I always knew I’d fall in love during autumn.
Something about watching the trees turn extravagantly, clutching warm coffee a little closer, and breathing in days that grow shorter makes me want to fall like those vibrant leaves. I’m smitten during autumn, and I never would have guessed that he would fall too.
The truth is, though, I didn’t know that that falling in love in autumn would change my spring. The wonderful, terrifying, beautiful truth is that I didn’t know falling in love in autumn would change my spring, and the way I see growth and beauty. In all those daydreams set in front of a red and orange backdrop, I never thought that falling in love would extend far past one season and I would get the chance to watch the broken leaves come to life over and over again.
I guess when I think of spring, I should think of flowers, hammocks under trees, and grass beneath our bare feet. And I do.
Spring defines more than just the changing of the weather. Her roots extend deeper than the sunlight giving life to the flowers and trees, and inviting all of us to come out of our rooms and out into warmth again—
Those things are noble, but oh, she is so much more than that. Spring is the soundtrack to the change woven within the story of my heart, and the transformation of becoming who I was carefully created to be.
Spring continues the stories that began in the autumn. And honestly, I have to admire her for rising to the task of jumping mid-sentence into my messy, indecisive, scatter-brained stories.
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If I’m going to tell you about spring, I have to tell you about the time I wore a school jersey, and ran around a track that made me feel like a speck. I ran in the last half of the pack, but finished in the first ten because my coach ran alongside me and I hustled to push. It was probably the only time I ever ran with such determination. But, I also have to tell you that I quit that task just days later because I didn’t think I could finish. That was 6 years ago.
I have to tell you that spring is the time when he broke my heart, and the next one did too. Tunes of sadness were my anthems. 6 and 5 years ago.
I have to tell you about the night my best friend and I drove beneath the stars and speculated, “There has to be more to life than what I’m doing now.” He heard me, and just months later, He began to break my heart in a way that was unlike the rest. Whereas the others demolished and burnt, this One tore down so He could rebuild. There marked 5 and 4 years ago.
That led to the first spring of freedom, marked by longing to pen my entire story in beautiful cursive on paper. 3 years ago.
If I’m going to tell you about spring, I have to tell you about the voicemail I listened to a dozen times just to make sure I heart it correctly, and repeated it even more in my head: you got the job. You got your dream camp job–
I battled hard in the spring, believing I had to be perfect before I could be used. 2 years ago.
And I have to tell you that somewhere in the middle of all that, I spent too much time in a hammock, and innumerable times I looking toward the sky and giving myself away over and over—
I have to tell you about the conversations, dreams, heart breaks, victories, and divine moments that filled my springs with hope, excitement, and building; years and years of building.
But there’s one more thing. If I’m going to tell you about spring, I have to tell you about one of the last days of winter. It was the day he asked if he could take me to dinner and hugged me for the first time. It was cloudy, we wore hoodies, and my head spun.
And I have to tell you that he followed up with that promise.
It was the night that I stopped at Gap, just at the top of the escalator, and bought a striped tee shirt dress after work, made it to my dorm room in record time, and saw one of my best friends sitting on my bed with a flat iron. The curls she put in my hair stayed even as I paced around the room, saying, “This is happening. I have a date tonight. This is really happening. Why am I just now freaking out about this?”
I’ll tell you that we walked downstairs to meet him, his eyes passed over the friends that had walked me to the front door like mothers. His eyes immediately found mine, and he just smiled. When we were finally out of ear shot, he said, “You look beautiful.” I heard my heels tap on the sidewalk and I smiled as he opened the car door for me. I caught a glimpse of my best friends looking out from the window just at the end of the sidewalk, and I wondered if the happiness in my heart was the thing they talk about in books and songs.
If I’m going to tell you about spring, I have to tell you about the restaurant we ate at and the way I giggled when he later told me that he could barely eat because he was so nervous.
I have to tell you about the moment we walked beneath the Nashville sky, and he slowed down just so he could call me his girl.
1 year ago.
And if I’m going to tell you about spring, I have to tell you that every story she has ushered in has taught my heart to boldly blossom emerge from the cold, cold winters. Spring has become a symbol of the growth of my being and reconciliation of my desires to its Creator as it meets the fullness of life by seeking wisdom, dreaming bigger, and moving unapologetically.
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Throughout the seasons, spring became an illustration of flourishing. As I broke my heart, ran hard, and sought Love even harder, my soul became restored. He reached out for me and beckoned me to grow, grow, grow.
Because when I think of the boy I fell in love with in autumn, I think of the way things changed in the spring— the way we grow with the blooming trees, and the way we do things completely beyond ourselves in the moments we choose to not be guided by ourselves.
I think of spring, and I think of the way he loves me when I feel unlovable. The ways that he has moved toward me and with me relentlessly. It’s like even when I want to fall in darkness and short days, he waits for me to come back. He meets me to show me the bright colors, the soft grass, the sun, and the life that is blossoming.
Our story is more than one season. In all my daydreams, I never could have penned that story before he changed my plans last spring.
I’ll still fall in love every autumn, but he’ll never leave me there because every dreamed I dreamed and prayer I prayed in the autumn blossomed in the spring.
She is a place that has woven herself into my story so that I could grow, rebuild, and become transformed closer to who I’m meant to be. Let me nurture that season fearlessly and relentlessly as I fight to be the girl I was made to be. All my autumn plans and daydreams, let them flourish in the spring.
All the doubts, heartbreaks, victories— let them become real.
Remind me always: every plan I made in autumn came to life in the spring.
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Inspired by the friends who make me wanna love spring more, one year spent with a boy that loves me unconditionally, and the Father cares for me wonderfully so that I might grow, grow, grow.