This weekend Matthew and I took a road trip to the University of Arkansas. Our timing was perfect for enjoying the fall foliage. Growing up in Arkansas, I saw a lot of beautiful falls, but having lived in Texas for over 30 years, I think I forgot how beautiful the change of season really is.
As we walked the campus and paused to snap pictures of the most glorious trees, my heart clenched a bit. I felt the shift in season that was happening all around me. He will soon leave the nest. He has big plans to study international business and make something of his life. He's colors are changing. He's shedding his childhood, and I am getting a glimpse of the man he is becoming.
Maybe you can relate. All of us experience the shifting of our seasons and the sensation of letting go. Change is important and even life-giving, yet it comes with its own struggles – some anxiety, some sadness and even some bittersweet pain.
So here are my best tips for coping with change. I had to practice them most diligently this weekend.
- Embrace your Feelings
I just watched a documentary on the rotation of the earth. Our beautiful blue ball is incredibly miraculous and consistent. The changing of our seasons are ordained by the rotation of our planet and are inevitable. Yet, I want to tightly close my eyes and pretend that I am standing still. I am weary with transition and I long for a moment of reprieve. Yet when I open my eyes, I am surrounded by glory. Everywhere I look are answers to my prayers. I just didn't know the answers would come with pangs of pain, moments of both joy and sadness so significant, that I would weep and dance at the same time. For surely, what was will not be again. So embrace the moment. Squeeze the life right out of it. Let your heart feel.
- Anticipate the Future
As my children were growing up I would often say, "This is the best age yet." (I still feel this way. Parenting adult children is challenging, but so incredibly rewarding.) I simply enjoyed each stage of the journey with them, and even when they were small, I dreamed about what they would one day be or do. Pastor Jimmy Evans taught me that parenting is a marathon season and that you will not know the fruitfulness of it for about 25 years. I'm now entering into the season where I can begin to really see the fruit of my labor and I feel the anticipation of the next "best age, yet." A sense of anticipation has a natural way of giving hope and helping our hearts to lean into what is yet to be.
There is so much revelation in the signs all around us, if we are brave enough to note them. Stop, look, ponder. Refuse to live a distracted, busy or even fearful life. Rather, allow the shift in season bring you a sense of purpose, destiny and lots of hope.
More Pics: God was really showing off!
God, my God, how great you are,beautifully, gloriously robed, dressed up in sunshine,and all heaven stretched out for your tent.
You built your palace on the ocean deeps,made a chariot out of clouds and took off on wind-wings.
You commandeered winds as messengers, and appointed fire and flame as ambassadors. Psalm 104:1-3