“I don’t know how much longer our marriage will last,” I said. “I don’t know what will happen to my marriage,” I said to the woman who was sitting across from me. And then, as I finished my sentence, a yellow leaf, fluttered to the couch and down to the floor and I said,” Is that an omen?”
“I do not know,” she said.
And I sat there with tears streaming down my face. My thoughts swirled past thoughts and memories of thirty-nine years together and our dating and friendship years before that. The joys and sorrows, mixed feelings, school, work, kids and raising a family, and now we were here, aged, senior citizens, grandparents, and the life between us sucked. We barely could speak, without one of us becoming uncomfortable.
The leaf falling had to been an omen. The death of our marriage.
Or, was it? Was the leaf signifying the death, the end of what we have known in marriage? Could it be that we are heading for a dormant season of winter, that looks so bleak that even the birds fly south and we are left alone, stark, lonely, accepting the winds of time, and needing to weather the blizzards and cold winds and sleet that will come our way and even break off branches or major boughs that we have treasured? Can I? Can he? Can we, together, weather this storm that has come before us? Can we? Will we make it? Can I make it through another day? Another winter? Will he be able to do the same?
The thought occurred to me that a falling leaf, even the last one, doesn’t signify death. It only signifies the end of a season and God created trees with the resilience to be able to flex in the winds and during seasons of storms. So also, I must grow deep roots in the loving soil and deep, refreshing, and nourishing waters of God’s love, His Spirit, and His Presence, to know and abide in and with Him. Apart from God, I am nothing and can do nothing of eternal value or significance. I’d just be a stick in the ground or, one could say, a “stick in the mud.” With God, on the other hand, I can do all things that He has created and designed for me to do and be.
Although my tree may look bare, as the last leaf has fallen, I do believe that spring follows winter, and in His perfect timing, I will bear fruit, the fruit of His Spirit and have leaves that do not fade. I will drink from His nourishing wellspring of Love and, eventually, transform into an evergreen tree, growing by His everlasting stream of love, grace, forgiveness, mercy, and truth.
In the meantime, until I am more fully transformed, I will accept this season of desolation and despair, with these bleak, dark, and dreary branches, knowing that, in time and in due season, my branches will show forth buds of life and bloom with the fruit of His Spirit!
Peace to you and God bless you, as well!
Sincerely, and in His Love,
P.S. I wrote this last summer on August 20, 2015. I’m very grateful to say that my husband and I have weathered the most difficult storm of our lives and were able to recently celebrate our 40th anniversary, with joy and delight, having grown with the help of others who came alongside us, with prayers, working together, and allowing and trusting the work of God’s Spirit in our lives, as well. Thank you to all who have supported us on our journey together. We are forever grateful.