On the last day of July, a splash of bright red caught my attention. It was over one hundred degrees and it seemed like summer might stretch on for an endless forever. In Birmingham, fall usually arrives mid-November. There wasn’t any reason to expect or even hope for a glimpse of fall this early on.
My heart needed it, though. It needed a hint that good things are on the way and He sees me even here, even now, in the waiting. Fall is my very favorite season, summer easily my least favorite, and although I chose to intentionally seek out new experiences instead of wish the season away, the heat and longevity of summer 2019 reflect another story, too.
I wrote the words below for Instagram and I said “if you’re”, but each line is pulled from my own life, from the season I’m still walking through.
“If you’re in a “waiting season” or if you feel stuck . . .
If you’re lonely . . .
If you’re barely holding on to hope . . .
If you’re exhausted . . .
If you’re facing an unwanted or unexpected change . . .
If you’re desperate for change but nothing seems to be happening . . .
This is for you.
It’s just a glimpse, but also? It’s a promise, a reminder on an afternoon walk that He is present in every season, here now and there then. You may not be able to see it coming just yet, but that doesn’t mean good things aren’t already on the way.”
A few weeks later, I shared this picture from the same trail when shades of orange made their arrival.
A blanket of green seemed to cover every tree, bush, and blade of grass in sight . . . yet once again, there it was: a hint of what’s to come.
We share a lot in these online spaces, but I’m mindful to keep many things offline. There are some storylines that just don’t need to be pixelated.
I don’t mean to be vague, but I think you’ll ’get it’ without all the details because you’ve walked this road too — the one with a whole lot of stop signs, zigzags, hills and valleys. The road isn’t straight and the ground isn’t always level, but you feel Him beside and hear Him saying “this is the way, walk in it.”
And so you do. And you trust that He sees what’s up ahead. And every once in a while, when the heat is bearing down and your feet are sore and there’s another turn just up ahead, He gives you a glimpse.
Good things are coming.
Good things ARE coming.
He is sovereign over the seasons, with us in every one, working in our waiting even as He prepares what’s to come.
Until then, until the page turns and you see what He was preparing all along, hold on. You are not alone, and you are stronger than you know. Day by day, breath by breath, give yourself grace. The seeds you’ve planted are growing, and so are you.
Once again, I’m writing “you” but I’m preaching to my own heart, too. The temperature outside is beginning to drop and we’ve felt the last of the one hundred degree days this year, but we’re still somewhere in the middle. I haven’t seen red leaves since that July 31st day and I’m wearing short sleeves on October 21st, but there’s a chill in the air and soup in the crockpot. We’re inching toward fall, but summer hasn’t quite finished making its final goodbyes.
This is the in between. I wrote a book about this space, about these middles places of both hope and doubt, grief and joy, love and loss and so much waiting. He keeps calling me back here to the tension of holding both, inviting me to walk a little further down the road, to dare to believe good things are coming.
I do. I believe it, and sometimes He gives me a glimpse. But the gift in it all hasn’t been the hints of what’s to come . . . it’s been the gift of His presence in it all.
He’s here too.
For more from the in between: