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 Ready or not…

Fall is definitely in the air…even though ninety-degree temperatures remind us summer’s not over quite yet. It’s a subtle thing, the transition of seasons, and while I have no inkling of the atmospheric or meteorological factors involved, I’m intrigued by both the subtlety and the certainty of the process. The way it happens so gradually you hardly notice unless you’re really paying attention. And even if you’re not, the certainty…like the dawning of another day…eventually makes itself so undeniable that it forces you to notice.

Seems like it’s usually around the second week of August when the clouds fluff out and the air begins to feel different. Lighter or clearer or something. Not everybody picks up on it…and the reason we don’t notice, I think, is that we don’t want to. We’re not quite ready, even though we’ve had it with the heat. Something about summer is just plain hard to let go of…and we’re not so sure we want to relinquish the magic it represents from as far back as we can remember. {Especially when winter might show up sooner than we’re ready for…in ways that are anything but subtle!}

Wishful thinking…

I used to dread the end of summer so much that I completely missed everything there is to love about fall. All because I hated winter. {Seriously…} It was back when every season showed up sooner than I was ready for, stirring up a big, fat fur ball of anxiety in the pit of my stomach. Life was getting away from me, and I had no idea how to catch up or make it slow down…or how in the world I had lost track of who I was and why I was here in the first place. It happened so gradually, so subtly, I hardly noticed. Mainly because I didn’t want to.

I guess I wasn’t quite ready to let go of the magical world I had created for myself. The one that kept me from living my real life. The one I didn’t want to relinquish, because the world can be cold and harsh sometimes…and I much preferred the way I wished things could be. The way I decided they should be…{if I could just get rid of that nauseating fur ball.}

Scared to death…

It was exhausting, and the projections were anything but subtle for what lay ahead if I continued my wishful thinking…hoping to avoid the inevitable by refusing to accept responsibility for my life. No wonder I was all knotted up inside! That’s what happens when we’re scared to death of making decisions…and too ashamed to admit it. {What if I make the wrong choice? How can I know I’m making the right one? What if things don’t work out? Then what? What’s the matter with me that I can’t just make a simple decision?}

It’s a terrible dilemma. And the longer we refuse to get honest with ourselves…and with trusted family, friends, and counselors…the deeper we dig ourselves into a pit of cowering paralysis. Eventually, of course, we’re forced to do the very thing we had hoped to avoid…make decisions that no one can make for us. {Do I stay where I am? Keep looking to others to rescue me? Or finally admit I need help and begin the process of learning how to do life differently?}

It’s as certain as the seasons, folks. Just as summer gives way to fall, and fall precedes the cold, harsh months of winter…so spring and summer come around again. Sometimes the transition is so subtle we hardly notice. Other times it happens sooner and harsher than we prefer, making us wish we could somehow avoid the inevitable…but here’s what I hope you’ll learn much sooner than I did.

So long, fur ball…

Deciding to “get your brave on” instead of cowering behind false scenarios you wish were true…and choosing to humbly receive God’s grace and wisdom to notice the subtleties that signal your new season…is the only way to get rid of that dreaded fur ball that keeps you from enjoying all there is to love about your life.

It took longer than I wish it had to accept the realities of my own life and embrace the wonders of all its seasons, but the good news is that things can be different for you…if you’re willing to pay attention and accept responsibility for the beautiful life you’ve been given, with all its subtleties and inevitable certainties.