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posted: 10/26/2012 5:45 AM

Change of seasons can be bittersweet

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By Annettee Budzban

"For everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven."

-- Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NLT)

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I desired to add some color to my home for the changing season. So, I bought a seasonal leaf garland, blended of rustic fall colors of orange, red, and brown, from the dollar store.

I pulled out a few orange throw pillows for the sofa, and plastic pumpkins that were tucked away in the closet. Once in place, I had a colorful transformation.

When my grandchildren came by for a visit, they noticed the colored leaves and pumpkins. They shared with me about the bright, orange pumpkins at their house. They were excited about the change.

I have learned seasons don't just change in nature. Seasons of change occur in our lives from time to time as well.

It's important we recognize them and move into the new place with God's help, so we don't stifle his perfect will and joy for living out our lives.

Some seasons are easier to embrace than others. The loss of a loved one or something dear to us is, oftentimes, much harder to endure than a desired change that brings us new and exciting opportunities.

But God desires to enrich our lives regardless of how a change comes our way.

Sometimes, we feel the need to change, but we can't let go of our old ways. We like our comfort zones. We wonder if it really is God calling us forward. When we feel something is constricting us or holding back our growth, we need to pray and ask God if it is time for us to let go. Like a pair of our favorite jeans that no longer fit, we may still try to squeeze into a season that no longer fits us.

I've had changing seasons that have stirred bittersweet emotions. One moment I felt glad, then a precious memory stirred tears. Even good changes can cause grief. Sometimes our departure can unintentionally hurt others like leaving a group, or a good friend we've outgrown. Sometimes, we're afraid to move ahead because it may hurt someone we have cared about.

We have to remember the devil will try to make us feel guilty about leaving and use our emotions or negative comments from others to foster guilty feelings. During those times we don't need to stir up hard feelings. We just need to hold on to the hope God has something new coming our way. We can embrace the new friends and cherish the old.

Embracing changes with a positive attitude will lead us toward a full and meaningful life.

• Annettee Budzban is a Christian author, speaker, life coach and nurse. She can be contacted by email at Annetteebudzban@aol.com or at (847) 543-8413.

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