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We often approach life in a very linear fashion. Once we’ve covered certain ground or an issue, we don’t expect to have to deal with it again. And there is a sense in which time is moving forward and doesn’t repeat itself. But it’s also true that life often unfolds according to seasonal patterns.

To be sure, nature follows a consistent seasonal pattern. We know the season of fall is coming when the days get a bit cooler and the trees dawn their autumn hues. The cold bareness of winter soon follows, before the rebirth of spring and the fullness of summer’s life. And perhaps the wisdom of this pattern can teach us something as well. 

For example, we get married and look forward to living happily ever after. And this is not just being naïve. We rightly expect many hard days ahead. But often this expectation is that we will eventually check off all the issues we need to address – leaving them in the rearview mirror and never having to address them again. Yet this is not how it works. 

Like all relationships, our marriage tends to follow seasonal patterns. Certainly, with maturity we can extend the seasons of summer bliss. But it’s a mistake to assume we’ll never have to go through seasons of death and dying again. 

All the same, like with nature, this should not be seen as a setback or that we’re otherwise blowing it. The new birth of spring only comes after the death of winter. And our growth likewise requires us to regularly put off the old for the new to emerge.  

Of course, death is still not a pleasant process. But understanding the seasonal patterns of life allows us to enter into the coming fall and winter months with hope – knowing that spring will come again. 

In the end, life won’t always be as straightforward as you might expect. But don’t lose hope. Growth cycles through seasonal patterns and new life will come again. 

Photo by Timothy Eberly on Unsplash

Dr. Corey Carlisle

Licensed marriage and family therapist and certified sex therapist - providing Christian counseling and soul care to individuals and couples, with a special emphasis on developing the masculine soul. Suwanee, GA 30024

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