Changing Seasons

Don’t you love Fall? I certainly do. The return of college football (Go Dawgs!), cooler temperatures, autumn leaves, all things pumpkin…so many wonderful aspects of life to embrace and enjoy.
 
Yet a new season always means that the former season is drawing to a close. (I know, “Duh!”) That means saying goodbye to favorite aspects of that previous time of year.
 
I’ve thought a lot about changing seasons recently as my life has dramatically changed.
 
3 months ago, I joyfully said “I do” and began my life journey with my wonderful,  Gift-from-God husband, Rob. After a lovely wedding and a magical honeymoon, we began our move to Jekyll Island, Georgia.

We’re moving to a spot that’s new for both of us. Hundreds of miles from familiar faces and places.  I’ve been in the Atlanta area for over 30 years. Rob has spent most of his life in the mid-Atlantic area. So this is a big change for us both.
 
Our delightful new season as husband and wife has begun on Jekyll Island. Both of  us still have lots of downsizing to do to vacate our previous homes. But we’re getting there, bit by bit. Irma altered our plans and schedules but, fortunately, spared our new home.
 
It’s not easy to say goodbye to cherished friends, even though we vow to stay in touch. (Hopefully, having a home at the beach should be a good incentive to draw friends and family!)
 
Moving to a new location means finding new everything – church, doctors, services to name a few. And it means forging new friendships locally while we maintain those friendships we hold dear.
 
Change is hard for all of us, even in the happiest of circumstances.
 
Perhaps you have a newly empty nest. Your youngest child has headed off to college. You’re thrilled to see your child blossom and grow, but you are grieving the end of a special season of parenting.
 
You might have just celebrated the marriage of a child. Their spouse could be your life-long answer to prayer, but you know that your relationship with your child will never be quite the same.
 
Retirement could be right around the corner. While you look forward to the reduction of stress and schedules, you’ll miss your colleagues and the sense of worth and accomplishment that your work gives you.
 
Maybe a new job has taken you to an unfamiliar city. You’re thrilled to have a great new opportunity, but miss the friends, the climate, the culture of home.
 
Sadly, you might have recently said goodbye to a loved one due to death.  Not only have you lost a close, cherished relationship, but one of your major roles in life has ceased.
 
Change, change, change.
 
Changing seasons are a foundational part of life.
 
With every change, we’re faced with a choice in attitude. Will we embrace the new and let go of the past?  Do we focus on what we are losing or what we are gaining? Will we find reasons for gratitude in this new season? There are blessings in every new season. Every one. Even in the hard ones.
 
My anchor through any changing season is my faith. I believe that God’s love for me is unchanging.
 
What comfort comes from knowing that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.“
(Hebrews 13:8)
 
 I embrace the words from Isaiah 43:18-19 “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 believe the truth that “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.” Ecclesiastes 3:1
 
At moments when I feel unsettled about all this change, I am reminded of the words from Joshua 1:9: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”
 
Whatever type of change you are facing right now, remember: you’re not alone! We’re all constantly dealing with change of one sort or another. Embrace it. Look for the blessings. Welcome the growth that comes from being uncomfortable.
 
And go enjoy a pumpkin spice latte!

Photo Credit: Carolina Photosmith

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