It’s my first “real” Autumn in four years, and my soul feels a grounded sense of being exactly where I’m supposed to be. Quiet fall mornings like these – crisp sunrise air and Seattle streets flushed crimson and gold – explain my craving to trade my California girl sunshine to return home to Pacific Northwest seasons. As the days slip away into October, I feel a metaphorical Autumn occurring in my own heart, too.

Or maybe it’s just the runner’s high when my serotonin decides to write a freakin’ sermon during my early morning jog. Either way, I’ll take it. Stick with me.

Like the visible beauty that comes with the changes of Autumn – my prayer is that this beauty of change occurs invisibly in my relationship with myself, the divine, and the people I love. The world around me provides me comfort in the way Summer shifts to Fall is coincidentally comparable to the shifts occurring in my own heart. Autumn reminds me that in order to grow new and beautiful things – we must let go of the things whose seasons have already passed. When we cling too tightly to old things, we have no space to hold anything new. 

For me, this means loosening my grip on my own insecurities that have risen from previous hurt and betrayal. This means letting go of the things not meant for me to control, and trusting that most of the time, the most loving “help” I can give is my patience and grace. This “Autumn of the soul” is trusting that the things I let go of will continue to nourish me and be a part of me – but now by evolving into a part of the ground I grow from, rather than defining who I continually become.

It also means that amidst change and letting go, what I can trust is my roots and the soil I ground myself in.

This year has undoubtedly taught me to embrace the possibilities of new beginnings. Within new beginnings, I’ve learned to balance open-mindedness with knowing who I am at my core. This balance has served me more than I ever expected in the fullness and joy I’ve already experienced as I’ve officially turned the first fresh pages from college to the road ahead. 

Currently, (brief resume-style life update time…) I’m running full speed ahead towards student teaching and already feel my compassion growing for my students and the privilege it is to mentor them. I’m in 100% work hard play hard mode between full time school and student teaching while also living with a community of girls I already feel like my best version of Riley around for the first time in a while (boy have I missed her). 

Perhaps my biggest surprise and greatest blessing is that I have felt an unexpected spiritual peace that I did not anticipate to ever feel again. After nearly two years trying to find a way to shut the door on all-things-God in an exhausting and tireless search for “truth,” I feel perhaps the reason the door would not fully shut is because everything comes to light when I give up my stubborn pushing and allow the door to swing open, again.

I owe a lot of this deep feeling of revival to the encouragement and support I feel from the relationships that have landed in my lap. They’ve shown me that perhaps the journey alone is worth humble uncertainty. To pretend I was satisfied without seeking Christ left me feeling neglectful of the most defining parts of my heart. I’m hopeful that the encouragement I feel in this home will re-posture my perspective towards the divine, and strengthen my trust that if I allow the holy spirit to guide me, my soul might find the fullness I’ve felt homesick for so long.  

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