On Seasons (Après Summer)
Après: French for after
We’re hovering in that beautiful après time… between summer’s fade to end and autumn’s begin.
I’m holding on to the golden summer from these snapshots.
It was travel and new friends. Visits from dear family (sweet baby nephews!) who live halfway across the globe. Speaking some. Writing lots. Prepping for kids’ school days and changes to dawn. And before I knew it… time had faded to a new season.
Autumn is still beloved to me. The football, sweaters in chilly air, hayrides, and pumpkin everything assure it. But my Dad passed away in the midst of what I’d once loved. We had remarkable life change that’s turned this season into a kind of après time; finding joy in the “after” something’s been altered.
I’ve invited a dear friend—a fellow Momma and sister in Christ—to post for our Autumn Journal. She’s journeying through joy… in the midst of life after.
There’s beauty… in the After
Guest Post by: Maggie Walker
Jan. 3, 2016— The day everything changed.
We arrived home late from club volleyball. Our daughter, Ruby, had complained through practice about not feeling well. A call later to the pediatrician’s office and after-hours nurse line landed us in the ER. And then, it began.
A shocking diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes. Full blown ketoacidosis. An ambulance ride to the local children’s hospital. And then? Straight to ICU for days…
I stood with my arms full of her clothes, our coats, and the ICU doctor speaking words I couldn’t seem to hear. I must have looked like death; the doctor stepped up and asked, “Are you okay?” I answered with ‘Yes’ but inside I was screaming no…no…NO!
I remember the look on my girl’s face. Her eyes said, “Mom, I’m scared.”
I probably should have broken down in tears after all that. Normally, that’s what you do. But through the state of absolute shock… all I could see? God was with me.
HE was the nurse on the phone urging us to take Ruby to the hospital. HE was at the window of the ER, rushing us back so we’d not have to wait to be seen. HE was the ambulance driver, telling stories about his own family along the way. HE was the chaplain who came to minister. The educators who shared knowledge. The friends who prayed and sent flowers…
Even as I remember my sweet girl with two IVs—one in each arm—and the nurses and doctor feverishly working on both sides… I knew HE had to be there in the moments after.
Living in ‘after’ doesn’t mean we’ve missed a harvest—it’s just become a new kind.
As a parent, all you want to do is to make things better. To kiss the “boo-boo” away. But when your child has a chronic disease, that’s impossible. I’ll never forget the sense of helplessness when my daughter had to give herself her first shot. I couldn’t take this away. Couldn’t make it better… and it brought me to my knees.
We were finally able to go home. It was on the second night that my rock—the strongest person I will ever know—broke down in tears, and my daughter cried for the first time. Our family laid in Ruby’s bed. Holding each other. Holding HER. And just cried. But that wasn’t the end of the season… or our joy.
It’s easy to see God when everything in life is going smoothly. But when we’re shaken… When we’re drowning in fear… It’s in these moments He holds us closer. He was with us that night, walking right beside me, walking beside her… letting us lean on Him in the moment, and all that came after.
God is the snapshot of joy in summer’s end; the harbinger of hope in autumn’s begin.
It was during this time of mourning summer’s memories (so to speak) that my friend ministered to ME. She stepped outside of their loss as Ruby navigates life after a life-changing diagnosis. Outside of the fear that brings. Outside of all the things that might have been… she helped this gal see joy for what it is.
It’s golden: unchanging with the seasons of life.
No matter how our seasons change, God is the constant. We sat in a coffee shop corner and she inspired me to see this fully: God is the snapshot of joy in summer’s end, and the harbinger of hope in autumn’s begin.
I’m praying for you, friends. May autumn hold less bitter to multitudes of sweet, and bring joy wherever the journey takes you!