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The Autumn Rain: A Fall Quiet Time in a Tropical Evergreen World

I woke up this morning craving the kind of quiet time that I’m not sure is out there.  One that somehow represented the changing of the seasons.  Warm and cozy.  With scarves pulled tight and boots worn proud and fresh coffee warming chilly hands.

Josh and I are fresh off of a 12-day trip to Oregon.  One that was rich and full and left our cups running over with thankfulness.  We had the ability to celebrate this sweet miracle babe with over 100 of our closest friends and family in two different cities.  We snuck in a babymoon tucked into the Central Oregon junipers in the sweetest little cabin.  We had maternity portraits taken.  And we attended a wedding at the same church where we celebrated Shawna’s life.

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Visit me on Instagram at @jane_johnson to see more photos and read more stories from our trip!

We stayed up light and slept in late and ate the best food in the very best company.  And when it was time to hand my boarding pass to the agent before walking onto our flight home, I almost did the ugly cry.  Because we had experienced community at its best.  And time is going by so fast.

It’s funny, really.  Thinking about this overwhelming, crazy, sometimes heartbreaking, and unmistakably glorious journey of delayed fertility.  And this long ten-year wait for our miracle.  One that is growing in ten months.  One that we will physically hold so soon.  And I want to stop time.  To make sure I’m remembering every single nuance and feeling and quivering movement within me.  It’s funny how the feeling of touch is heightened and magnified when the sense of sight is taken away.  The truth is, this pregnancy has been a dream.  Literally, a dream.  And I thought that I was smooth sailing through it.  Until I foundmyself crying in the basement of a parking garage over a rocking chair.

I’ve had a particular chair picked out for almost three months now.  A perfectly overpriced heirloom piece that I would rock my miracle baby in.  And, someday, my grandchildren.  We recently had a huge craigslist sale of everything we brought over from Oregon and no longer needed, and my sweet husband kindly told me I could keep the majority of our earnings for whatever I wanted to use it on.  So I stuffed it away.  And formed my plan to buy the rocking chair in Oregon and have it shipped to us.

It was a chilly Friday morning last week when I made my way down to the Pearl District in Portland ready to make my purchase.  If heart eyes were actually a thing, they would have been dancing all over my face when I walked into Anthropologie.  I was delighted to see that they had recently remodeled their store with beautifully styled room vignettes with their furniture on full display.  It was like I had stepped into a style blogger’s Disneyland.  And the best part?  They had my chair in stock.  And I beelined straight upstairs behind the sales person who led the way, eager to do a sit test.

You guys.  This rocking chair was every bit as beautiful and I imagined it would be.  And I talked with the sales person and we started the purchasing process and my excitement was practically spilling out of my heart eyes.

And then came the dreaded seven words:

unfortunately, we don’t ship furniture to Maui

“Are you sure?” I asked.  “Can you just double check?  I could have sworn that the website said you could.”  I was hopeful.  And she checked again.  And came back with the same “I’m so sorry” look on her face.  And I thanked her for her time.  And walked around the store pretending to shop, but really swallowing down the ugly-cry-tears that threatened to fall in public.  Chastising myself for the overly emotional response I was having to an overpriced piece of furniture.  It’s just a chair.  What’s wrong with you??

As soon as I got into the car, the pipes to the water works burst.  And as I cried, I realized the root of it all.  This baby is coming so quickly.  And it’s all out of my control.  It’s the one deadline I can’t push back.  The one project I am unable to procrastinate on.  To overthink.  And turn upside down and backwards to make sure it’s perfect.  This silly rocking chair?  It was the one thing I could control.  And it, too, was suddenly out of my control.  And I cried until I could pull myself together to drive home.  And re-tell the story to Josh.  And laugh with him about the pregnancy emotions that are so silly and yet so debilitating.

***

This morning, exactly a week after my parking garage meltdown, I sat down on the lanai.  Craving that warm and rich quiet time that perfectly symbolized the changing of the seasons in a tropical-evergreen world.  Yesterday, I was exhausted and anxiety-ridden.  This morning?  I feel much more settled, I wrote.  Less anxiety.  More peace.  Resting in the fact that time is moving quickly.  And there is so much that’s out of my control.  But none of it is outside of Yours.

And then I picked up my phone and searched for the word autumn in the Bible.  There were only three references in the Old Testament.  Jeremiah 5:24 was one of them.  So I started there.  And saw that the section of verses around verse 24 was already boxed out purple.  And in the handwritten note contained these words:

He was doing again what He does so well: orchestrating our mornings together.  He who placed the sand for the boundary of the sea, a perpetual barrier beyond which it cannot pass and by an everlasting ordinance beyond which it cannot go.  He knew what was churning deep inside my heart.  And He pulled me to His Word there.  And though the waves of the sea toss and shake themselves, yet they cannot prevail against the feeble grains of sand which He has ordained by nature to be sufficient for His purpose.  (Jeremiah 5:22, Amplified)

And then, He made the autumn connection:

Let us now reverently fear and worship the LORD our God, Who gives rain, both the autumn and the spring rain in its season, Who reserves and keeps for us the appointed weeks of the harvest. (verse 24, Amplified)

Sweet friends, He gives rain.  And the second reference for “autumn” in the Bible?  Joel 2:23.  Where He continues the conversation.  Because I craved an autumn quiet time.  And He promised He is one.  Let us be zealous to know and pursue the knowledge of the LORD – to appreciate, give heed to, and cherish Him.  His going forth is established as the morning.  He will come to us like the rain, like the latter (spring) and former (autumn) rain to the earth.

He will come to us with His Spirit as the rain.  But not just any rain.  The violent and heavy kind of rain storm.  Because He does not give His Spirit by measure (John 3:34).

And when He sends the rain, He restores the years stolen by grief.  And loss.  And waiting.  And hardship.  The things that are outside of our control, but still all managed perfectly within His sovereignty.  Just as He promises in Joel 2:

Be glad then, and rejoice in the LORD your God; for He has given you the former rain faithfully; and He will cause the rain to come down for you – the former (autumn) rain and the latter (spring) rain… so He will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten. (Joel 2:23, 25, NKJV)

Oh friends, as we transition into fall and the leaves dry and the tree branches become bare and fruitless. May we pursue the knowledge of Him.  And the presence of Him.  In expectation of the rainfall of His Spirit to pour down over us every single morning.  May our trees still remain fruitful.  Even through the pending winter.

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