The Story of the Seasons

Blank Tree

As I sit here thinking about the evolution of this album, I can’t help but think about my journey and discovery of the seasons. This story is the meaning behind the title of this project and I can say that this album is another part to another season with the Lord.  This is how it began…

I’ll never forget the day for as long as live. As unexciting as the place where I was, I will never forget the picture that was painted for me from heaven. It was a normal fall day, the temperature just right, leaves falling from the trees and the wind. Ah the wind, one of my favorite elements of the weather. There is just something about the wind that takes me away to a place higher than myself, somewhere outside of myself. I find myself closing my eyes and just taking deeper breaths.

Like I said there was nothing exciting about my day. I found myself at the Quick-Trip pumping gas as my weekly routine driving around Atlanta. As I stood there waiting for my gas tank to fill, I found myself just looking up into the sky, saying hi to the Lord and reminiscing about my day with Him. I was thanking him for the beauty of the actual day around me and found myself removed from the place where I stood at this gas pump, and into the realms of heaven. I remember thinking about how good God is, and how much higher He is. How when I seem to not understand things and what is going on or His timeline of action,  I can dwell on the Most High God who can instantly remove me from the mundane, negative thinking into an a-ray of peace and solace. That is where I stood.

This was the day; this was the moment, the moment when the heavens opened up a canvas of beautiful, meaningful imagery for me to travel the road map of what I saw to be that of a glimpse into the mind of God. The creative, spontaneous, beautiful, glorious, all knowing God allowed His spirit to give me a peace and a visual understanding of the seasons. Yes, the seasons.

I’ve always attributed the wind to be that of the Holy Spirit. I think that is why it is one of my favorite elements of the weather; also because the Bible gives that description to the Holy Spirit. I think that is why I tend to close my eyes when I feel the wind on my face and take a deeper breath. I want to somehow inhale the essence of God, and think that is one way of doing it, which I know to be false, but nevertheless I always do this. This time it wasn’t what I felt from the wind that day, but rather what I saw. I closed my eyes as one of the most powerful gust of wind I’d ever felt blew upon that gas station.  As I closed my eyes, I saw the beautiful sunshine, shining on the most colorful fall leaves on this tree. You know the leaves that are deep red, bright orange, yellow, and dark brown. As I stared at the tree I saw the leaves falling to the ground, and I heard within my spirit. “Debra, look how beautiful the season of fall is, look how beautiful the death of something can be.” I opened my eyes and looked around a minute wondering how long I was standing there with my eyes closed at a gas pump. That’s when I said  out loud. “Fall is the death of life, and yet it is one of the most beautiful seasons and times of the year. It is my favorite time of year.” I don’t have to sit here and prove my argument to that.  I think we all can agree that fall is magical. But it was during this time of my life that I’d been wrestling with surrender, and fall was upon me. I knew I had to let some things literally fall to the ground and die to my flesh and my will. I had to surrender all.

It was after that, when the imagery just kept coming. The meaning of the seasons kept bringing on some deeper, hidden meaning that I had never seen or understood before…And this is how God unfolded it to me.

Fall is the death of life, it is the dying time. The time we have to start all over, to start something new, or to bloom all over again at a later season or time. While death can be painful, it can be beautiful, whether it is experiencing the tragedy of a physical death, or just as the Bible says we are to “die to ourselves,” so also as a spiritual death.  Sometimes we have to die to ourselves, die to our dreams, only for the Lord to have the surrender in our hearts to create something even more beautiful over time. We have to be willing to see something fall to the ground, to maybe see something fail, to lose life in order for the Lord to bring something new. But, it is then that winter comes.

It can come as a blanket of snow to cover our wounds, the blinding white snow to purify our lives, to refresh and refine our souls. Winter comes as the season for rest, for renewal, for a recovery, maybe the recovery of the death or the loss we might feel from failure or from a life. The cold temperature can be uncomfortable, and isn’t ideal, but it makes us stay inside. I saw this as something deeper. Winter can be our rescue, our safe haven from the snare of the enemy to devour us from the fall, the failure or the death. Jesus brings us into the warmth of the inside; He makes us lie down, and rest. Maybe it is taking the time to look inside ourselves to find healing with the Lord, or to fully lay down our past and go to the warmth of the Father and receive His love; or to stay where it is warmer to find healing and rest. It is the time when animals hibernate, and when plants lay dead or dormant. It reminds me of a blank canvas, tree limbs lay bare and empty, longing for life to make their beauty known.  Longing for their fullness to be shown, the leaves to warm their limbs, the color to ignite their full potential as a tree, but it isn’t time yet.  It’s the time for rest, for rejuvenation, and with just enough of it, it will be time for life again.

Then it comes, spring. Ah spring, probably my second favorite season; when the rest is over, and life can spring forth. The newness has come. Baby animals are born, color is everywhere, and plants are budding and life is growing. The green grass, and warm temperatures, there is newness at last. Life, birth, colors, and beauty, all in time we are ready to spring forth, to rise up, to birth a new idea, a new self, something that God transforms within us at the proper time to grow and shine. It is the growing time, the time to showcase the creative God, the healer God, the God who brings life and meaning from our past or what we laid down to die. Winter brought rest and healing, so that God could spring up something new and beautiful (Isaiah 43:18-19). We can take a step into the warm new climates because we are ready, because God says, it is time.

Then summer. The radiating heat and the glorious sunshine shows off the newness that spring brought. The sun shines down on the something new. It exemplifies the color, the growth and the beauty.  And just when it gets too hot, or it seems like we can’t stand the heat anymore, it’s time for fall all over again. It’s time to lay certain things to death, again. I’m reminded of this throughout even the course of one day. When I want to pick up something I have laid down to die in surrender to the Lord, I remember that it isn’t mine to control the outcome of, it isn’t my life to have anymore, I surrendered it. It is my life for His life, which is something so much better. As Ecclesiastes states, “He makes everything beautiful in time…” That He uses every season of our lives to mold is into something precious, refined, and beautiful. If we allow him to use the hard times of fall and even the waiting times of winter, he promises us he will use it for our good like Roman 8:28 states; if we let him, if we truly surrender, and truly wait. He is the essence of beauty. He is worth the hard things in life to bring out the greatness of who He is that we might bear His greatness to shine for the world to see.

What I love about the cycle of the seasons is just that. It is a cycle. Life is a cycle. God knows just how much of the fall we can stand before He brings the winter to give us rest. He knows just how much rest we need before we are ready for something new, and then he brings the life. He knows just how much heat we can stand and sun we can see before it is time for that thing to die or lay to rest. He sees through all of our cycles of life to the bigger picture, the greater outcome. He sees every season. We just have to be willing to allow the course to be run. We have to be acclimated to the seasons to be able to sense when fall is near or upon us, or winter has come and it is time to rest. We have to be in tune, and aligned to the Holy Spirit’s leading so that we know what season we are in. For as we know, there is a proper time for everything under heaven. There is a time and a place, and a moment for everything.

I have gone through my fair share of what seems to be a lot of fall and winter. I feel like I’m still waiting for my spring to truly come, and in a way I think through this project I have seen some blooms starting to bud.  I know it is coming. It has to come; it is the order that was set in motion by the Creator of the Universe. That is why I can say “God in Every Season you are faithful, ever faithful, God who made the seasons, Lord, you are faithful, ever faithful. You provide, you’re alive, tell the waves where to stop and the sun where to hide. You bring all things back to life. You make everything beautiful in time. Lord you make everything beautiful in time. “

Welcome spring.

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