Friday, April 5, 2013

Falls (and a brief ode to the autumns of my Boston years)

So, I’m very aware that this post might be a bit (or a lot) out of current context for you – but please indulge me.

Yesterday’s high (temp) was about 65°F and the low, about 51°F. I woke up this morning to a temperature somewhere in the 50s, absolutely clear, blue skies, and a bright, brilliant sun. This is the first day that really feels like autumn – and it so glorious!

Such brilliant fall weather brings a flood of emotions and memories. This weather instantly takes me back to the autumns of college – to sweaters and boots and studying in the library, to cheese bagels from Einstein’s Bagels, or Caramel Apple Spices from Starbucks (I wasn’t much of a coffee drinker in college). Or, to hot, perfect rolls from Bertucci’s in Kenmore Square or to Halloweens and apple picking and pumpkins. Fall also includes memories of intense moments emotionally and spiritually. I don’t think I had yet seen the spiritual battle so acutely until I was in college; the constant battle in my own heart to “finish the race” (Acts 20:24) and the battle to win peoples’ souls. They were sometimes times of testing, times of pushing myself, times of wrestling with my own selfishness, laziness, and pride, and times of fighting both to help others know God and to help my own heart want to share the gospel more. The struggles were hard but victorious. And all of those memories are filled with the presence of so many amazing, so fun, hysterical, loyal friends, who I still treasure deeply.
Falls in college were a time for a new start: a new start in academics: new classes, new schedule, new papers and exams; a new start spiritually: a chance to change things that were previously a stumbling block to me spiritually, a chance to grow in the things I had learned in the previous year and that really worked, a chance to find new, open people – people searching for God.
I honestly don’t know who I would be or where I would be (literally – I mean I now live in AFRICA?!) without those friends or experiences – each and every one of them.

These are such fond memories, but at the exact same time, they are equally heart-wrenching (I know that is a bit of dramatic word choice). I love these memories and I loved those times, but I also miss them terribly. Autumn here is wonderful, but it makes me miss those autumns. My life has taken so many different turns since then, I don’t know if I’ll ever experience similar autumns again; maybe I will – and what a blessing that will be! – and maybe I won’t – what an adventure that will continue to be!

As life has taken so many unexpected turns and roads, fall now brings a new set of memories and emotions that I have not anticipated feeling. As I remember the autumns of college, I also remember autumn two years ago. It was my first one in South Africa, in the Southern Hemisphere; my first autumn in April, May, June. (It’s crazy that enough time as actually passed to see seasons in my life here in Africa.) In that particular autumn, I had just started dating my now husband – which was so exciting, new and blissful. My family came to visit me; to see South Africa for the first time. They met G for the first time. We were a part of our first Southern Africa church conference (which is actually starting today for this year’s conference); meeting disciples  for the first time from form other parts of SA, from Botswana, Namibia, Mozambique and other Southern African countries. It was exciting and inspiring. My family and I went out to KRUGER NATIONAL PARK for the first time, and saw wild lions, elephants, giraffe, buffalo, monkeys, and so much more. It was surreal to see that this was my life now. I cherish the memories of that time – as I do any time we get together – because they are not as often as we wish they could be, at this time in our lives.

And now that autumn is here again and the 2013 Southern Africa conference is starting tonight, I am filled with so much excitement and gratitude. Excitement for a weekend of spiritual growth and inspiration; excitement for the future and whatever may lie ahead for G and I; excitement for rekindling old friendships. And I am filled with gratitude for the chance to be a part of such an amazing church and spiritual kingdom, that reaches far beyond the borders of South Africa; gratitude for inspiration, grace, new opportunities to grow and change; gratitude to be called to help spread the gospel (Romans 1:5); gratitude for a godly centre and for hope in our marriage. And of course, excitement for more refreshing and invigorating weather! :)

And I have one can of pumpkin that my mom gave me last time she was visiting, so bring on the pumpkin pie!

Lots of love from the chilly Southern Hemisphere,

1 comment:

  1. Wow....what a journey life is. How the pieces of our life weave together. Love this post.


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