Take a deep breath Katie.
That's how I feel after a whirlwind weekend trip to my favorite childhood "home", Big Stone Gap.
This weekend my four kids, my husband, my sister, her boyfriend, and myself caravaned across the mountains to a place that made its roots deep in my heart sixteen years ago.
When my parents first moved our family to Big Stone Gap, I was in the middle of my 7th grade year and I hated them almost as much as I initially hated the mountains. I felt isolated, claustrophobic, and alone.
But something happened.
Soon the fog that settled every morning in the gap began to feel like a warm, comfortable blanket.
Before long the small town began to feel like a bigger part of who I was and who I would be.
And suddenly a place that upon first introductions felt like my own personal angst-driven prison began to feel like the most comfortable place and the one location in the whole world that truly felt like "home".
My six years in Big Stone Gap were the most important years of my adolescent development.
It's where I grew up.
It's where I devoted myself to my faith.
It's where I found my purpose.
This weekend we returned to "my" mountains for a weekend extraordinaire to celebrate the decade that has passed between my high school graduation and now.I am really not sure how it has been ten years already. How does time pass by so quickly? But before I write a blog about the excitement of a reunion weekend, I cannot help but share something a little deeper from my heart regarding the seasons of our life.
The writer of Ecclesiastes tells us in the Old Testament that to everything there is a season (see Ecclesiastes, chapter 3). As we drove from Ringgold to Big Stone Gap, the changing of the seasons overwhelmed our visual senses. The colors cascading down the mountains were incredible. It seemed around every turn was a new shade of red, orange, yellow, and brown. The puddles of color collecting around the ground beneath the trees were breathtaking. Fall in action is nothing short of gorgeous. Michael's reaction to the colors were that they reminded him of death, the realization that winter was coming. For me... it reminded me that behind every change in life, there is God... tugging on our hearts, reminding us that He is there, that He is in control, and that He can even turn death into something beautiful.
I look back on my time in high school and in Big Stone Gap with longing.
But that season of my life has passed.
Maybe one day I will return to Big Stone Gap, but for now, I am in this season and this season is beautiful because God has made it beautiful just for me.
What season of your life are you in? Is it a difficult season?
Are you anxiously awaiting the next stage of life? Are you troubled, hurting, exhausted?
God is there behind every change in life and He is coloring the world around you to remind you of His unfailing love and hand in every seasonal change.
I love that God loves us like that.