October is life. I envision color-draped tree leaves falling in swoop motion towards gravel roads. I pick up my red chicken mug, wash off its dust, and lap in coffee luxury. (Sidenote:: I tend to only really love DAILY hot liquids when the weather turns to chill.) And I open as many windows as possible, hit play on Anne of Green Gables, and my creative paint juices are on overflow. There is a peace.
Seasons changing must be for knowing peace.
However, sometimes that peace that passes all understanding is harder to accept. It is by no means hard to find given that we have total access all day to the unrelenting, raw, and fullness of the Scriptures. But sometimes, when choosing life, those words on the page don’t seem enough. Like we want someone to come next to us, grab our faces, take a red sharpie and mark truth for us. Peace is so found in the searching though.
It was a year ago last week, that I began to see so much of my season change. I knew I would walk away from my current job after the next twenty-seven weeks ended. I had dreams of a painting studio and a pie bakery thing. Purchasing a crazy, cool old van was in the back of my mind. And I could somewhere find peace in locating a breath-taking piece of scenery, hanging my hammock, and learning how to live off trout. So many avenues I had drawn ever so intricately in the depths of me to know restoration and peace. So many avenues that left Jesus a bit uninvited. I was okay with Him showing up once I had everything paved, but He was not allowed to mix my mortar.
Out of all those lists and expectations I had for my life, painting was the only one that proved to be life-giving. And it was only life-giving because He was the grace-full overflow. Painting and the quiet of my woods were the lenses I was given to look through to find and see and know peace. Those lenses also came packaged with a burlap bow of restoration wrapped every so southern-heavenly around it.
I landed here. Learning that a lonely day was not just absent of people, but it was rich and full of inviting Jesus to my presence. The work of restoring my heart back to His was not at all going to happen until I saw that the issue was my “not now, Lord!” instead of His “let Me in!” But ultimately I landed here… physically in a wind-blown pasture, but with a heart yearning for my dreams no longer.
A heart that recognizes Jesus as God’s way of refusing to give up His dream for humanity… for me… His wandering sheep of a child.
Restoring dreams to eternal realities, forever etching into forever peace.
“Do not call to mind the former things, Or ponder things of the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” Isaiah forty-three verses eighteen and nineteen.
Is it not such a visual? Given at a time when the people were told of the deliverance from Babylon, BUT such a greater description to the season of peace. An intro of sorts to the coming of Jesus. The One with the sledgehammer to break every locked heart. The One who magnificently escorts us out of darkness, out of our wandering, out of our sometimes self-induced, self-sufficient wilderness. The One who gives water. The life-giving kind in our driest and desperate seasons.
When seasons change, hopefully so do our hearts. Hopefully so does our way through the wilderness. Hopefully towards restorative rivers. We are prone to miss the splendor of eternity. The glory back to glory movement. Kids, schedules, tests, bake sales, dinner parties, even holidays… our wandering trickles in uninvited and we often uninvite the King. There is a misuse of our understanding of our role in God’s plan. During the last year, schedules and bake sales and parties and even holidays took a back seat to learning my faith all over again. And I noticed within the calm and silence there is a story being told. That story wasn’t about the new job or the new home. It wasn’t finding answers to all my questions. The story being told was through an infinite Jesus, all about Himself, within the measures of grace, and faith being measured on His account. It is a story that lets go of time and lets us know that He has already built His own ark of restoration. And through Jesus we have been given much into eternity. We’ve actually been given all into eternity.
The fall season. The seeing death as a good thing.
These are holy days. He takes ruins and revives them.
He allows our plans and dreams to wash by the wayside only so we will know His display of good. And even though He doesn’t promise to restore everything we think is broken… He gives a living word and reveals a new work.
I’m convinced He brings Octobers to remind us of peace.