Changing Seasons

“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven.”

Ecclesiastes 3:1 KJV

It’s amazing how brown, yellow, and orange leaves can quickly cover the ground just mere days after a blazing hot sun brought the temperature to a record-breaking heat index. Barbecues get replaced with plans of sipping hot cocoa while bundled underneath a warm blanket and watching scary movies. Suddenly, you go from celebrating Easter to preparing for the Christmas program. It seems like life just goes from one season to the next without pause or a chance for us to catch up. When one time in your life ends, another one begins. Just like in a book, when a chapter ends, the next one immediately begins on a new page. And life transpires in a similar way; there are different seasons we go through: the busy season, the single season, the waiting season, the healing season, and much more.

We have recently shifted from summer to fall; in that transition, temperatures are cooler, daylight ceasing sooner, and leaves changing colors. Things change when the seasons change and change even occurs during those seasons. Thus, we change when going through or moving into different seasons of our lives. And with each season, it is important to grow and take from it what you should. Ecclesiastes 3:1 lets us know that each season has its purpose. Some things happen for a reason that we may not know until later in life while others we know were necessary to prepare us for what we’re dealing with now. One of the few things my third book (Perception) addresses is this: purposeful and changing seasons. In the novel, two characters tell their own perspectives as they go through very different seasons of their lives during a pandemic. But the following excerpt highlights the different seasons in one of the characters’ lives to come. I share this to reiterate that the season we’re anticipating will come–that all the hard work, restless nights, sincere prayers, and sacrifice will be worth it. Some may desire marriage, to attain their dream career, to start a family, to purchase their ideal home, to establish a successful business. Those things will come, but to get and appreciate those moments you’re praying and working for, you’ll have to go through some tough seasons, too. No matter what season you’re in (or if you’re changing from one to the next), just remember, there is a reason for it, and in due time, you’ll reach the place you’re striving to achieve. To read the full story, the eBook will be available on October 4th and is available for pre-order now. The paperback will also be available soon. Here is an excerpt:    

Before my foot hits the last step, a woman’s shrill voice calls “Go Alijah!” into the air and holds the end of my name impressively for a while, causing a few light chuckles. The smile on my face appears as I search for them while returning to my seat. Unfortunately, I still can’t find them, but I know I’ll catch up to them after the ceremony.            

Sitting in the hard chair, I glance at the school’s name engraved across the front of the soft exterior. In my mind and while closing my eyes for a few moments, I thank God for bringing me this far, for this day, and for this accomplishment. There is no way I would have made it through this without His strength and wisdom.

But when I open my eyes, I look down to see that I’m dressed in a black suit with a matching tie and shiny shoes. A grin is spread across my face as I walk down a center aisle toward a metal podium where a white-haired man stands after my name is called. Next to him is a large canvas with a fascinating hand-painted image. The applause is loud as some attendees get to their feet. I grip his hand in a hearty handshake and say, “Thank you,” after he’s offered his congratulations. Then we turn our faces toward a lady with a high-tech camera for her to take a photo. Once the flash disappears, we let go and I take place in front of the microphone.

            “Good evening,” I begin, and some in the crowd reciprocate the greeting. “I am honored and grateful for this award and opportunity to have my artwork recognized by this organization. Having something I created to be featured in a renowned place like this has always been a dream, and I thank God for allowing it to come to fruition. And I thank you for this chance.” I flash a final smile, take the plaque, and walk off the stage to a more thunderous applause. Instead of returning to my seat, I go straight for the double doors. When I push one open, a flash of light blinds me.

            Then I open my eyes to find myself at an altar in front of a church. Along the edge of the pews are red roses with petals lining the aisle. Soft music filters through the air as light chatter carries on among the formally dressed guests sitting on the long benches. The atmosphere is filled with joy and excitement as I scan the room to discover a pastor in an elaborate robe standing behind me with a bible in hand that he flips through.

            Suddenly two doors at the end of the aisle open to show a woman dressed in a red spaghetti-strapped gown and a man in a black suit with a rose pinned to his lapel waiting just at the entrance. The music changes, guests turn their attention to them, and those at the front take their positions. Then the two enter, taking steady steps down the rose-petaled walkway and finally separating once they get past the front pew.

  My heart is racing as my eyes remain glued to the door, waiting to see the bride come. After four more pairs enter the sanctuary, the music finally changes to the familiar “Here comes the Bride” tune. Next, a woman in a stunning strapless white gown that brushes against the floor when she walks appears in the doorway. She holds a bouquet in front of her, but a long veil covers her face. Beside her is an elderly man whose arm is looped through hers. They both take slow steps down the aisle.            

My heart is racing with anticipation as my eyes stay focused on her. More than anything, I’m curious to see who my future wife is. Although her skin appears to be a smooth mocha color and her nails are French tipped as they cling to the bouquet, I can’t make out any other features because of the veil and dress. Eventually, they reach the end of the aisle, and she gives the man a quick hug before handing off her flowers and stepping in front of me. I hold her hands, wondering if I should take the veil off now or wait.

The pastor proceeds with the ceremony that I barely hear as I stare intently at the veil, wishing I had x-ray vision. Who gets married but has no idea who they are marrying? And who makes a veil so thick that you can’t even see through it a little bit?

            “You may now kiss the bride,” the pastor finally announces, bringing me back to the situation. I don’t even remember saying ‘I do’ or putting the ring on her slender finger.

            Anxious, I pinch the edge of the white veil with my fingers and lift upward…           

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