Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Mountains and Memories

Growing up, my family would visit the mountains around Thanksgiving every year. 
I loved the sights and smells of it all.
Crisp air and crunchy leaves were like a warm blanket around my soul. 
They comforted me.  

Now, every year around Autumn I long for the mountains. 
I remember those trips with fondness and a tinge of sadness because miles between my family and I have prevented them from continuing on. 
Personal loss of precious family members has caused those memories to be bittersweet as well. 

There is a longing in my heart that will always be conjured up when the seasons start to change and the cool winds start to blow. 
And I get lost in thought of what used to be...what once was...and why it has to be different now. 

That type of thinking is hard to overcome this time of year.
It threatens my joy as if it were an avalanche lurking over my head just waiting to consume me. 
No air. No way out. 

Have you ever felt this way before? 
Like you just feel suffocated by what used to be? 
Like you can't breathe in new air because you're choking on the old air?

Let me encourage you today, friend.
Seasons change. They come and go. 
It will eventually warm up again.
The leaves will gradually fade into the earth. 
God made it this way on purpose. 

But what will we miss out on if our focus is on yesterday or tomorrow instead of today? 
If we are looking for a way out (physically or emotionally) instead of learning from the season we're in, do we really get anywhere? 

Here's what today offers: 
Colorful landscapes
Invigorating wind gusts
Crunchy leaves to jump in

I know for me, it is hard to see past the pain sometimes because once it's triggered, it wants to linger.
But I'm learning that the triggers will always be there. 
The pain will come out when I least expect it. 
And I have to make a choice. 

Do I dwell in that place of loss and let it overwhelm me?
Or do I let the pain carry me to a place of gain as I recognize the moment for what it is? 

Passing too quickly
Here today, gone tomorrow

Yes, I am grateful that seasons change. 
But I'm more grateful that they change ME.

I never want to go back and be who I was.
I'm always learning, growing, becoming...

So are you. 

And while I miss some things about yesterday, and while it hurts like hell some days, I am so glad I am who I am today. 

So, let yourself feel the pain of yesterday as the fall air blows hard outside your door. 
Then make yourself a cup of hot chocolate, sit on the front porch, and feel the moment of change you're in right now. 

It only happens once. 
And you don't want to miss it. 

"For everything there is a season,
  a time for every activity under heaven.
A time to be born and a time to die.
    A time to plant and a time to harvest.
A time to kill and a time to heal.
    A time to tear down and a time to build up.
A time to cry and a time to laugh.
    A time to grieve and a time to dance."
-Ecclesiastes 3:1-4

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