We cannot expect to grow in our Christian walk or in our Christian life if we fail to start anew.
With fall approaching, it is a great time to reflect on what the changing seasons teach us. As each season passes, we often can see how we have grown or changed since the previous season started. Just within the past few months, I have noticed many changes in my own life—some good and some bad. Maybe you have noticed the same in your own life. Everyone grows and changes—it is unavoidable; however, we need to ensure we are changing and growing more into the people God created us to be.
Here are three things changing seasons teach us:
1. Learning to Let Go
One thing changing seasons teach us is learning to let go. Just as the trees let go of their leaves, the changing seasons teach us to let go. Many years ago, my mom passed away in the fall time. If you have lost a loved one, you know the pain that comes with their passing. It is a pain that none of us want to feel, yet it is a pain all of us will feel at one point in our lives. With the changing of the seasons from summer to fall, I often think about my mother’s final days.
Maybe the same happens for you. The death of a loved one is seared in your mind, and when the season comes up that they passed away, all of those memories come back. I was walking a few days ago and I passed under a few tall trees. Their leaves were falling, and it was a truly beautiful scene. Rather than passing by as the other people did without showing any emotion, I felt a pain in my heart and tears filled my eyes.
The falling of the leaves reminded me of my mom’s passing and how she would never be able to see the changing of the seasons again. It is a sad reality when we are plagued with these thoughts, and they can be impossible to shake off. As much as we think we have moved on and healed, a slight memory can bring us back to the pain we have been running from for years. My mom loved fall time, as it was a season that was close to heart, yet this same season is the season that took her away.
As little children, my mom would take my sisters and me to play at a park or to go on a walk around the neighborhood. She dressed us in our matching coats, and I admired how fearless my mom was at doing everything. She wasn’t scared of the big cars that rode down the street nor was she afraid of the dog barking at us inside the fence. It wasn’t until I was a teen and my mom was at the hospital that I actually saw her scared.
To see a parent afraid is a terrible experience. As children, teens, and even adults, we can believe the false idea that our parents aren’t afraid of anything and nothing will ever hurt them. That is, until they are afraid and something hurts them. The memory of my mom in the fall is a painful one in my heart. I know my mom would want me to remember the good times—all the times she took us outside to play or our sunset walks as teens, but the truth is that the good times can hurt just as much.
Maybe it can feel like an impossible task, but the changing of the seasons teaches us to learn to let go. To let go of the pain, the hurt, and the struggles of the past. My mom is in heaven now, and she no longer experiences any of those pains or hurts. She is with the Lord and will have eternal happiness. For me, on the other hand, I’m still learning how to let go and think of the good memories while not allowing the bad memories to fill up my heart.
2. A Season of Rest
A second thing changing seasons teaches us is that it could be a season of inactivity. Just as the trees go dormant in the winter, this upcoming season might need to be a season of rest for you. I understand taking time for rest for many can be a struggle, yet maybe this is what God is calling you to do for this upcoming season. If you have been feeling burnt out or overwhelmed, use these cooler days as an excuse to rest up. Grab a blanket and get some extra sleep or just relax.
Resting is nothing to be ashamed of. We all need rest, and it is nothing to feel bad about. I am someone who feels guilty for resting, but I have been learning the importance of rest. Rest isn’t anything bad for us. In fact, we cannot expect to do things well in our everyday lives if we are always pushing ourselves to the limit. Often, when we talk about resting, we are referring to resting from exercise. However, you can rest from whatever you need this season, whether that's resting from going to social events or pushing yourself too much mentally.
Pushing yourself too hard physically, mentally, or emotionally is not good for you. Take some time to rest and recover. While rest has been demonized by our ever-awake American culture, there is nothing wrong with resting. Your body needs the rest, and it will thank you when you finally give it what it needs. Don’t neglect your body and don’t neglect your mental health. Sometimes by just taking a few days off, you will feel more recharged and better equipped to face the challenges of the day.
3. There Are Fresh Starts
A third thing the changing of seasons teaches us is that there are fresh starts. Fresh starts are something that all of us need at one point or another. It can be hard to continue on in our present life after we have faced a difficult situation. During many times of my life, I wanted a fresh start. Maybe you can relate. Rather than pursuing a fresh start, I allowed myself to stay in my normal surroundings out of fear. This didn’t make me happy, rather it caused me to later regret my decisions.
Instead of running away from fresh starts, we need to welcome them. Fresh starts can be a great catalyst for change and growth. We cannot expect to grow in our Christian walk or in our Christian life if we fail to start anew. At the moment of salvation, we are given a new life in Jesus. This means that we are given a fresh start. We don’t have to live in the fear of the past, nor are we judged based on our past. Instead, the Lord gives us a new start, and this new start is found in Him.
It could be time for a fresh start. Maybe that could be meeting up with an old friend you fell out of contact with, working on your mental health, or reconnecting with a partner. No matter what this new start brings you, you can trust that God is the One who is orchestrating it. He is our good, good Father and nothing happens without His approval. You can trust Him with everything, including a fresh start and the unknown seasons ahead.
Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/monkeybusinessimages
Vivian Bricker loves Jesus, studying the Word of God, and helping others in their walk with Christ. She has earned a Bachelor of Arts and Master's degree in Christian Ministry with a deep academic emphasis in theology. Her favorite things to do are spending time with her family and friends, reading, and spending time outside. When she is not writing, she is embarking on other adventures.
The views and opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of Salem Web Network and Salem Media Group.