Friday, 09 September 2011
By Bonnie at Faith Barista
My first gorgeous East Coast sunset at Hilton Head beach
I’m a California girl.
Which means I’m pretty familiar with the sun and it’s mostly flip-flop weather.
When we say, “It’s freeeezing here!” to each other, it means temperatures have dropped into the lower 50′s. We wrap fuzzy scarves around our necks and pull hats down over our ears. Friends who live where ice gets chiseled out of their car windshields tell me I’m missing out on the four seasons. I’ll have to take their word on that.
But when it comes to faith, I’ve spent plenty of time in the fall and winter seasons.
A Jarring Change
I was unsuspecting. Summer ended abruptly.
Life in the summer season was packed with freedom — ministry, friends, places to go, and people to meet. Opportunities were ripe for the picking to use my time and God’s gifts in a visible way. Faith was as it should be during the season of summer: embracing and celebrating days in full bloom.
Then, a jarring change to fall descended.
No warning, no last Indian summer. Just as leaves turn yellow and orange, whisked away by the crisp northern currents, friendships began to fade. I felt the impact of human frailty, how people can disappoint. Even in ministry. Fall brings us to let go of dreams we thought were ours to hold.
We come to the crossroad of necessary endings.
Then came winter. Nothingness. This is when you wonder if summer only happens once in a lifetime and yours has already taken it’s turn. There is silence and waiting so thick and long, you don’t even know what to do. You go through the daily motions, but you long for who you once were.
In this place of hibernation, I found a new home for faith.At Home In Hidden Moments
With circumstances at standstill frozen, I began to take my place in this world with Jesus in the hidden moments.
Open hands. Open hands.
My winter prayer.
Letting go. Letting go.
My perpetual fall prayer.
Like the pitter patter of rain during the wet months, it’s hard to know how long this cycle of fall (letting go) and winter (waiting) lasts.
Years passed. I learned to settle in and get comfortable drawing close to Jesus, connecting and encouraging others in everyday life.
In this faith-rich soil, seeds of spring began to bud.
A grace-filled few nurtured me back to a place of trust.
An unexpected first kiss became my forever husband.
A beautiful community blossomed here at Faith Barista.
Huddling in a circle with (in)courage friends on the beach
A couple days ago, I got up at 4:00am to fly to South Carolina for first time along with 23 other
(in)courage writers to a beach house on Hilton Head, right where the waves lap quietly onto the shore. We are here to meet up, pray and brainstorm new steps.
As I took a moonlit prayer walk on the beach later that night, drinking in the beauty and the grace of the moment, I was overwhelmed by God’s grace.
Spring has been so long in coming, I have been a bit reluctant.
Change is not easy. What if I’m reading the signs wrong?
Because now, I hear a different call.
Start new. Receive.
New friends to make. New dreams to dare.
Turns out it takes faith to walk into summer too, after fall and winter.
But my heart is confident. Not because Spring is coming.
But because the Fall and Winter prayers have left me a beautiful, enduring gift: Jesus.
Come. Jesus says to you and me.
We may not know anything else, but we know “Come.”
As long as Jesus keeps calling us to Himself, we can dare to keep stepping into the season of faith we’re in.
Is Jesus calling you to let go — wait — start new — or embrace and celebrate?
With Jesus walking with us, each season is equally beautiful and valuable in God’s eyes. Faith is what God sees, even if no one else does.
Whether spring, summer, winter or fall, give yourself permission to lean into Him and embrace His calling in you.
What season of faith are you walking through? Fall (letting go) – Winter (loss/waiting) – Spring (new starts) – Summer (embrace and celebrate)