the fact that I had walked by this very tree several times last season, but didn’t ever really notice it until today. It probably blended in with the others, with it’s background, and although it was clearly beautiful it hadn’t stood out, until it’s colors appeared. The season changed and so did this tree.
I’m a planner in a very annoying way. My Erin Condren old school planner is my best friend, and being that it’s November right now, I carry both this year’s and next years with me at all times. I know it’s hard to imagine but I physically WRITE everything down. WHO DOES THAT? Clearly me. If I forget to write something down during a day I get great pleasure in writing down something that I already did, just so that I can put a checkmark by it. I drive the heck out of those closest to me! TOTAL GEEKTASTIC! I plan vacations well in advance. I plan dinner dates. I plan coffee. I can't wait for the next thing!!! Waiting is not my forte! The problem with being so fueled by a plan is that plan’s change. The very thought gives me a stomachache.
Over the last several months I have had to learn to live with change. None of which were by choice- UGH. Having a self proclaimed gypsy soul I actually love mixing things up and trying new things if they are for enjoyment purposes, but I feel uncomfortable and scared when said changes affect my people in real life circumstances. As a mom (I still can’t call myself 'mother' very easily- I’m not sophisticated enough) I am hyper aware that my attitude and our faith is our driving force forward so no matter the situation I, personally, control a lot of how we deal with things. Got to be positive. Got to be happy. Got to take it all in stride. (I’m going to give all the momma’s out there a huge frickin’ pat on the back because those are big shoes to fill and much of the time I for certain feel inadequate in my role.)
Situations that have arisen in my life and the lives of some close to me are in a nutshell; overwhelming. My mom’s friend once said “God never gives you more than you can handle, but what if he overestimates me.” I have asked him a time or two what the hell he thinks I’m capable of. I feel like he can handle that question, don't you? Life may be like a box of chocolates, like Forrest Gump said, but not knowing what I’m going to get with one chocolate, KNOWING that one is a carmel, is a lot different than the whole box being those nasty cherry covered things… and that’s about what it’s been around here. Still sweet at some points, but not all what I was expecting. I’m laughing just typing this.
The fear of the unknown can be crippling. The severity of the circumstances can leave you bobbing about in waters not yet navigated. The enormity of what is yet to come may take your breathe away. WHAT IF. WHAT IF. WHAT IF.
….And then I’m reminded.
Isaiah 41:10 'Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.'
In all of those fears that I can wrestle with and struggle through when situations leave me on the precipice of something larger than I think that I’m capable of handling, I am reminded: HE is right here. Right with me. Right now. TODAY. ALWAYS.
No matter where you find yourself today, no matter what the circumstances are that may be creating that ‘heavy’ in your life, there really is hope. Sometimes you have to put that smile on and 'fake it ‘till you make it,' but stealing moments of joy are better than immersing yourself in worry or sadness. I’m continually reminded that every single time in my life that I have felt scared, sad, overwhelmed or unsure I made it through. HE WAS RIGHT THERE. Sometimes holding me up, but never leaving me alone. That I am certain about. In certain seasons, with all of the uncertainty that looms, sometimes you just have to survive and make it to the other side to be able to appreciate the beauty that that season provided. Be that survivor.
Every season, even the hard ones, have blessings. I'm not saying you will walk out of your season unscathed, but there is significant beauty that can arise out of every change and in every scar. When I walked around that corner this morning I didn’t see the dark tree that stood there that season before. I, instead, saw transformed leaves, in a different season, that needed the old season to give it that radiant glow.