Fall is my favorite of seasons (though each of them has a place in my heart!). There’s a sense of adventure in the cool fall air that inspires my own love for adventure; and, there’s a sense of beauty in the changing colors and changing weather. Fall means that winter is coming, and with it the death of flowers and plant-life – but the fact that we know spring is coming changes the way we see this death. The ending of fall makes the new beginning of spring all the more beautiful.
Fall also seems to be consistently a time of change for me – which makes it all the more exciting. As I wrote in my previous post “On the Seasons“, I’ve noticed trends in each of the seasons in the role they usually play in my life and the kinds of lessons I learn in each. Of course, every season of every year is unique – but there are still some commonalities, at least in my own life.
This fall has brought about many changes for me. While I moved back to Kansas and started my new job in August (summer), those changes really feel like the prelude of more changes that really didn’t happen until the fall. August held the most distinct changes in my exterior life, but it’s really been this fall that’s brought about the most changes in my interior life – largely as a result of those big, exterior changes.
Do you ever feel a sense of true calling so strong that it fills every corner of your life with joy, just to know that you can participate in it? This is what I have felt this season. Every day and every second is exciting. For the first time, I feel a coming together of every area of my life – my work, my studies, my worship, my time with friends and family – they are all united in a common purpose. I have no work/life balance; rather, I have work/life integration, and my spiritual life is integrated into it all.
I’ve felt so many callings this season, but they are really all a part of the same calling – the calling to follow Christ with my entire heart, soul, and mind. I’ve been called to pray – regularly and intentionally. I’ve been called to study the Word He’s given me with purpose and vigor. I’ve been called to daily seek out ways to love the people He’s placed in my life, further His kingdom, and give up my own desires for His sake. There is such a beautiful freedom in the laying down of one’s own life. It is only through giving myself away, for Christ’s sake, that I am able to truly find my identity in Him – and thus also find true joy.
The changes in myself this season are so distinct that they’ve also affected my external life in many ways. When I am regularly in prayer, Scripture-reading, and consistent worship, I feel an empowerment from the Holy Spirit. Suddenly, the things that used to tire me physically and mentally are unable to do so. Suddenly, I am able to push myself to extreme limits for the sake of others – I don’t need alone time like an introvert, and I don’t need people time like an extrovert. The Holy Spirit empowers me with an energy that doesn’t depend on alone-time or people-time (though of course, I still need to take care of my physical body and get enough rest!).
I’m looking forward to continued learning the rest of this season. Perhaps the fall has been such a time of change and growth for me these past years because I have intentionally sought that growth out, and tried to listen to God as He’s been trying to change me. While I hope to always seek out spiritual growth, I do believe it is helpful to have a specific intentional period of evaluative change. For me, that period is the fall – and it’s such a beautiful time.