The Gift of Overlapping Seasons
Sometimes seasons overlap as they are transitioning and that can be a hard place to be. In the letting go and the embracing what is to come we can find a steadfastness and security as we take each step.
It's December and most of us on the east coast have enjoyed a December snow.
But it's not even winter officially yet!
Just as a reminder the calendar marks December 21st as the official first day of winter.
Yet all of our hearts were excited to see the snow as we decorated our Christmas trees and engaged in all of our festive Christmas events.
The snow covered the trees with a coat of beautiful white, the same ones we saw just days before with bright colors of Fall.
As I look from my porch a few days before I saw the beautiful leaves of brilliant colors along with the Christmas decorations.
I can’t help but think of how my life right now is just like the scene from my porch both given as a gift and reminder from the hand of God.
Sometimes we forget that seasons overlap. Too often we think that there is a cut and divide out of and into each season of our lives. But in reality they mix for awhile and then gradually one fades away and another ushers in all it has to offer that the last season could have never provided.
If we loose track of the fact that all of life is a choice to embrace the overlapping of the seasons we will miss the beauty seen in the letting go of seasons and the adventure of new ones beginning.
It's seems more often, that we see leaves falling one day and snow drifting down the next here. We are blessed that we get to experience all 4 seasons here in our small town in North Carolina and they seem to come and go so quickly.
Many times I have found myself at the beginning of an exciting season but the moments of the last are is still lingering around and leaving as slowly as it seems it takes all the leaves to fully fall to the ground. Mostly because I want to hold on to so much of what I know and have come to love so dearly.
This year as Fall leaves and Winter comes I am trying to embrace the overlapping of Good-bye cards with the Christmas cards. Embracing the overlapping seasons sometimes looks like saying goodbye while finding joy in the adventure to come. Maybe your saying goodbye while embracing a new life. You may be moving and starting a new job. Maybe you just need to let go of what was and see what is. These are times of overlapping seasons.
Remember there is a beauty still in the midst of the dying of the leaves. For me that is a hard place.
I can’t help think that it doesn’t have to be this way and yet it does. God allows times to end and leaves to die. He knows the benefit in letting go.
I would be really good at this "change" thing if I never had to let go to embrace the next but we, just like the leaves, have to let go to embrace new growth.
If only we could just look at the Evergreens and stay in the feel of Fall.
But we would miss the real breathtaking glimpse of beauty. This beauty is found in the bright colors of the dried up leaves ready to fall from the trees in order to make room for the beauty of the seasons to come.
We must still embrace these leaves or moments, as we rake the leaves into piles and let our families joyously jump in the dead leaves knowing that there is still joy in the letting go.
We must embrace the changing of seasons while enjoying the joy of the previous one.
The anticipation and joy in the what the next moments of life will bring is what will give our lives adventure,meaning, and fulfillment. Allowing ourselves to trust in the God who loves us and longs to watch His children grow as we love to watch our children grow through the seasons of life.
I believe I have only done this well when my zeal for the Lord out weighted my longing to hold tight to what I know and love.
As my children went from infants to toddlers I wanted to keep them small. I loved being able to comfort them and keep them close.
But I also longed to see them take their first steps and become more of who God created them to be, as I had to let go of their hands one finger at a time. Soon they were off and running into adventures of their own.
When it comes to my gift of the changing of seasons with our children, I often say wholeheartedly, that every season is my favorite!
When it comes to my children, reminding my heart that I need to let go sometimes in order to see what's next is a healthy thing. To do this intentionally and not just on the wimp as time will often usher in is of great reward for all. Not being intentional leaves us no other way to cope but to react. Reacting to any situation before it is well thought out and you have stored up wisdom in your heart brings a lot of hurt to so many.
Instead lets be proactive and prepared for whats coming up with excitement and joy. This way let's everyone find security in the One who ordained all of our lives. For God is not surprised that your baby is a teenager now. Or is God shocked that you have found yourself in a time of overlapping of seasons. He is calling you, and me, to see the gift of time He is giving us for His purpose and glory. When we truly know this truth we see the graceful gift of resting in our Lord.
I know that the seasons will overlap when it comes to events in my life, my children, and the physical weather. May I know this is a gift from the Lord. He is preparing my heart for the next great adventure. He is doing the same for you.
We must learn what to keep and what to let go from each season so that we can embrace the next one with excitement and to embrace it well. The longer I hold onto the last~ the harder it is to see the beauty and adventure in the next.
With each season I find a growing love for the Father is the greatest adventure. Each filled with joy and challenges that have the ability to bring me closer to His side and to look more like Jesus or further away ~ The choice is ours.
Just like I want for my children, I want for you and I, to rejoice in the overlapping of the seasons because there is beauty in both.
While it may seem like we should just make a hard break of one and run fully into the next.
We may be called to watch and see that the Lord is good in and out of seasons.
Maybe today you are in the confusion of Fall colored trees and Christmas lights and you do not know what to think.
Maybe you are like me, saying goodbyes while wishing a Merry Christmas. It may feel confusing and may even hurt but do not let that hurt keep you from seeing the beauty of what's to come.
I can see this happening when I feel I can't wish anyone a "Merry Christmas" for the very reason that I am still in the season of Fall. You may find yourself not fully devoted and embracing the next chapter because you are having a hard time letting go. Take it from me it's hard and can feel like it is completely draining but once you take the steps that are good and right it can also be a time of refreshment and excitement waiting to see what good God is making in all the things.
May we Know that the overlapping is welcomed but we must leave one to embrace the other at some point. God is with you and He understands this time. It will hurt and may you see the next season brings healing as you hold tight to a confidence and a zeal found in our Jesus.
May this time of overlapping bring a steadfastness that ushers in security.
May we remember that we know the Father’s hand to be real because we saw it in the previous season so clearly.
May that truth and grace provide a zeal for the Lord in the next days, months and seasons.