SEASONS COME…SEASONS GO

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven. Ecclesiastes 3:1

In a few days we will mark the passing of summer and move into autumn. A part of me wants to cry, “No-o-o-o!” I grieve each year when it’s time to hang up my swimsuit and put away the hammock.

My summer company is gone. The dead stocks in my flower garden tell me it’s time to let go of the glorious summer we enjoyed.

The geese have sealed the deal – they are slipping out of town in the early morning hours, aiming their V’s south. Their honks of good-bye are always poignant, so unlike the raucous announcement in spring that says, “We’re back!”

There is a blush of first color on the trees – a promise of the glory to come.  Soon I will remember, “That’s right, autumn is my favorite time of the year!” Give me one warm, sunny Indian summer day, and I will be wishing the calendar would stop there…but it won’t.

Just when I’ve come around to reveling in autumn, a fall wind storm will strip the trees bare – an omen of the winter ahead. Winters in northern Michigan come too soon and never pass too quickly. We joke that we have four seasons: Early winter, mid-winter, late winter, and next winter.

It isn’t so much the seasons themselves I struggle with. It’s change.

For most of us stress is spelled c-h-a-n-g-e. Think of it: a change in health or finances, even the weather…or the season, can result in stress. If it’s true that “The only thing that remains constant is change,” no wonder we feel stressed as often as we do.

Change can be a positive thing. I retired last October; that was a very positive change! But any change also involves losses: I miss the camaraderie of my co-workers. And I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss the paychecks! Change is always a process of letting go of the old and getting on with, and even, embracing, the new.

The challenge is to do it gracefully.

Seasons of life also come and go…

My hectic days of parenting young children are long gone. The busy season of single-parenting teens is past. I thoroughly enjoyed my daughters’ college days, but they flew by at the speed of light. I was a happy and proud mom when my youngest daughter Molly graduated, but I grieved when I drove away from Cornerstone University. It was change – a good change, but not without losses.

Gone were fun-filled Parents’ Weekends. I enjoyed hanging out with my college-age daughters and their friends. I wasn’t ready to say goodbye to them as they scattered to who-knows-where. I loved road trips to Grand Rapids – a 500 mile drive from my home. I hated to say goodbye to all our favorite restaurants, bookstores and shopping malls.

Did I mention that I struggle with change?

In a few days we will move into autumn. And in a few days, my daughter Molly will move from Minneapolis to Orlando, FL (nearly 1600 mile away) to finish her studies at Full Sail University. How am I doing with these changes? I am doing just fine – actually, I am doing great!

I will miss my annual October trek to Minnesota and our apple orchard excursions. During her three year stint in Minneapolis, I came to love Molly’s roommates and friends. We will keep in touch on Facebook, but I will miss seeing them. This move will undoubtedly involve more expensive logistics when it is time to visit her, but at least for now, I am excited to celebrate how God is directing her paths and providing for her.

I want to be like the psalmist David – through all the changes and challenges in his life, he wrote, “But I trust in you, O LORD; I say, ‘My times are in your hands’” (Psalm 31:14, 15). Like the apostle Paul, I want to be able to give thanks in all seasons and circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:16), trusting that God’s will is being worked out in my life and in the lives of those I love.

Seasons come, and seasons go, but of this we can be sure: There is a time for everything, and our times are in His hands.

What season of life are you in? How gracefully do you handle change?

2 Comments

  1. Ruth Hill
    Sep 21, 2011

    Thanks, Kathy. Excellent thoughts. I appreciated your workshop at retreat, too. So good to see you. Blessings.

  2. Beth Weichhand
    Sep 23, 2011

    thankyou, Kathy! you may see a couple familiar verses on my fb today! Beth

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