I love nature. As a Michigan native and photographer, I take great delight in photographing the changing seasons. I love the warmth of the summer, the long carefree days of endless blue skies, sand, and water…
But as much as I love summer, my favorite season is fall. Every year when the trees transform into their magnificent autumn splendor, I’m overwhelmed by the beauty of it all.
Then there is a time of transition between fall and winter, when everything looks brown and dreary, lacking color, the extreme opposite of autumn. I can’t help but feel a little sad that the fall colors have faded away. But after a month or so, we get our first snowfall and the beauty of fresh fallen snow on a sunny day fills my heart with joy.
The snow is pretty to look at for awhile, but winter sets in and wants to hang around way too long and it starts to test my patience. Then I find myself longing for spring, but I know it won’t be here for awhile. So I’m forced to wait a couple of months.
Again, there is a time of transition between winter and spring. Everything looks blah for awhile. It takes time for the grass to turn green, for the flowers to bloom.
My neighbor has this beautiful tree which is one of the first to blossom in our neighborhood and when it does, I know that spring has finally arrived. Here’s a photo I took a few years ago standing under her tree pointing my camera skyward:
I got to thinking about the seasons of nature and how I sometimes want to hang onto them longer than I should, and other times I can’t wait for them to be over.
I’m the same way with the seasons of my life. The fun seasons, like when I got married, when I gave birth to my boys, and when I started my photography business are seasons I want to hold onto forever.
I have also experienced seasons of depression, doubt, and death. One of the hardest seasons of my life was when my sister Patti died from breast cancer. I couldn’t wait for that season to be over. In fact, I didn’t want that season in my life at all.
As I’m writing this, I wonder if I have been missing the beauty of the season right in front of me because I’m either hanging onto the last season or trying to fast forward to the next.
In Ecclesiastes 3:1, King Solomon wrote, “For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.”
Through the changing seasons of life, I’m learning that there is a purpose for everything that happens in my life, even if I don’t always understand why.
I have found beauty even in the darkest seasons of my life, when I was clinging for dear life to God. The dark seasons have made me a stronger person and have brought me closer to God in a way I had never thought possible. When Patti died, her 15 year old daughter Kelli came to live with us.
Looking back now, I can clearly see the beauty in that season of grief. God had blessed me with the daughter I had always dreamed about my whole life.
A beautiful thing that comes from the difficult seasons in life, is the ability to comfort others who are going through a similar season. When we comfort others, we begin to see a purpose for our pain and it brings healing to our lives.
If you are going through a difficult season right now, my heart aches for you. I just want to encourage you to hang on to Jesus for dear life and ask him to carry you through it. I recommend getting a copy of Sarah Young’s devotional book, Jesus Calling. It has been a comfort to me over the years, especially during the difficult seasons of my life.
Today, I choose to stop clinging to the past or longing for tomorrow, and instead I choose to embrace each day, trusting that God will walk with me through every season. And as I walk this journey of faith, I’m learning that beauty can be found in every season.
“God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.” ~ Ecclesiastes 3:11 (NLT)