Temporary Beauty; Guest Piece

Monday, April 20, 2015

There is beauty to be found in that which does not last. 
Change is an inevitable part of life, the seasons of the Earth demonstrate this adage so charmingly when one season drifts into the next.When Spring arrives, I find myself feeling most alive. 
Right now, the daily climate in the Midwest is rainy and dreary with a slight cold front. The beauty in the rain is what the rain is toiling up which goes unseen; the work that is being done under the surface of the soil; the roots that are beginning their ascent until they reach the top of the soil, and with such bravery push through to blossom! Perhaps just as the Earth has much unseen work during these season changes, this is a metaphor for what our Creator is working within our hearts and lives during those unseen times.
We are but a breath on this earth, a vapor in time. We exist and take up space because we are matter and we matter. God orchestrated and handpicked each of our lives, purposes, seasons, and moments in life. He orchestrates each season for the exact time. For the writer of Ecclesiastes spoke of this when he stated, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.”
Yet, we are humans fully and therefore yearn for that which we do not yet have. What is inevitable about this life is that it will change. Transition is a constant state for us, temporary and always on the brink of a transformation. Father God created life to be this way as the seasons and Earth impart to us.
There is beauty to be found in the temporary.
Waiting for something you do not yet have reminds me of one of my favorite childhood books, If you Give a Mouse a Cookie!.The Mouse is NEVER satisfied, living in a constant state of needing and yearning for something more.
This state of longing brings to my mind Psalm 23. This Psalm was my mantra in the days and weeks immediately following my mother’s death. As I was lying in my college dorm room bed I would repeat the verses of this beautiful Psalm over me. “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want—“other translations can be read, “The Lord is my shepherd, I lack for nothing.” God has provided all that we need and whatever we do not yet have, we do not yet need. He also arranges together seasons of transition for our good, to develop in us and prepare us for the next season.
There is beauty to be found in the temporary.
I discovered a new word this year...liminality. Liminality can be defined in the Latin root limen (translated threshold) as the condition of being on a threshold or at the beginning of a process.
I love abstract nouns. This word literally means a state in which you are not yet—but yet quite. How exquisite our language is!  
This year, I have been living in a state of liminality. In August, I found myself in a brand new job position, in which I am daily re-defining. I became engaged in December and have been planning our June wedding since. In June, I will become a bride, wife, homemaker, supporter, and homeowner all in one verbally expressed, “Yes”, through the covenant of marriage.
There is beauty to be found in the temporary.
Trees change, drop, and eventually allow their leaves to disappear. Snow falls, melts, and becomes moisture for the Earth. The temperature warms and once the snow turns to rain drops, the precipitation drops. All the moisture soaks into the ground which produces new life. Spring brings blossoms, which leads to summer's produce and fall's harvest.
There is beauty to be found in the temporary.
Beloved, what might our Creator be toiling inside of your soul unbeknownst to you? Are you living in a sense of liminality? Straddling a threshold you are not certain when you will cross? Is your heart yearning for that which you do not yet have? Are you too like the mouse in the story believe that if you, “just had…..one more thing..” you would be happy?
We all react differently to our transient lives. The beauty is in the journey God has planned for us and the time in which He allows “all things to come together for good” (Romans 8:28). 

And when these changes occur, is our reaction because we are not yet ready for them? Or, is it perhaps they happened too differently than we thought--too rash, too quick, not enough this, or too much of that? 
Regardless of how we may feel towards these changes, Father God’s plan and timing always remains true—there is beauty to be found in the temporary.
Beloved, what will you do with your temporary?

She is clothed with strength and dignity and can laugh at the days to come. Proverbs 31:25

{Photo: @hannahrosebrasseur}

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About the Author:

Tori Mills is an ESL Instructional Coach. She grew up in Ohio, attended college in Florida, and now calls Iowa home. Tori loves vintage thrift shops, local eateries and coffee shops. She and her love Benjamin will be married in June. Together, they enjoy attending concerts and discovering new music.


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