Written by Stephanie Plumb on October 1, 2018
“The trees are about to show us how lovely it is to let things go.” –unknown.
I LOVE fall. It’s my favorite season, but unfortunately when you live in Alabama, it only lasts for about two and a half minutes until winter sets up camp. Why is fall the shortest of all the seasons? Seriously, fall, with your crisp, breathable air and your foggy mornings and cool breezes, I’d love for you to hang around awhile! I promise you won’t overstay your welcome.
I have been trying to will fall into existence at my house for the last month. I put out the fall-themed tea towels, I swapped out my flowery, beachy-scented candles for my apple-cinnamon scented ones. I brought my boots out of the attic (but I haven’t worn them yet because it’s STILL TOO HOT). I just want to be able to take my daughter and my dog on a walk without looking like I’ve been sitting in an oven at the end of it! Is that too much to ask for?
One of my favorite things about fall, other than the scarves and the boots and the cooler weather, are the LEAVES. God paints us such a beautiful picture in the fall. The bright reds and yellows and even the smattering of oranges make me SO happy. I remember driving to Oneonta for the Covered Bridge Festival one fall and just being blown away at the foliage as I drove from Tuscaloosa. Totally worth the two hour drive just for that.
The irony behind fall is that all of this beauty that makes me feel so happy and alive is possible because the leaves are dying. The chlorophyll that gives leaves their beautiful green color breaks down, and for a moment we see the other colors in the leaves peek through. These firey reds, bright yellows, and neon oranges are actually signs of decay.
I’m sure if trees had brains and thoughts and feelings, they’d be totally freaked out the first time they experienced autumn. Their source for making food is dying, for crying out loud! If I were a tree I’d be in full-on panic mode, trying to hold on to my leaves for dear life, trying to get the chlorophyll to start working again, afraid of what will happen once all of the leaves have gone from my branches.
But the thing is, letting go of those leaves is exactly what needs to happen for trees to grow. God, in His infinite wisdom, designed leaves and trees to be this way. If the trees held on to their leaves, the tree would die, too. Letting go of the dead and dying leaves creates space for new leaves to grow.
The same is true for us in our lives, as well. Ecclesiastes 3:6 says there is “a time to keep and a time to throw away.” What is the Lord prompting you to throw away this season? Is it a bad habit? An unhealthy relationship? Is it guilt over sin that you’ve already been forgiven for? Letting go of dead and dying things in our lives can be scary, because like a tree going through its first autum, we don’t know what life is going to be like on the other side! The truth is, however, that letting go of dead things is the only way to make room for new and better things to grow. We serve a loving God who works all things together for our good and for His glory, and if we trust in Him, we will see, just as we see in the trees each fall, just how beautiful it is to let things go.
Stephanie hosts Evenings with Stephanie on WDJC. She’s a wife, a new mom, and a chronic DIY project starter (but not necessarily a project finisher). She spends her days and afternoons raising her daughter and fixing up her family’s new home.