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Remembering and Looking Forward

Updated: Jan 21

It’s funny that the changing of the seasons speaks of consistency to my soul. Our lives may look a little different each fall, but there will always be the smell of cinnamon in the air. My heart skipped a beat when I saw a little hue of red peeking through the green leaves this year. The first colors of fall are appearing even though the sun is still high and hot in the sky. The yellow butterflies that show up this time of year are dancing across my vision and the mornings are getting a little more brisk.

I know my favorite traditions are on the horizon, such comfort comes with the taste of pumpkin and the smell of hay. Except that this year, each falling leaf is speaking to me of something else, a haunting reminder that like the seasons that we can’t hold back—my life is changing forever. I am trying to create every fall memory I can to sustain me because I know that next year changing leaves will be replaced with the latter monsoon rains. My family is preparing for an international move to a place where there is no autumn. Next year there will rickshaws instead of hayrides and new faces instead of family. I know the grief that is coming, the way a fall away from home brings an ache in my heart. Years ago we moved just as the first signs of autumn were appearing in the sky. I cried as I saw that family photo we take every year after Thanksgiving dinner. My husband and I were missing from the frame. The heat of the Middle East was unchanging as the seasons shifted back in my deep-south American home. When the tears would threaten and I couldn’t take another reminder of all I was missing out on, I would lace up my running shoes and hit the pavement. At first, I ran to forget, crying out to God as I thought of all the change that was causing such pain in my heart. When I couldn’t cry anymore, I would slow my pace and start looking around. The concrete I ran on butted up against ancient stones, the river that carried Moses to his destiny, sand that the patriarchs once walked upon. God opened my eyes to the sights that most people would never get to glimpse. I felt like I was walking through a wilderness there in that desert place but if I looked around, new life was ready to spring up. I just had to stop looking back and keep my eyes on where God had brought me. “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” {Isaiah 43:18-19, NIV} Seasons change—in our lands and in our lives. We can’t resist change coming into our lives any more than we can hang onto summer once the leaves start to fall. So, as I sip my pumpkin latte this fall, I also try to drink in the life around me and love the season God has placed me in. I know change is coming again and there will be sadness but new life springing up as well. Next autumn when the monsoon rains are still falling, I will be sipping chai instead. When the spicy taste of cinnamon hits my lips, I will remember but I will also look forward.


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