Fall has never really been my season. Not because I don’t like it–believe me, I could not be more excited for sweater weather, the changing of leaves to my favorite colors, or the holiday festivities. Bad things just tend to happen to me during this time of year.
For the past three years, I’ve had some pretty dramatic life events take place in the September/October time frame. Cliff notes of Fall ’15, ’16, & ’17: I got myself into some trouble, totalled my car, & had a highly adored relationship end. Because of these things, I’ve had some trouble getting into the autumn spirit this year. To be perfectly honest, I’m terrified that something negative will happen again. As great of a place as I’m in now that I live in Colorado, I can’t help but feel like I’ll have to come down from the high at some point, & that naturally it’ll happen in the pattern that it has been.
I used to be a pessimistic realist. I would have a grounded view on what could happen, but with expectations of the worst. However recently I’ve been slowly transforming into an optimistic realist. I figure out possible outcomes, prayerful for the desires of my heart with faith that God’s will is sovereign over my plans anyway. But now that fall is here again, I’m struggling to maintain that mindset. Ever since I found out I was moving to Colorado, an answered prayer to be placed somewhere that feels so authentically like home, my testimony began to evolve. I could have been called to move essentially anywhere, but God chose to bring me to a place where I’ve become more fulfilled in him and happier with myself than I ever have been. But of course, this didn’t mean that I would magically become perfectly content in every area of life.
In the time since I’ve fully settled in, I’ve been dealing with some heart issues. Haven’t we all? Whether it be bitterness, rejection, or resentment (a few of mine), anger, unforgiveness, or guilt, these things affect the way we perceive our circumstances. Thankfully, I’m wildly aware of those emotions and how they’re affecting my daily life. I talk to God about them all the time, & do my best to work on improving, but it’s never easy. In the thick of summertime, it was much simpler for me to ignore the parts of life which had me feeling that way. However with the change of seasons, this year in particular is coming with many changes in my personal life. Pair that with my history of ill-fated autumns & it’s a recipe for worry about the months to come.
Lately I’ve been running out of my positive momentum, and it’s been easy for me to feel like the good has run out on me. To feel like God’s giving everyone what they want except for me. I often neglect to remember how far I’ve come or how much I’ve been given because of the emotions that cloud my vision. I wrongly choose to focus on my losses instead of my gains. I fear that my waiting seasons will last much longer than I hope for & the inconveniences in my life will be much worse than I plan for. I only see what other people have that I don’t, instead of realizing that I have everything I could possibly need.
As I enter into my jinxed time of year, I’m struggling to maintain the optimism that I take pride in. What if my circumstances don’t take a turn for the better? What if I have to go through another loss this fall? It’s during these times of questioning that I have to remind myself of a powerful truth: despite any circumstances, I have everything I need in Christ. It doesn’t matter what this season holds for me, because there is nothing I can’t face when I put my trust in the one who holds the universe in his hands. I will choose to see the remainder of this year as an opportunity for growth, self-improvement, and contentment. Whether something unexpectedly wonderful happens, or the “trend” of events continues, I will see it as God teaching me to make the most of exactly where he has me, when he has me there.
“Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:11-13