Every fall the first five years I lived in Florida, after living in Maryland for over twenty years, I took a trip back home. I missed the autumn leaves. I missed the autumn smells. I missed the autumn chill. I flat-out missed autumn.
Florida was great. No snow. Yay! But the part of Florida where I lived basically had two seasons. Hot and a little less hot. We had few deciduous trees to turn the glorious colors I loved. In Florida we mostly had pine trees and palm trees. And you could forget wearing wool winter clothes or boots.
Instead of raking fall leaves, I raked pine needles. Instead of knitting sweaters in my spare time, I floated in the pool.
As the years passed, I grew more accustomed to Florida’s autumn and no longer felt the need to migrate north for a week each October.
When I paid attention, when I took notice, I realized God provided seasons in his perfect timing in Florida, as he had in Maryland. These seasons just weren’t as drastic as what I was used to is all. And the older I got, the more grateful I became. Snow is pretty and fun when it’s all fresh and powder soft, but I find it miserable when it’s frozen and turns to slick ice on roads and windshields.
Sometimes, I think, we come to expect certain things will occur in our lives at certain times; much like my expectation that when the calendar says first day of fall, things should change. Things should be different. When things don’t change at the time and in the way we expect, we often feel something is wrong.
In our minds we may have a calendar that says by this age I should have accomplished such and such. Fill in your own such and such. Is it education? Career? Marriage? Family? Success? However you define success.
We come to believe our changing of seasons should look like that of those around us. She already has her third book contract and I don’t even have an agent. He already has a prestigious career and I’m still working my way up the ladder. Their children are headed for college and my arms remain empty.
Not all seasons change the same way, but each season changes according to God’s perfect timing and his faithful plan.
Sure. I missed what I’d come to believe fall should be, but eventually I adapted, and came to appreciate the reality of my new fall. Good thing, because from Florida, God sent me to Texas. Another two-season state.
When the pages of the calendar of our life don’t turn as we hope, and fall leaves don’t turn to the gorgeous reds, oranges, and yellow we hope for, we can be confident in God’s perfect timing.
Those leaves will turn when God says it’s time.
I wish you well.