Our lives are FULL of transitions EVERY where we turn lately. Yes, we've gone through the process of seeing our oldest move out on her own and start her own life and that is an obvious transition that is hard on the heart. Easier than we thought in ways and much harder in others. But behind the scenes there have been many others, some small and some life-altering. Some that are REALLY great and some that have left us a bit off-balance.
There's no doubt that I am a huge fan of the fall season. I love when the air is cool, but not freezing (those days are soon to come and I'm not a fan to say the least.) I love the smells and the coziness of the season. I love how there's something about this season that draws us into being connected with one another, holidays celebrating gratitude and just the shift of the season. Hello, introvert much?? Most of all, I love the leaves and the colors. The symbolism is HUGE to me and the vibrancy of the colors are just something that makes me come alive. Perhaps, irrationally so. :) I know that the fall ushers in a VERY difficult season of winter, but I do my best to cling to the few weeks of absolute beauty and soul reaching moments of true fall.
I've talked often on social media and some here on the blog that this has been a BEAUTIFUL year in our lives, but it's also been so very difficult. We've found our hearts banged up and gone through struggle after struggle to keep our faith intact. It's been an excruciatingly hard year physically for me and I know that's played heavily on my emotions. Our faith, especially together as a couple, has been through the ringer. BUT we've FOUGHT and FOUGHT to keep it intact. To not let the weight of the world break us. We didn't always succeed. We've had some really deep scars this last year.
His light always penetrates. Even in the seasons that you REALLY have to look for it. Our emotions may say He isn't near or He's out of our reach. Oh, how we get that! Yet, we KNOW without a doubt that He is HERE and NEAR.
The last month we've really been purposeful in seeking Him. We've been stepping out of our broken places and weak places and asking for renewal and for our dry bones to come alive.
And there are no words to describe all the ways He is doing that in our lives right now. Not every chain is broken, not every cloud has lifted, but we ARE ALIVE. His light is penetrating deeper and deeper. Layer upon layer is lifting. His pruning has been painful in our lives, but we can begin to see the direction He was going with that process. He's provided so many miracles and started so many changes in our lives in GOOD ways in the last weeks and days. I can't even begin to make justice of it with words.
Just this morning I was sharing with someone very dear to my heart how today was a fresh new start regarding an issue we'd been dealing with that was HEAVY. We'd been walking through a situation the last three months that had really broken me, but God had carried us through it. The stress was real and heavy in the moment, but today the situation itself was resolved and over. Today I woke up with the weight of it off my shoulders. The wounds might still be there and still need some working through, but the issue itself was complete. Think of it this way, though this had nothing to do with a financial issue, it felt the same way as when we made stupid financial decisions in the past and the relief that came when that bill was finally paid off or we were able to make a needed purchase that had stressed us for the previous months. You know how that lifted weight feels? Today was such a day, though a very different issue. Almost like a debt was paid in full.
Just as I was sharing with this precious lady in my life how I felt today, I looked outside and I saw His light. I had just hit send on a message to her telling her that I felt thankful for this hard season that was ending. I absolutely did not EVER want to go through it again. It highlighted some of my failures and shortcomings, it was difficult, etc.. BUT now at the end of it, the lessons learned, His grace revealed and seeing His hand in the process made me thankful for His goodness. Even through dark seasons, His light has power. It has power to change our hearts. It has power to redeem. And darkness just has to be pushed back when He shows up.
I saw these two trees out our front window. The one on the left is GORGEOUS. The colors don't even begin to show up just in the picture I quickly snapped. Not at all. (Let's just say, mismatched pajamas, slippers, hair every direction and contractors next door working and trying to sneak the picture doesn't make for taking the time to get it just right!) Just the size of the true is GINORMOUS ( yep, that may not be an actual word!). The tree on the right is our well loved tulip magnolia that shows off in the spring. It hasn't quite given into the transition of the season and is still mostly green. But it was the light intersecting them both that took my breath away. It was just the right angle. The brilliancy was like nothing I'd seen before. (Plus, when the skies are so often gray and dreary, the sun is always a welcomed sight!).
His light intersecting the seasons. Bridging from one to the other. Showing Himself clearly.
Our dark season has been long. It's been painful and uncertain. We've held on too tightly to some things and had to eventually let them go. Some things we had to let go of though not by choice. We've ached through transitions.
But His light has remained.
Both of the trees are beautiful. They are just in different stages of the season. They've reached their peaks at different times. They've weathered the same storms and been through the same conditions. But His light has connected.
We're just like these trees as the seasons change. Learning when to let go, when to hold on. But truly connected as His light bonds us and hold us. Changing inside and out. Releasing. Vibrant.
I was overwhelmed with emotion to see that little sign that He is right here. I'm so thankful I was looking. I'm so beyond grateful He's been breaking down our walls and lifting our heads, turning our eyes and ears to Him. Because those days you feel His presence run all over you, are the days that you know He's never going to leave you. No matter how dark. No matter how difficult.
We've been pleading with Him to pierce through the dark. And that is exactly what He is doing.
The lyrics of Give Me Faith by Elevation Worship has been running through our veins and changing our lives, especially after being able to see them live last weekend together as a couple. A life changing moment that lifted such weights from our hearts. Piercing through the dark and restoring us to Him.
"I need you to soften my heart and break me apart. I need you to open my eyes, to see that You're shaping my life. All I am, I surrender. Give me faith to trust what you say. That you're good and your love is great. I'm broken inside, I give you my life. I need you to pierce through the dark and cleanse every part of me. 'Cause I may be weak, but Your Spirit is strong in me. My flesh my fail, my God you never will."