I absolutely love Fall! It's my favorite season. I love everything about it from the Fashion to the crisp Fall weather and spicy holiday scents. All these beautiful colors on certain flowers when they change from something bright that just screams life to that deep eerie tone that just screams something is withering away... Ah, It's breathtaking! And of course with Fall, we see all these memes and GIFs and one recently stood out to me. It said, "The trees are about to show us how lovely it is to let the dead things go." I read that and my mouth dropped because it's so true. In the natural we hold on to these things (trees or flowers) and maintain them as much as possible: watering them and providing nutrients to ensure that our plants stay beautiful and healthy as long as possible, and here comes Fall that turns all of our hard work into a slow death. Those beautiful green leaves or the perky grass is now undergoing a change. A beautiful change, yes, but it's showing us that as the weather changes, the times change, seasons change, and so must we.
In our daily lives we wrestle with this change. Our Fall season is not always so beautiful at first glance. It hurts. It's painful. It's broken. Letting go is never easy. The Fall season in life is where things just seem to "fall" apart. Not just one thing, but EVERYTHING. And what was once beautiful over the summer in all it's glory is now hanging on by a thread or a limb rather and one random gust of wind can bring it to its knees. With every crisp blow of wind God continues to strip away parts of us that have a hold on us. These leaves are like shackles that bind us to whatever our "tree" is and God is saying let it go. Relationships that we've tried so hard to maintain are slipping away. Jobs that we fought to get seem to not be worth the energy anymore. Things that used to bring us joy only bring sorrow and heartache. And there's nothing we can do but watch and wait.
Sometimes we try to pick up our "leaves" and mend them back together. We pick up and reattach weights that were recently dropped because they feel safe. The chains and shackles binding us, that heaviness is all we know. It's like even when the leaves fall, whatever we are rooted in is what keeps us planted. I've realized that a slave doesn't know real freedom. We think it's what we want, but the reality of it is so unsure that we will willingly go back to our masters in exchange for what feels normal. It's like I'm free, but now what. In Exodus, after God delivered the children of Israel from the hand of Pharaoh, they were begging to go back because they didn't know where their next meal would come from. The Israelites not only had to be freed from the physical bondage of Egypt, but also their mental captivity. After slavery was "abolished," many slaves here in America went back to work for their masters because they didn't know what to do with their new freedom. Even though the conditions were awful and they now had the freedom they so desperately desired, they settled for what their physical eyes could see: food, shelter, clothing, rather than stepping out on faith into the unknown and believing that God would protect and keep them.
Isn't it weird that we would choose the crazy that feels comfortable over the peace we so desperately desire? THIS IS MY CURRENT SEASON! There are few things in life more painful than a self-induced season. It's easy to cast blame on someone else, yet much harder to look at the person in the mirror and know that you're the one causing this heartache.
Recently this blast from the past happened to me. And I just KNEW it had to be God. (How I thought that, I have NO idea because I knew that it was God that separated it the first time.) I thought He was reattaching something that I never quite let go, something that was still attached at the root. Now that is over and literally everyday I see I'm worse than I was before. I don't know my left from my right. Thinking about it in regards to this blog is so funny because this relationship came in the summer when everything was great. I was experiencing such a high in life. Like summer everything was bright and beautiful in full bloom. I had so much reassurance with my company, my destiny, in my life, and I was so happy. And now that it's Fall, like the trees my leaves are falling and each one exposes a new branch that's one storm away from completely detaching. I feel so naked and so bare, so empty that I can't wait for spring and the flowers to come back into bloom. I question should I continue to even have a company. It's been a year: yeah a pretty good one, but is this really what I'm supposed to be doing? Should I continue to teach students? Am I the right person to be in their lives? Am I the best possible influence that I can be? Thoughts that I haven't experienced in a long time seem to flood my mind.
I'm going to church even when I don't always want to trying to press through this new reality. Going to teach even when for the first half of my day I can't even get my thoughts to simmer down long enough to create and prepare. I'm making shirts and designing, but sometimes my heart is not in it! As someone that battles with depression, I struggle with deciding do I want to say "enough is enough!" and get up and push through or do I want to lay here in bed for the whole week, cancelling all my appointments, barely eat and just whatever happens, happens. And sometimes, I lose that battle. I don't always win. I don't always have the energy to push through that day. And God is constantly allowing things to fall off of me and I'm like GEEZ! WHAT MORE CAN YOU TAKE AWAY FROM ME! I'm grasping to catch whatever leaves I can & He's like the guy from the State Farm commercial, "Gotta be quicker than that." So I move quicker only to feel that I'm continuously falling on my face. He continues to drop relationship after relationship, but if I'm being honest, I'm more afraid to be out of my comfort zone than being fully covered and suffocating underneath it all. The quiet that it leaves me with is more unnerving than all the noise. I've learned that like a slave I will willingly choose a life that will inevitably lead to my destruction if I survive rather than completely surrendering myself and saying "Lord, let the leaves fall where they may. I just want you."
Not only is the Fall season beautiful, it's necessary. Without the death of something, there can be no life. Just as darkness can drown out the light. If you're natural and you need to cut your dead ends but refuse to, your hair begins to shed. At first it's light shedding, but then it literally begins to fall out because you are not cutting the pieces that no longer have life. And if new hair grows, it's uneven and in the end you still have to cut the hair anyway. (Any naturalista that has experienced this knows first hand that obedience is better than sacrifice.) And once you cut those pieces, once you remove the dead weight from your life and allow the season of Fall to happen, there's this transition period where you're trying to get used to life "bald headed" or bare or alone. It will start to REALLY feel like Winter and there is nothing nice about having a TWA in Winter weather conditions. We have to get to a place where that's okay! Where the nakedness feels better, lighter, freer than the excess. And God (like a good conditioner/treatment) is there to help restore everything that was stripped away, so when that beautiful Crown of Glory returns, you have the hair that makes 'em stare!
What I've realized is that though it may seem as though Fall is taking so many things away from me, this is the perfect season to Fall in love with Jesus. With everything that He is, His grace and mercy, His kindness, His love. He is so incredible. The relationship that we crave the most is often the relationship that we continue to run from. That oneness with God is going to take and require more from us than anything else we've ever experienced. But the end result is going to be so worth it.Yes, Fall shows us how beautiful it is to let things go, but also how beautiful it is to allow God to be the One to pick up the pieces. We can't do it. I CAN'T DO IT! (That was so hard to admit.) But I'm determined to fall. Not to continue to fall on my face by leading myself blindly into walls, but by falling into the arms of the Father who is capable of holding me. The One who has secured my future.
Together let's declare: No longer am I falling for the tricks of the enemy. Lord here is my alter. Here are my bare limbs. Use them as You please. For Your will. All of my talents and gifts, my relationships, everything that I am I surrender to You. Restore me. Mold me. Equip me. It's scary, but I trust You. May we be Beautifully broken for the Kingdom. Fall is here, but spring is coming. Let the leaves fall where they may as I fall deeper into You.