by Alyssa von Helms
October 26, 2022
I’ve been thinking about seasons a lot recently. We’ve enjoyed a long summer and now we’re entering the slide into the rest of the year: colder weather (hopefully!), school and sports, and the holidays, one after another, each following more quickly than the last—Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years. In the thick of things, it’s easy to let the individual days slip by and not see them collecting behind us, a heap of beads holding good and bad memories, events we would rather change, moments we would love to live again. Like waiting to see the results of a planted seed, it’s hard to notice any change in the day-to-day until poof! something green rears up where nothing was before.
Take a look at your own life and see if I’m right. Set aside today and cast your mind back to February of this year. What has changed? Where you live? How you look? The people around you?
For some of us this is a painful exercise. Maybe there’s loss in the span between now and when the year was new. Undoubtedly there’s pain. There may be days you ignore entirely—a week in April, maybe, when you wanted to pull down the blinds and lie in the dark until something changes.
But look. Something did, didn’t it?
The days since that time haven’t all been dark. Since then you’ve laughed, you’ve eaten a meal that made you pause, you’ve breathed a sigh of relief. Life changed around you, without you even noticing it. And you changed, maybe without noticing, as well.
If you’re in a happy season—one where it feels like the sun is shining on your soul—you don’t need me to tell you that it will change someday too. But! I will remind you there’s no need to dread that change or fear the future. Instead, enjoy! Gather up all these shining moments and keep them close the way a farmer preserves peaches in jars, storing them in the cellar for a taste of summer sweetness in the dead of winter. They’ll make the harder seasons easier to endure and remind you of the hope of change. Because change means the possibility of growth, of more, of better.
I’m sure we’ve all heard the phrasing of Ephesians 3:20, which says that God “is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.” And I’m sure we’ve all lived through seasons where that promise seemed like a buried seed, dormant, maybe dead. I’m sure we’ve all thought If God is at work in my life, it’s not here. If He was, I’d see it. I thought the same thing myself until recently when someone pointed out several things that had changed in my life and in myself in areas that had been so dark for so long. The changes had occurred so slightly that I didn’t catch them. And they came just as Ephesians said, more abundantly than I could have ever asked, but so quietly, a little at a time. Not just one seed becoming a little green sprout but many, more than I’d ever planted, more than I had asked for.
The gift of peaches—to enjoy now and later.
Alyssa has been keeping busy with work, spending time with friends, and mentally preserving peaches.