From wedding bells ringing to welcoming a new little life into our family; from older ones learning the ins and outs of balancing family life with outside responsibilities to young ones just being ushered into the realm of learning how to learn; from senior high school students seeking what the Lord would have them to do concerning the next step in life to elementary students wondering if they are doomed to academic study for the rest of their existence; from joyfully living life as close friends to patiently mentoring toddlers in training... Our family has it covered, and yet it's still hard to let go of "Life as we have always known it."
Autumn is my favorite season of the year. The crisp air, the cooler weather, the brilliant colors, the cozy holiday preparation, the festivity of get togethers with friends and family gatherings, the special once-a-year treats that are brought out for sharing, the music of celebration and rehearsing the memories of yet another year of God's blessings...
Autumn is the last full season of the calendar year, and though it is comparable with other seasons in this aspect, for some reason it resonates in my mind as the season that reveals the most obvious evidence of change. The intensity of the Summer heat morphs into the revitalizing autumn breezes that carry the colorful leaves from their high residency in the boughs of the trees down to the low grounds for to become fertilizer for the next season of life after the quiet rest of winter when everything Springs into action and brings with it the freshness of new life. Autumn is a time of thoughtful harvest when the fruit of what has been sewn in the early part of the year reaches it's full maturity and either brings comforting knowledge of sustenance through the winter months, or the revelation of flaws and mistakes that cannot be corrected until the next year's planting. It is also a time of evaluation and pondering over the events and happenings of the year, in preparation for planning out the next year. Autumn brings the year into perspective and allows us to reflect on the opportunities the Lord has given us, whether observed and embraced or passed by and lost. It can either bring discouragement and regret for what all we have not done, or it can usher in joy and thankfulness to the Lord for how He lead and provided in spite of the impossibilities that seamed to loom ahead in our path, bringing us through yet another year of walking with Him and growing closer to His heart.
In this part of the journey of our family's life, I am being reminded daily that each season does not last forever. As a child, I remember dreaming of our future young adult days when the Lord would begin to move each one of us along in the plan and purpose that He had created us for. As we got older, Elisabeth and I would often talk about the reality of the changes ahead and what they might mean for us. And now, being on the brink of having our first send-off with the marriage of Elisabeth to Nathan Radfar, we are rejoicing that the Lord has brought us thus far. Everything we have learned, the experiences we have walked through together, the joys and victories we have gained through the Lord's help and strength, as well as the struggles and storms we have been through as a family seeking to bow into them with humility and courage, God has been there all along.
I once came across a quote that read, "Change is inevitable, it is essential to survival. Why fear it or fight is when you can simply embrace it?" Most of us in our household, if not all in one aspect or another, do not like change. But if we did not change we would not be who we are today. God has us in a continual education process that requires change if it is going to have the right result. Growing requires change. Learning takes change. Improvement can't happen without change. And accepting change takes faith that God knows what's best and has a plan and propose for each and every one of us, individually.
As we launch into this new season of our lives, our prayer is, first, that we would remain close to the Lord in our personal walks with Him. Then as these changes happen in our lives, that we would embrace them as God's will, purposing to receive them with thanksgiving and allowing these new experiences and situations to draw us closer not only to the Lord, but also closer in heart to our family members, including the new ones that will be welcomed into our family through the Lord's leading.
We are definitely looking forward to what the Lord has in store for us as we continue seeking Him and following His leading, looking into the future with excited anticipation and calm resolve to keep His heart as our compass and His Word as our road map.
Stay in tune: we will have a lot to share as the weeks come and go. We'll look forward to keeping y'all posted!
All Along Lyrics by Rebecca J. Peck
For thou art my rock and my fortress: therefore for thy name's sake lead me, and guide me.
~ Psalm 31:3 ~