I've always loved the fall...the month of October in particular. The crispness in the air; the first day you get to wear that favorite hoodie again; Friday night football games; and the glorious colors of the changing leaves. And my absolute favorite thing about fall...driving through falling leaves. We live in a very woodsy area and daily drive under lots of overhanging tree branches. I just love it when the wind is blowing and the leaves are falling like rain and I get to drive through them while they're falling...something about that just makes me feel a little giddy!
This has been an unusually hot, dry fall in Arkansas. I still haven't pulled my Magnet Cove Panther hoodie out of the closet. And in our area of the state, we haven't had a drop of rain in over a month. So this year, instead of the beautiful reds, oranges, and yellows typical of fall, the leaves are just turning brown and falling off the trees. So I'm still getting to drive through them...they just aren't as pretty!
Like the leaves, I've been feeling kind of dry and withered myself. This is the second October since Hannah went to Heaven, and I just haven't felt the same sense of excitement about the change of seasons as I used to. I think part of that is the fact that Hannah's birthday and the holidays are approaching, and the anticipation of those dates weighs heavily at this time of year.
Friday night football games certainly don't have as much draw for me this year. Last year I went to most of the home games, even though it was hard to see Hannah's friends there, knowing she would have been there with them enjoying her senior year. I really thought this year would be easier because her friends would all be gone to college and I wouldn't be seeing them at games anymore. But you know what...most of them went to college nearby and come home for the football games! Somehow the fact that they've been away for awhile and are home for the weekend enjoying time with their families makes it even harder! I find myself thinking about how much their parents are looking forward to seeing them, how they're cooking their favorite meals, how they're planning out every minute they're going to spend together; how they're preparing their bedrooms for them...and I feel so sad (as I sit here writing in what was formerly Hannah's bedroom) knowing that she won't be coming home for the weekend. How I wish she could! What I would give for one more weekend with her.
I watched the rescue of the Chilean miners this week with a mixture of sadness and joy. I was absolutely awed by the fact that they were able to survive for so long in those conditions, and how the world came together in support of their rescue. And I was thrilled that the rescue operation went off without a hitch...It was one of those totally amazing events that you will remember all your life. But now I'm going to give you a glimpse of my fleshly self. As I watched the footage of those miners being reunited one by one with their overjoyed families, I had a really hard time truly celebrating with them. The sight of them hugging their families was almost too much to bear. I was in tears, but it wasn't because I was happy for these people. Instead, I found myself consumed with thoughts of how unfair it was those families got to be together again, complete and whole, when our family is still one less.
And then, it was as if God thumped me upside the head. I could almost hear Him saying, "You think those reunions look good? Just wait until you see what I have in store for you someday." And just that suddenly, my perspective was transformed. The scenes of dirty miners in hard hats and sunglasses hugging their grateful families surrounded by TV cameras and clapping strangers were replaced. Instead, I could see a reunion of Heavenly proportions...so much bigger than coming home for a weekend or being lifted up from half a mile below the earth's surface. And I'm reminded that I just have to wait for my reunion. I'm not very good at waiting. As a matter of fact, I really pretty much stink at it. But I really, truly believe that God is going to make it worth the wait. So...I'm waiting...