The anticipation of fall is in the air. People buzzing about scarves, flannels, and pumpkin spice lattes. Air conditioning is replaced by open windows. All the fall people talk about how much they love fall, while summer people weep silently in a dark corner.
I am a summer person through and through. I needn’t make my arguments – they speak for themselves (ICE CREAM. SWIMMING. SUNNY DAYS. LATE NIGHTS.)
This year, however, I don’t exactly hate the onset of fall. At least as much.
The reason? As the sun sets sooner and the nights get cooler, my season of life is changing as well. Not only is it changing, it’s improving.
At the beginning of May I wrote a post about how I was coming out of a difficult 7 months. I said things like “I no longer feel like I’m drowning” and “I’m expectant for the coming season” and “I have a feeling it’s only going to get better.”
Little did I know the storm I had experienced was not yet over. Things didn’t get better; they got worse. The storm raged on.
In July, I cracked. I parked in the ‘expectant mothers’ spot at work because I just didn’t care. I didn’t do my hair or makeup. When people asked how I was I said “bad” and walked away. I took melatonin to help me sleep. I felt like I was going through a bad breakup. Nothing mattered.
Albert Einstein said insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. In essence, that is what I did for a year… and it drove me insane. I tried and tried and tried, and failed and failed and failed. The results were always the same, yet I kept trying. I was like a hamster on a wheel.
I had too much work on my plate and not enough help. For nearly an entire year I put my head down and powered through. I forget what it felt like to breathe. On July 24 I wrote in my diary: I just want to feel like I’m “home.” I haven’t felt that for a year. I have felt mostly isolated and out of my element, like a fish out of water.
I felt like roadkill.
And then, God saved me.
Do you want to know what being saved feels like? It feels like getting pierced in your hands, your feet, your hip. It feels like pain flooding your entire body and soul. It feels like so many tears you might actually choke on them. It feels like weakness, and hunger, and hopelessness.
And then it feels like: Release. Relief. Resurrection. Redemption.
Hard conversations were had. Tears were shed. Forgiveness was extended. Changes were made. People came through.
On August 24, exactly one month after I wrote that fish-out-of-water diary entry, I was lying in bed when I burst into tears. I grabbed my iPhone and typed out the following:
I feel like myself again after a year of being out of my element.
I feel hope after a year of being let down.
I feel like I can accomplish things after a year of failing.
I feel like I can breathe after a year of drowning.
I feel humbled because God is saving me. He is lifting me out of the muck and mire.
Three weeks later, all those feelings remain and continue to increase. I have been saved all over again. I feel like a baby Christian, in complete awe of Jesus and his miracles.
When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man!”
Being saved is humbling. And euphoric. I have cried more than once because of it this time around.
Summer is fading. Fall is sneaking in, ready to transform greens into yellows and oranges and reds and purples. I have less work. I have more help. I can breathe. And just like that, my heart is beginning to beat again…
I am saved.