So, This particular journal entry was written on Saturday, October 5, 1991 at 10:39 p.m., from our home in Michigan. Hence the "fall theme" for the day. Although today as I write this, it is a warm summery spring day in Florida, it is always refreshing to think of a fall day up north!
I started out my journal by writing:
"Fall has arrived in all its splendor and majesty! The hues of autumn splash across the horizon in every direction. Something mystical and magical happens at this time of year. All of God's creation begins its preparation for the coming onslaught of winter. The stirrings in our innermost being manifest themselves in getting things ready...the house, the shrubs, the clothes, the wood, the shopping, the putting away of summer playthings and digging out the fall tools...rakes, wheelbarrows, pruning shears, the wood maul...cleaning out closets to make room for the heavy coats, woolens, boots, sweaters...locating the hats, gloves and scarves and long johns. Finding the snow shovel under a heap of gardening tools in the garage and putting it in a prominent place...bringing in the lawn chairs and taking out the birdseed to fill the feeders...
Wow! I said a mouthful...a sermon preached to me from me...but via the Holy Spirit I am certain. I know what kind of "busy"ness I was experiencing at that particular time in my life...we had a very involved and stressful ministry in a large suburban church, with one son in middle school, and two sons away in college in a far away state. Our middle son, Matthew, had come through a huge hurdle in his life that previous spring and summer...he had been diagnosed with a brain tumor and experienced major surgery and treatment for, thankfully, (miraculously) a benign tumor...and still was able to attend his freshman year at college that fall. We had to deal with our own emotional distress of that frightful experience. In addition, our church was a difficult assignment...not leaving us much time to enjoy the beauty of fall...so I know this message was one of yearning and longing in my heart if not lived out in reality. We had come through some major battles, both physical and spiritual...and we were much in need of a fall "retreat".
Yes, I remember this time well...it was not a pleasant memory to reflect upon at all...so I am certain that is why I wrote so poignantly and emphatically. As a matter of fact, within six months we were on our way to a new adventure, partly out of necessity for survival both spiritually and emotionally, and partly because we had no other choice. But God was with us in the difficult times and the good times. He carried us through that winter by preparing our hearts in the fall for the change that was to come. And in the spring and summer of that next year He showed us the path He had chosen for us to follow and gave us the way of "escape". I wish I could say that life was perfect from then on...but that would not be honest. I can say that God was with us all the way...through every new season of life...and He still is today, ever present, ever loving, and always with us. That's one season that will never change. Praise the Lord!