Words from the Past

Every now and then, I like to share something I have learned from someone who is no longer with us. Men such as A.W. Tozer, Andrew Murray, D.L. Moody and others, left behind a treasure chest filled with nuggets of wisdom that God gave to them. Whether it be through their preaching, writing or through others who watched them walk with God, we have access to these nuggets. 

I became a Christian at the age of twelve. Within a few years of that I began writing. I dabbled with stories and poems, but what I wrote most consistently were journals. I have been keeping my thoughts and my prayers in those little lined books for many years. Every now and then, I look back through the pages and it surprises me, how much God has used my writing to teach me about Him and about my place in His world. 

I came across this piece I wrote on September 21, 2012. Since it references fall, I thought it appropriate to publish here for you to read. I was going through a very difficult time in my life at that point and was getting counsel from a godly counselor. We talked about my vision of what I thought life would look like at this point and how in reality things didn't line up. He gently told me that in order to move on, I needed to put that vision to death. 



At the same time, I was also reading Ann VosKamp's work, One Thousand Gifts, in which she refers to those situations in life that we never wanted or expected as ugly-beautiful. It is amazing how God can bring all these scattered pieces together and give us an acutely clear perspective.

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fall leaves

At times loss can be beautiful - ugly-beautiful.

This season, fall, trees begin a transformation of loss. Their leaves, once green and supple, change in color and become dry, even crispy. 

Gradually, they let go, both the tree and the leaf.

The tree, in its God given wisdom knows that it will bloom again; its stark branches will feel the excitement of new growth.

Does the leaf know its life is over?

Does it accept the loss of the tree and the giddiness of the wind to send it wherever it desires?

Does it breath a sigh of relief when its final resting place slowly swallows it down and it is remembered no more?

There are aspects of my life, I need to let go of. I need to quit clinging and let those leaves fall silently to the ground. 

That is the only way for new life to begin.

(Written by Amy D. Christensen - 9/21, 2012)

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Even though I am at a different point in my life than I was when I wrote that, I believe it still holds true. Don't we all have leaves in our life that we are clinging to, challenging the wind to tear them from us? Yet, each season has a purpose and we need to know when that season has passed and we must let God create newness in our lives. I know it is hard, but God knows what is best and how very much He cares for you.

The Lord appeared to him from afar, saying, “I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore I have drawn you with lovingkindness.
— Jeremiah 31:3 (NASB)
For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus
— Philippians 1:6 (NASB)




Today was an unusually warm February day here in the midwest. The sun was shining, a warm breeze blowing and it honestly felt like spring. I decided to get some much needed light therapy and go for a walk. The sun touched my face and it felt like God caressing my cheek. As I walked I thought how beautiful it was, yet I could tell that it was still winter. It was as though creation had taken a deep breath and held it, for a little while. The weather forecast shows that "mother nature" will be letting out her breath tomorrow and chilly temps and clouds will return.

The Psalmist penned these words in Psalms 19:1-2, "The heavens are telling of the glory of God; And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands. Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night reveals knowledge." Walking around my neighborhood, I could see the drab signs of winter in the brown plants and grass and the leafless trees stretching their branches heavenward. But I found myself thankful, even though I knew tomorrow would bring the reality that we were still a month away from Spring. I thanked God for the respite.

Life get's hard. In his book Our Ultimate Refuge: Job and the Problem of Suffering (also known by Baffled to Fight Better), Oswald Chambers says, "The basis of things is not reasonable, but wild and tragic..." Satan is not going to let this world go without a fight and many of us struggle with battle fatigue. We often feel like soldiers on the front, with nothing to eat, no cigarettes and very little ammunition. Just when we think we can't take it any more, something happens. Yes, once in a while, not only are they shooting at you, but they decide to send in the mortars as well.

But God knows! God is good. God Cares, for by the very definition of the word good, He has to care. So once in a while He gives us a respite. It might come in the form of a call from a friend, a card of encouragement in the mail, a silly joke that made you actually laugh, or a restful night's sleep. Or, for me, it was two days of sunny delight in an otherwise long winter.

Beth Moore often refers to these times as "God sightings." Ann Voskamp calls it "eucharisteo" in her book One Thousand Gifts, but whatever term you want to use, there are moments, sometimes very brief, when God tells that roaring lion to, "Stand back!" I love that picture. Not only does it remind me that God is always watching, but it tells me who is really in control.