Fall is here, despite the lingering Indian summer we’ve been experiencing this year. I haven’t broken out my boots or scarves, yet, but I’m still excited for all things autumn!!
This year, I’ve seen variations of an anonymous quote floating around that really caught my attention:
“Autumn reminds us of the beauty of letting go.”
Isn’t that true? One of my favorite things about autumn is the built-in reminder that this beautiful release of leaves is a necessary part of the seasonal processes that allow trees to survive and thrive.
Without the release of those dying leaves, trees would be broken and destroyed by the weight of winter’s snow and ice.
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In one of my favorite passages from Lysa Terkuerst’s book, The Best Yes, she talks about observing this very phenomenon:
A few years ago I traveled to visit a friend in Connecticut . . . [and] I saw the fallout from the storm she’d tried to describe—a massive twenty-inch snow in the middle of fall. But it wasn’t the amount of snow still on the ground, or the snowmen still proudly standing, or the huge snowbanks on either side of the road that grabbed my attention.
It was the broken trees. The branches were piled everywhere. House after house. All down the street. Disastrous piles of limbs—big piles of trees—all still clinging to the leaves that hadn’t dropped yet. And because the leaves hadn’t dropped, the trees broke.
That’s what happens when a snow comes early. The trees weren’t designed to face snow before releasing their leaves. they weren’t made to carry more than they should. And neither are we.
I know the weight of carrying more than I should. And usually it’s because I’ve refused to release something before taking on something else. If I want to choose a Best Yes, it’s crucial I make room for it first. Otherwise, a Best Yes can quickly become a stressed yes. And a stressed yes is like snow on a tree that refuses to release its leaves. It causes cracks and breaks at our core. . . .
Releasing isn’t stealing from us. It’s a gift—a gift to a woman weighed down, grasping her leaves in the midst of a snowstorm, desperate, so desperate for help. She can feel the twinges and hear the creaking sounds of a splitting break about to happen. She knows she can’t take much more. Tears well up in her upturned, pleading eyes. “God help me. It’s all too much. I’m tired and frustrated and so very worn out.”
The wind whips past her, trailing a whispered, “R-E-L-E-A-S-E.”
She must listen or she will break. Her tree needs to be stripped and prepared for winter. But she can’t embrace winter until she lets go of fall. Like a tree, a woman can’t carry the weight of two seasons simultaneously. In the violent struggle of trying, she’ll miss every bit of joy each season promises to bring.
No release isn’t stealing a thing from her. From me. Or from you. Release brings with it the gift of peace. The beautiful, bare winter branch can now receive its snow. When we release in peace, we signal we’re now ready to receive. Receive what’s next. Receive what’s best. Receive what’s meant for this season, right now.
I hope this fall, you’re able to recognize the reminders around you to release your burdens to God and prepare yourself to receive from Him.
As an added reminder, I’ve created this free printable artwork for you to display! 😉
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Enjoy your autumn!!
Also, just because fall is my favorite season, I’ve gathered up a few fun posts to help you make the most of autumn and enjoy the season 🙂
More Fall Round-up Posts!
Check out my Autumn board on Pinterest for lots more fun ideas for fall!