The Change of Seasons
Every year when summer has had its wrap-up and the evening air begins to feel crisp, I make it a point to take a drive with my husband to see the beauty of the changing season. Timing is everything.
There have been times when we’ve gone on our hunt too early—not a single tree ready yet to boast its magnificent transition from speckled green leaves to piercing red and sweet yellow, or a combination of both—my favorite!
We’ve also had times when we’ve waited too long, one weekend bleeding into another with busy schedules delaying our coveted drive. The leaves were now dull in color, dry, and curled at the edges, with many already on the ground creating piles of crunchy fun.
The disappointment of having missed the “fall leaf sweet spot” is only lessened by the quiet road, hot pumpkin spice lattes in hand, and taking the time to be present and undistracted by life’s demands with the one I love before me.
Speaking of demands, lately, I’ve found myself worn out by all “the things”—work things, people things, my own things, and even stranger things. I don’t mean weird occurrences but actual strangers, people I hardly know, seeking the attention that I often miss to give even my own family—not because I don’t want to be there for them but because time is elusive and slips by—a result of all the needs beckoning. Some are legitimate but others are sent to pull me under a load I was never meant to carry.
I can’t be the only one who has gotten into people-pleasing mode only to find the overwhelm drowning out the zest for life with every interruption. I do my best to lay my schedule before the Lord for His prioritization. I set boundaries when I know my capacity is running low—but who else can relate to having a boundary-buster or two in their own life? Still, I know enough by now to recognize I’m always in charge of me. If I’m honest, I’ll admit there are times when I’m the one placing undue pressure on myself—falsely believing a request or suggestion is a dire demand.
Recently, when I found an inner battle raging within over meeting the expectation of another person, while my tank was already empty, I knew it was time to get to the root. I sought the face of my Father and in His grace, He answered with fresh manna—a Matthew 4:4 moment—"People do not live by bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God” (NLT). I needed my Lord to satisfy me with His truth!
I felt prompted to read Romans 8 and when verse 15 came across my weary eyes I knew the Holy Spirit was blowing a Heavenly kiss in my direction. Even the Scripture address was a sweet morsel to my soul with August 15th carrying a special significance in my life. It read, “The Spirit you received DOES NOT MAKE YOU SLAVES, so that you LIVE IN FEAR AGAIN; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by Him we cry, “Abba, Father.”
I was reminded of times past when I was a slave to the demands of others. To comply kept me safe. I didn’t have a choice then but a revelation came flooding in with the realization that I still carried a certain level of unhealthy people-pleasing as an adult because of it.
I found myself living in the fear of letting people down or even their judgment if I wasn’t constantly available. It was a fear fueled by past life experiences and it was the cause of all the turmoil my soul was currently in—my own leaves turning dry and crinkly as a result.
A rebirth was necessary—a new season. An old way of thinking was finally coming to an end as I sat in the new order God wanted me to walk in. It was time to learn to be okay with saying, “I can’t” and allowing the leaves to fall where they may. All the while seeing the beauty in that shift, not just for myself, but for those around me.
It was time to let go of false responsibility knowing when I allow others to find their own solutions rather than relying on me to rescue them, the result will be their empowerment as they rise up to find their way to a Savior who has the infinite capacity to meet all of their needs. He's big enough to provide someone else to fill in the gap I couldn't or grant a solution that would allow me to stay in my lane and complete the good work He's really calling me to.
There are times in our lives when we realize our past doesn’t have to dictate our future. A death to behaving in ways that once served us, but are now a hindrance, can bring a new way of being that produces the fruit of peace we were created to live in all along.
As we honor our own limits, without fear or guilt, knowing God has fresh manna for every person who seeks His provision, healing, and guiding voice for themselves, we’ll find plenty of time on our hands to do the things we've been called to and have the capacity for—while letting go of the things we simply don’t.
“My soul, wait silently for God alone, for my expectation is from Him" (Psalm 62:5 NKJV).