Leaves of Fire

I love fall. I love everything about it; I love the apple cider, pumpkin everything, the color of the leaves, the smell of the wind. It’s almost always the perfect temperature outside. Jeans and hoodies make a fashion comeback, what’s not to love?

It’s also the most abrupt change of seasons. One day, everything is green and lush, and the next all the trees have turned to beautiful colors of fire. Blink and you’ve missed your opportunity to hike through the nature trails to enjoy the colors. Even with winter, the cold temperatures ease into the eventual snow, and it eases out. I realize that doesn’t always hold true in the midwest, but that is typically the norm.

We all go through seasons; some are hard and unyielding like winter during the polar vortex. Some seasons bring a relief, a beckoning to return to the outside like spring does. Some seasons are full of busyness that overtakes us like those summer vacation months. Then there are the seasons that see you preparing for something, trying to savor the last bits of something you’re not sure of, like fall.

When I picked up this blog in 2016 after a short hiatus, I had a plan. I had just moved to a different state and was trying to find my footing in the stay at home mom business. I started writing fast and heavy during those summer months of busyness and faded out just before the hard unyielding winter months. I went back and read some of those entries only to feel completely disheartened with the content.

I was so desperate to be found relatable and witty. I was trying to build a platform, something that would give me position and purpose. I found myself attempting to masquerade as one of (or all) the entertaining mom blogs. There was even a draft with a line that said, “I am by no means making this into a religious blog, but…” I was shocked at myself. Being a christian, following after Jesus Christ is so much of who I am. My very identity is in Him, and there I was trying to fit into the masses to find, I don’t know; acclaim, position?

As I sit in our new and permanent house with the windows open and the fall breeze joyously flowing in and out, I realized that there is so much more to this season than pumpkin lattes and comfortable hoodies. Jim Gaffigan once tweeted, “Isn’t it beautiful the way the leaves die?”

As funny (and true) as it is, it forced me to think of the seasons that we go through. God tasked me with doing something two years ago, almost to the day. I spent the last two years being disobedient. He would prompt me and give me snippets of it, and I would get excited. I would say to myself, “Okay, yeah, I’m going to do that. It’s time.” I even frequently asked people to pray for and with me about it, but when I had opportunity to do it, I chose to spend my time doing whatever I wanted. It’s that elusive “me time” we all strive to carve out. In that time I put myself and my wants above everything God was calling me to, what He created me for.

I was in a hard and unyielding season of my own making in those two years. But this fall, just before the leaves become glorious colors and die to make way for a new season, I realized that I needed to put myself aside. I needed to die to myself (spiritually, not physically) so that He could live fully in me. The fear I had was a fear in my own lack of ability. I wanted to stay where I was comfortable, where I knew I wouldn’t have to step to the edge. My striving for acclaim was a desire to hear how great I was at something, even at the expense of hiding my real identity. Fall isn’t just about comfort and coziness. Fall is about making way for the next phase. It’s about letting go of the decaying pieces to bring a rejuvenated life to focus. It’s a pruning process. Fall is what we so desperately need to go through to allow Him space to work in us.

I began doing what He called me to do and it’s scary and bigger – bigger than I can get done on my own terms. I need Him. I need Him to speak through me in it. I need to die to myself and let Him live in me. I don’t need to fear my lack of ability because it’s His ability that gets the job done. There’s absolutely nothing that is impossible or hard for Him. It was only hard because I refused to let Him in.

If you are struggling right now with fear or loneliness or shame, don’t stay there. Fall on your knees before a God who longs for you. Fall before a God who has given you a purpose and a calling because you are not a mistake. You were not a surprise to Him. You were carefully crafted by His hand. Some seasons are harder to bear, but it’s often in those seasons that we cling to those dead leaves instead of letting them fall; where we cling to our brokenness as our identity instead of letting it go and letting the name child of the King be our identity.

Let your burdens, your hurts, your fears, your pain fall from your grasp to land at the feet of Jesus. Then, watch Him bring you back to life.

Friend, assuredly I tell you, I have every intention of this being a christian blog. Focused on the saving grace of the Savior in the midst of my mistakes.

2 thoughts on “Leaves of Fire

  1. Maureen, this is such great encouragement …”Let your burdens, your hurts, your fears, your pain fall from your grasp to land at the feet of Jesus. Then, watch Him bring you back to life.” Yes, He is faithful! Thanks for this beautiful reminder

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