A new season is here. Autumn- It is a beautiful season every year. The season where the beauty of death is exhibited in vibrant colors. The harvest becomes ready and the fields are picked. The trees explode with brilliancy almost over night. In their season of change, the trees somehow still illustrate beauty and extravagance. This is a season where old life passes on and this allows new life to begin to burst forth. The old is going so that that the new can come; yet, the deep roots still remain, anchoring nature to the ground.
I believe that seasons in our lives are not abruptly planned by God. He has intricately planned our seasons of life, the changing of tides in our souls. He already has stones of victory ready for us to use to be victorious over giants that we dont even know about yet.
Our season of grief has been a welcomed guest. We have learned to nurture and “baby” the wounds that ache so deeply. Self care is the best care! We let grief stay as long as it needs to be present. We fully embrace it, fully feel it. There’s no running from it in this house. But we also choose to look deeper than just the surface- because we know that blessing is reaped from a season sown in tears.
Internally my “fall season” began about a year ago. A year ago today, my grandmother (my dad’s mom) passed into Jesus’ open arms after a heart breaking 10 days of decline due to a massive stroke. Twenty minutes before she died, my dad and I were having a consultation in the hospital about being admitted to hospice care. I was actually in his hospital room on the inpatient oncology unit when I got the news that she was gone. It was a horrible time for our entire family. My grandmother was a woman who always had an open door, a hot meal, some sweet treats, lots of laughs, and extra sass! She was amazing. As terrible as it was that my Grandma Maxson was no longer here with us, the event of her going Home birthed a stronger bond between my dad and I. Her death created a loss in his life. Both of his parents were gone. After learning my dad had less than six months to live and hospice would take over his care, I found that same sting of loss in my heart too.
The most profound memory I have with my dad was sitting next to him at my grandmother’s funeral, gazing forward at her…. both of us caught up in processing the moment. I leaned over and put my head on his shoulder. My daddy was holding me in my loss as tears streamed down my face, down his suit jacket, and onto the floor. He knew that he was journeying closer to the moment when he too would be standing before Jesus…and I knew that I would be sitting in his exact chair gazing at him when the time came. Oh the pain in that moment. It cut deeper than ever.
I know my grandmother was greeted by the Father, my Aunt Patty, and my grandpa and she is living in a new body with a new mind, free of dementia and memory loss….free of hurt, free of pain. And at that moment when my dad’s shoulder caught all my tears, I realized that he would be free from pain, free from hurt, free from grieving and loss. In Heaven– there are NO funerals. No goodbyes. In his Heavenly Home with his Father– he would face no more loss, no more broken bones. No more cancer and no more sickness. I knew that there was beauty even in death. Just like fall’s season it was vibrant and showing through in all its glory.
My fall season…
My soul’s roots were still firmly planted, but the leaves all around me were bursting forth in color and vibrancy even as they were dying. The Lord was whispering to me all of the gentle words I needed to hear to get me through that day– but also all the words I needed to hear to realize that there was PURPOSE behind this pain. There was new blessing and growth ahead. Grief did not have to swallow us. We had beauty in the ashes.
I pray that in your “Fall Season” you see the vibrancy of life, even in the midst of your pain. If you’re burdened and aching, I pray you would look higher and deeper and see that harvest of blessing that is promised to you. (Galatians 6:9) Whatever has brought you the aches of loss, the pain in the waiting, the promise yet unfulfilled, I pray that you see that there is purpose in your pain. There is purpose even in midst of horrible, gut wrenching loss. There is beauty even under the weight of grief. There is hope, even when you are hurting. There is LIFE. There is vibrancy. Just like Autumn.
Missing you, Grandma.
“They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do.” Psalm 1:3 (NLT)