|| Unravel With Me ||
Have you noticed that the moment November hits, there's a shift?
A shift in you and in me. A shift in seasons and time changing. A shift, almost like a karate chop the moment the month starts. It begs you to be thankful and encourages you to resurrect your idea of intentionality and dares you to actually live it out.
November - January. Desperately wants all of you. It wants your heart and soul. It wants your money and your time. It wants you to need it, to feel it with every bit of your emotions.
Starbucks already knows that November brings newness, like brining back red cups and ornament gift cards. Pumpkin everything, red, fall leaves.
Thankfulness and taking it slow, it's all of what we've been missing from February up until November. It's the two-month pause before the frenzy and it demands so much of us. Every year is a new test, will we focus on thankfulness? Will we settle and take slower sips of our hot chocolate? Will we be swept away by all that we didn't accomplish this year? Or will we just continue to be picked up by the flurry that sometimes life is? Will it leave us and strip us bare?
It's been almost year since I sat on the porch of my Mod and heard my Dad whisper through the phone, "Baby, we don't think he's going to make it."
That's when even the fall leaves were silent. The night coated my tears like something fierce. And all of a sudden the crisp and haunting evening air made it so much harder to breathe.
I wanted to cry but crying makes things real and there was no way I was going to let that be real. It didn't hit me, the reality of death until I was in a car at 12am, my mentor doing the best he can to get me there to catch any last possible moment.
He was gone when I got there. My mother by his bedside whispering her goodbyes to her Father. We both kissed him one last time and then began the processing of grieving and letting go.
There was nothing about this moment that made me sit and think about how thankful I was. There was nothing about the weight of death that made the lightness of this season come to view. There was nothing about this moment, the meshing of my tears, my mothers’ tears and my uncles’ blank stares that screamed anything close to holiday cheer.
I’ve noticed that for some reason we so desperately want to skip Thanksgiving, we want to skip November. We want glittering December with all its Christmas music, twinkling lights and the smell of pine trees. We want to believe we’re a lot closer than we actually are from this year coming to a close.
The moment I saw red cups on November First, it irritated me way more than it actually should have. I found myself so frustrated every time I went into a store and saw their rows of Christmas festivities. Because you see, for a year know and maybe unknowingly, this deep internal pain has come with November. It's the awkward season of balancing grief and thankfulness.
I don't want December. I want right now. I need to be able to figure out how to be thankful when I keep remembering this same season, is when I lost someone I had no idea I wasn't going to have the next year.
I want right now because I keep missing moments.
Moments to be still and to have November shake my core and keep me in its grasps until I stop squirming uncomfortably from its stillness and let it squeeze the tears out of me. November is the one that reminds me,
"The jig is up.
You've had too many months to pretend you have it all together.
Unravel with me. Just unravel."
November is the one that sings to me "Constant One" by Stephany Gretzinger. While I’m trying to find the stability of my God in a season that keeps making the colors of leaves change.
This is not about a thirty-day list of all that you’re thankful for. This is not about Red Cups coming early in my opinion or way too many pumpkin options. This is not about twinkling lights or begging you to sit by the fire just a little bit longer.
This is where I am.
Restlessly searching for the sweetness of gratitude while I remember that no Thanksgiving will ever feel the same.
This is my exasperated call to remind you, the jig is up. We’ve forgotten that it’s not about the pumpkin and red cups, its about finally coming to a halt for the last two months of this year and unwinding ourselves from our need to do and be all the things as Hannah B and I like to say.
Holidays Cheer and all that goodness is a real and flourishing part of right now, it is a bustling and beautiful season. But if you look closely, there are so many layers tucked deep inside of it. Most importantly, there is a sovereign God who is constant now and was constant in March.
So wherever you are between now and January whether you are grieving, sipping your warm beverage and effortlessly taking in every fire ember, or busy worrying about what 2015 will hold, know that this season wants all of you.
Perhaps it wants to rattle your bones, squeeze out the tears that so desperately need to breathe or maybe it just wants you to sit, unravel it all and know that it’s okay to be there.
I'll miss my Grandpa whenever someone reminds me of him or I realize I didn't get a high pitched singing Happy Birthday voicemail but I also know these seasons will shift all over again, pass us by and we’ll make a full circle next time around but just promise me one thing?