Colossians 1:22-23, Luke 18:40-42
As we drove into Fall Creek Falls last month, I was shocked at how the evidence of summer still lingered in the green leaves on the trees. I confess there was a hint of disappointment as I spoke the words "I thought there would be a little color on the trees when I made our reservations."
But the laughter of friendship, the smell of bacon and french toast from breakfast, clanging dishes, hammocks hung under tarps, hikes, kayaking adventures and UT football set the stage for a beautiful fall weekend. In spite of the overcast skies and the green leaves on the trees, hearts were open, memories and plans, dreams and schemes, God stories and prayer requests dotted conversations that weren't hurried by schedules, deadlines or social media. There is a beautiful exchange when we are still long enough to meet eyes, listen intently to another and linger until they are through. Life happens as we string together moments.
Morning came, the sun peeked out ... and it was as if in the in between ...
When we were simply doing life ... the season changed.
Whispers of red and yellow and orange waved at us from the trees!
As most everyone set off on a hike that far exceeded my capabilities, the Lord and I made our way to my hammock. He reminded me how the season of life that I find myself leaving seemed like moments that would never end. Some days, it felt quite literally like my heart was in quicksand and I didn't know how I would ever take another breath.
I wish I could tell you I gracefully embraced this time of trial and difficulty. But that really would not characterize the struggle accurately. Most days, for several months, my adult body wandered around with a 3 year old toddler inside who was having a tantrum. I was futilely wresting against the season. It was if all I could do was string together one difficult moment after another. Friends and family loved me. Many, many people prayed with me, and sometimes for me when I could not pray any longer. Moments turned into minutes, minutes into hours and before I realized what was happening, over a year had passed.
As I slowly allowed the Lord to pull me out of the grip the enemy had on my emotions, life returned to my soul. Bible studies and prayer groups were not simply scribbled in on my calendar but being written on my heart. Moments with friends that seemed to always end in conversations that were "me" focused gave way to ministry and focusing on kingdom appointments. Evenings with my husband that had been etched with angry embers always smoldering just below the surface were replaced with peace that rekindled our care for one another.
And in the midst of the moments, hope returned in whispering waves of surrender that gently announced the changing of the seasons, just as the faint colors peeked at us that Sunday morning.
There is still work to be done in this changing season of my heart. Even today as I sit on my couch looking outside, the trees have not reached their peak in fall colors. But I trust the One who holds the moments to finish what He started.
Colossians 1:21-23 And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.
Luke 18:40-42 And Jesus stopped and commanded him to be brought to him. And when he came near, he asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?” He said, “Lord, let me recover my sight.” And Jesus said to
him, “Recover your sight; your faith has made you well.”