Last weekend, it was in the 80s and hot; this weekend freezing temps - literally. With a high chance of sleet tomorrow and Monday.
A few weeks ago as I was driving to work, I was struck by the idea of seasons. Namely the four seasons in most of the states. Having lived the past several years where seasons vary between hot, humid and rainy to hot and dry, it has been a change in having distinct weather patterns.
As I talked to the Lord about this phenomena, the season of fall was distinctly prominent and convicting. The trees were starting to brown (not a ton of vibrant color in Dallas), the air was becoming more crisp, nights were getting longer and the days shorter, and the smells changed. Time was moving forward, into the new, on to the next, and straining for yet another change to come - winter.
Tears sprang to my eyes because I connected. My branches were preparing for what was next. It meant letting go of what had been grown the past spring and summer and straining toward what was to come. "Oh, but Lord, the letting go is too much. What if it means forgetting? What if it means I am forgotten?" That last statement was like a dagger. Whoa! So ultimately does the change of seasons indicate it's about me or about what the Lord has done throughout His seasons? Time for some confession.
In these weeks, the Lord has been pointing to letting Him prepare my branches for winter. Letting loose of the leaves He has grown. Being willing to be caught in winds of change. To risk the release of the past for the hope of the future.
Today, I finished a journal. I'm a haphazard journal-er.
Case in point: this journal was started in 2010. The first entry date was almost exactly three years ago, off by 3 days.
As I flipped through some of the entries, I marveled at the sweetness of the Lord. When this journal was started, I was in Santa Catalina with the 650 crew + Caleb (adopted 650-ite) and loved being with the Lord doing that time away.
That seems like a lifetime ago. No idea what the Lord was going to do in those next three years.
Sitting where I am now, would I have wanted to know? Nope. I would have fought. Hard.
I found this in my journal. It was a list of goals and thoughts from 2012 (I'm not a resolution person).
As I looked at the list, this section stood out to me...
The Lord had already begun stirring. I looked at all of these options. Every single one of these came into play as I entered the season of returning to the states for real. I didn't look at this list when it was time. Honestly, I had forgotten about it.
So today, when the Lord brought it around, I marveled. Only He could have known then what was to come. And you know what, one of those dreams - MST - is where He has me! I stand amazed!
So at the end of November, the Dallas leaves have finally changed.
And winter has come (literally - I am freezing and it is supposed to sleet the next two days).
The leaves will soon all fall off. The limbs will hang naked. It will appear as though the trees have died.
But what you and I cannot see is the hidden transformation.
They are not dead. Winter has them in a time of preparation. Of waiting. Of hoping.
Life is being renewed.
Because after the winter comes spring.