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Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NIV) There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:

Hey September! You're here again

Preparing my "See you later Summer"

And "Welcome Back" to my Fall friend

 

I saw you coming from afar

Not one bit shocked for a good reason

Change is inevitable, And Transitions,

They make way to the new Season

- Ana Esther

 

 

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Let's be honest. Change is uncomfortable. It forces us to leave the things we are used to, and thrust us into something new, whether we were ready for it or not. It is up to us to choose to mature as a result of those changes. Google defines change as "making or becoming different." I've read that even now, as you're reading THIS, cells are dying and new ones are being formed. Oh hey! I'm Ana! And you, mon amie, are, different. Super cool and creepy at the same time! I've always heard that change is the most consistent thing we'll ever experience, and surely enough, whoever said that was right. However, between my hearing it and my embracing it.

Two different things!

I chuckle at the frustration that I experience when change is happening. I like controlled, predictable, color coordinated results. I don't like change after I've carefully planned out my to-do list and created spreadsheets for them. Those that know me, know it well. But God and co-existence with other humans have a way of challenging my structures. Change is inevitable. (Say that line again, with less of an attitude now). Change is inevitable. Our relationships change. Our voices change. Our hair changes. Our skin changes. Our understanding changes. Our plans change. You get it! So why do we have such a hard time changing our expectations?There is nothing that we can do about the reality that there is a season for everything and change makes that loud and clear! No matter what continent you may find yourself in, the seasons are coming. You will experience change differently, according to your location. But change is change.

There isn't a new season, without the presence of change. Here's what I mean. Google defines season as:

  1. The "result of the change of a division of the year (spring, summer, autumn, and winter) 
  2. which is "MARKED by a weather pattern, daylight hours"
  3. Resulting from the earth's changing position with regard to the sun

So seasons don't change from one day to the next. We typically don't go to sleep on a summer night and wake up to a winter morning (although living in New Jersey makes me question that narrative. I purposefully pack a set of clothes in case I walk out of work into a different season altogether). But what I'm saying is, there is a pattern and progression to seasons. That pattern or progression I understand it to be called a transition.

Transition is defined by google as "the process or a period of changing from one state or condition to another." And many of us can relate to this period of transition. The kicker for me is how we transition. This is where I often have a full grown tantrum with God and find myself ultimately having no other choice but to trust His process. Proverbs 3:5-6 resounds like a gong and arrests the rhythms of my logic. I feel like it pulls the crutch of my understanding from underneath my lean. Here's why. I used to be pretty drastic when it came to relationships. I mean, I'd hold out far beyond my capacity and was terribly hurt along the way, in hopes of some kind of fruit. But once I had done all that I could, as loving and loyal as I am, I was ready to go. And I mean READY! I'd be so done with them or it, I'd barely remember it even happened. It was my only way of surviving the pain. Numbing it. But that neither healed nor helped me.

The internal conflict I had was that I never did back and forth well. Either it worked. Or it didn't. The fact that I needed to let go didn't change. But HOW I let go is what marked the difference. Wisdom says that the way I transition from one thing to the next can either help continue the growth process from the previous season, or inadvertently stunt its growth and damage/destroy the harvest in a moment of untimely uprooting. We can't avoid the change of seasons anymore than the transition attached to it. 

I don't know about you, but I'm in the middle of major transitions in my life. The life I knew yesterday is no more; I'm entering into a new season. To ignore the signs of change will leave me wearing shorts for a winter storm. Not a good look and certainly short of being prepared (pun intended. hehe). But here's the thing. It's not the first time that I'm experiencing a major transition. Like Solomon penned in Ecclesiastes, everything has a time and a season. And what's more, there is NOTHING new under the sun. WOMP! Talk about disappointing for us creatives that love the adrenaline of "new." But there's more. 

Some of us get shocked or simply complain our way into the new season, because we don't value the lessons of the previous one. But God has graced me to orbit around the Son about 32 times, and I've observed that the same seasons come back around. It's not superstition. It's design. Whether we like them or not. It is what it is. No matter our geographical, educational, societal, emotional, mental, spiritual, physical, financial and/or marital status. Seasons Change. Every. Single. Year. SHOCKER of SHOCKERS! I know. I looked at myself in the mirror and said, "Ana. Breathe. Cuenta hasta 10. Hop three times. Scream if you need to. But get a grip! The season is different. But God isn't. His design is perfect."

Here's what I believe I stumbled upon this week. Finding yourself in this "season" again isn't an indicator that you failed the last time you were in it. You are just experiencing it differently. 

Think of it this way. When I was a child, I looked forward to the winter months, praying and planning for snow days. Especially when I first came to this country. I loved watching the snow fall and then playing in it with my older brothers. Numb and all, we would have a blast! As an adult, I now have a child who looks forward to it as I once did. The way I experienced winter then, is very different than the way I experience it this time around. Now, I pay attention to the patterns, the news and signs of change, not to play in it, but to ensure I'm prepared when it does snow; and then Zinai can play in it. Same season. Different outlook. Different plan.

Perhaps this natural progression of life is the opportunity of a different perspective. Seasons will change and repeat. You have the choice to learn and grow with every cycle of seasons.

Embrace the change of seasons. You can't avoid it. 

Change announces the new season. Pay attention and Prepare.

Transitions lead to that change of season. Mind the process.

So what do I do, with the change that I can't avoid? Stay tuned for Part II, "Prepping for Change."

In the meantime, here's a question: How are you having a hard time or embracing change this time around?

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