I have a hard time moving on to the next. Not regarding spiritual, physical or emotional growth, but to what feels like loss. I’m talking about…CHANGE. I don't like change.
All change feels like loss.
(Except when the scale goes down or I get my hair done or happy changes like that.)
Okay, what I really don't like are ENDINGS. I don't like GOODBYES. I cringe at the end of summer—which is my favorite season. It's my favorite because that's when I have rest and an influx of beauty and time with my family. Connection. Shared laughter around a fire. Lingering evenings that last until the stars have revealed themselves in all their glory. I like green. Warm rivers. Warm evenings. Warm breezes.
And those long days are coming to a close. The other morning it was 24 degrees. Oy. Though most of the trees in town still hold their deep emerald leaves, a shift is in the air that I cannot ignore, and yellows are starting to be sprinkled in to the boughs. Higher up the hills, the golden aspens are beginning to outnumber the green ones. It's happening. Time marches on.
I hate goodbyes to seasons, and I really hate goodbyes to people. Partings are painful, whether they occur at the end of a visit or the end of a season. People move. People move on. People even move on to heaven. Letting them go, releasing them to God, is essential and I do trust Him, but even though trusting God is getting easier after experiencing so many decades of His faithful goodness, goodbyes remain etched with my tears.
And in the midst of change and the middle of goodbyes, God is calling me to live with an expectant heart. Expectant of goodness. Expectant that the best is yet to be. Certain that though I don't know what is coming, He does and He promises to be there with me.
His promise that He will never leave or abandon us—ever—is one that, when pondered, fuels our joy and our strength to press on. He'll never leave? Never?!?!? Never. Never ever. I can't see what is around the corner, but He can. And regardless of what comes, be it trees ablaze with color or barren in winter's chill, His beauty and Presence can fill it all if I will but turn my gaze to Him and cultivate a heart that has eyes to see.
Yes, time marches on. Time here is our fleeting gift. I don't know how many days I have been given, and neither do you. But I do know that spending them in regret, my fist clenched to hold on to the goodness I do know, prevents me from receiving the good gifts that God has in store for me.
Time spent in reflection is necessary and good. It buoys my heart to remember. We've come far, God and I. He's given golden nuggets in the midst of the bleakest of times. He's been lavish. And He doesn't change. If He's been generous and kind and good in the past, won't He remain so in the future? Yes. Yes, He will.
Time spent remembering who God is, what He's like and what He's done, breathes life into my soul whether my soul feels green or frozen. Time letting His living Word wash over me infuses me with life and hope. It is the water and food that we all crave.
So in obedience and with hope, I am saying "Yes" to the next season. I am speaking it out loud. Yes to the "New." Yes to believing that God is good and has good in store. Yes to letting my sorrow at goodbyes deepen my soul's dependence on Him. Yes to Jesus.
I want to be able to say "Goodbye" with an open hand and welcome every new season. Jesus, help me to do that. Help us all. Please. We trust You. Help us trust You, the only One who never changes, more.