I recently began a journey that I didn't want to be on, and many moments, still don't want to be on. But, as hard and exhausting as it is, it is needed and I know I am in the right place.
"Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase" - Martin Luther King, Jr.
This journey is a rollercoaster. Thankfully, I am a child of a God who is steady and constant. When I'm questioning, He is sending reminders that I am exactly where He wants me to be.
I spent a few moments this afternoon gathering fallen leaves and bark for an art project and I found myself taking a seat on the ground in one place and just really taking in all of the leaves and how unique each of them are.
The different shapes were the first thing I noticed and in that moment decided that I wanted my art project to represent each of them rather than the leaves from a single type of tree. As I started gathering leaves that were whole and placing them in my bag, I began to notice the colors.
I adore fall. The changing leaves are beautiful and there is nothing I love more than to be in nature and surrounded by them. Though I admire them every year when fall rolls around, I think today was the first time in awhile that I really took time to notice the unique colors and patterns on each leaf. Colors varied from green to brown and a gorgeous yellow and tones of red.
Many have them were more than one color as they were from different trees and at different stages of the process of their transformation. Each of them was unique with different amounts of color combinations and the patterns of the colors as the leaves changed.
I laid a few of them side by side and noticed the different patterns amongst the veins of each one, amazed at the handiwork behind these amazing aspects of nature that we know exist, but don't often take the time to appreciate.
Taking a moment to really take them in and notice their details reminded me of how each of us are created as unique individuals. There are no two people exactly alike.
Like the leaves, we often know that each of us are unique, but we don't really take time to appreciate the unique qualities of those we encounter. We don't stop to appreciate their immense value and the unique impact that each individual life has; impacts that ripple beyond anything we could ever imagine. The ripples may not cause an effect that is noticed and appreciated, but each ripple is important and carries incredible worth.
Staring at those leaves that I would normally walk over without a second glance made me stop and appreciate life a little more. It was a reminder that even the hard times, like falling from the tree that held you up, still results in beauty. You transform, but you don't disappear. The changes my hurt and it's ok to be afraid of them. It may take you longer to embrace the changes, but often others will see the beauty that the changes produce within you and are inspired by your strength to courageously push through them.
Sometimes it may seem like you are alone as people just pass you by. You're not. They don't always tell you, but sometimes they pause just to admire your unique beauty and strength.
Change is hard, but it can be beautiful too. Don't be afraid to embrace it.