A bit of sadness awaits me, just around the corner. It’s hovering there in the autumn winds, like a storm rolling in. I don’t think about it, I just feel it in my bones.
Autumn is one of my favorite times of the year. As a child, the fall months seemed to make me thrive. They brought me joy. There was such a freedom, running around in the crisp air as vibrant leaves showered the earth with color. I absolutely loved everything about fall.
I still do, but 50+ years later, heartache upon heartache has changed the way fall feels for me.
I can’t escape it. I can’t pretend it didn’t happen. I don’t even think about it, I just feel it.
On two separate occasions, it was during the autumn months that heartbreaking betrayal left me in darkness. Darkness that lasted a long time. It was also a crisp November morning, one week before my birthday, that my mom passed away suddenly. It was in early October, just three years ago, that my dear friend went home to heaven. The very day after his funeral, my precious dad passed away unexpectedly as well. And this year, my sweet friend found out she doesn’t have long to live.
As the cozy fall vibes splash across social media and I’m reaching for my blanket on chilly nights, all of these moments whisper on the winds. My mind goes there without me even thinking about it. I miss my loved ones. I miss the years that were taken as I tried to dig myself out of a dark pit. I miss a future with my friend.
A few months after my dad passed away, I remember laughing for the first time. Truly laughing. And immediately after the laughter, sadness engulfed me.
Because I remembered.
I ask myself, can I have joy and sadness at the same time? Will I ever be free in the fall months to thrive like I did when I was a child? Will this heaviness that the sadness brings ever feel lighter?
I am absolutely sure of one thing, the answer is yes. God wants me to have joy. Satan wants to rob me of that joy.
I long to be oblivious like the rest of the social media world seems to be. I want to turn on football games, get out those cute fall boots and put on a cozy sweater. I want to drink pumpkin spice “everything”, and smile as I gaze upon the beautiful colors of God’s masterpiece falling from limbs in the sky.
Like nothing bad ever happened.
With God’s help, I still can.
You can too ladies.
When heartache grips us, often our humanity does too. We remember. We want things to be like they were when our hearts were free, before the sadness came. We want to hold on to the comfort that once was. Because of this, we are incapable of moving on past the heartache without the help of the Holy Spirit. But when we ask the Holy Spirit to fill us and to empower us, we can readily apply God’s word to our broken hearts.
His words that tell us to forget those things which are behind. That the devil comes to steal and destroy, but that the joy of the Lord is our strength. To lay aside every weight that we carry on our shoulders and look ahead at Jesus.
And that is exactly what I am doing.
I know God understands our humanity. Paul reminded us with the words~”as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing”. Jesus Himself wept, even though He knew the joy that was coming. There will always be sorrow on this earth, because sin brings sorrow. We are born into that darkness, but God is our light. I know that He knows when our hearts are hurting and I believe that yes, we can have joy and sorrow at the same time. We can because as a believer, our sorrow isn’t without hope. We can because our joy isn’t found in the temporary, it’s found in the eternal and even though our weeping may last for a moment, our eternal joy will last a lifetime.
Just like the wind takes hold of all the beautiful leaves and showers the earth with color, the wind seems to have taken the beauty of my “befores” that I once held so close.
But my God walks on the wings of the wind!!
And I know that if He had never taken some of that beauty from my life, He couldn’t use me to shower the earth with its vibrant colors. Colors of encouragement for others. Colors that hold Hope.
I’m not going to lie and say I have been miraculously changed, and the sadness is gone. My humanity wants my life to stay beautiful. Not to change. Not to lose its vibrant colors and the comfort of my “befores”. I read a great quote this week that said~”Looking back doesn't enable us to go back, and more times than not, it just makes us stuck”*. It’s a daily (sometimes hourly) battle to hand that heaviness over to Jesus. But when I truly do this, when I pray and ask Him to take it~because I can’t seem to let it go, I find freedom. And in that freedom, I find joy.
So today, join me as the tears fall, but our hearts smile. Take my hand~
Let’s walk with our great God on the wings of the wind.
“Who walketh upon the wings of the wind:” Psalm 104:3
John 15:9, 11
John 16:22, 24
1 John 1:4-5
Psalm 94:17, 19
2 Corinthians 6:10
1 Peter 1:8
Romans 15:13, 32