And then things in life happened. Broken relationships. Rejection. Betrayal. Abandonment. Loneliness. Why'd they all came in Autumn? Still I looked for the joy I once felt compelled by with the Autumn breeze, but it wasn't enough. I cried myself to sleep, as the nights grew cooler and colder. The whirlwind of broken emotions felt much stronger than any Autumn windy night could ever muster.
There was nothing to prepare for, yet I braced myself for the uncertainty of tomorrow. Winter would soon arrive. And with it would come cold nights. That I knew. Although it'd be cold, nothing could be worse than the disappointment that came with Autumn.
So I no longer look forward to the season. Life will do that to us sometimes. Like the little girl inside staring back at my now grown up friend, as she combs her fingers through her now thinning hair. It's cancer, her new reality. She's too young I think, and her children depend on her. Why must it be this kind of Autumn for her too? It's just not fair!
And the brother who feels too burdened to face the day, so he dives into fantasy world; Internet games and distractions. It sure beats loneliness in Autumn.
Truly, seasons come and seasons go, and some dreams get shattered along the way. And we too, change because we have to. Our faith is tested, many times it waivers. We are made weak by life's disillusions. We are made to feel humbled and vulnerable with every unexpected trial. And they don't consider the times or seasons. We are not alerted in advance. It's all just part of life.
But life is beautiful.... It really is. There is a certain and deeper kind of beauty in the pain felt in Autumn or any time of year. I know it sounds strange. In fact, it is rather peculiar. But I am just beginning to grasp it. You see, I used to hide from anything in life that seemed painful. I used to think it was my job to avoid all forms of hardship. So I'd make my daily list of do's and don'ts and resolutions for the year, as if I could control what time would bring. And up until recently, I hated to have to suffer. If I'm honest, I'd say I still don't like it when someone I care for is hurting.
But I've learned that just like there is beauty and meaning and purpose in those favorite Autumn days when all seems just right. There is also something very special and important taking place when we accept the pain, and we walk through it with our heads high up. We don't run from it, and although we don't like it, we take steps toward it and as if approaching a storm that we must endure. We walk through it. You see there is always a way through it.
It may sound sort of cliche, but it's true. I've learned to be okay with sorrow and pain and suffering. I've learned that those too, are part of this beautiful life God has intended for us. And I've learned that He uses those most trying times to reveal His true self and glory to us.
It's been a year since she got the prognosis. It was breast cancer. And from afar I have witnessed my friend walking through it. With her head above the water, I've seen her do it. And now a year later, Autumn is again here. I suspect she will welcome it with high hopes. I probably would too. Yet, while she might see it as a season of joy, I know of some one else who is facing her worst nightmare. And so I pray.
I pray for Autumn rains and Autumn winds. I pray for lovely afternoons with sunlight on trees dressed in an array of colors. I pray for cool nights that keep us close and morning dew that make us feel alive. But mostly, I pray that my friend will walk through it this Autumn. With the season's change and in His loving kindness and His merciful grace, may she brace herself for the beauty of pain.
Ecclesiastes 3:1, "To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven"