By: Sandy Churchill
When people describe “a perfect storm”—it usually conjures up images of cold fronts and tidal waves or tornado-like winds spawning catastrophic ends. But a perfect storm can also comprise a sea of happy happenings that simply whip emotions into a frenzy and tap into a bittersweet understanding that time is simply speeding past without our control.
In the past nine months, one daughter got married and another daughter bought a condo and moved out. My youngest became a teenager and it seems every room in the house is undergoing change. All four grandparents have undergone health issues this year and our home has undergone challenges that seem never-ending: from septic to floods to ant plagues and so on.
The undercurrent of this frenzy of change is the life-altering power of menopause. Emotions. Moods. Tempers. Frustration. Unpredictability. Change.
Throughout all the life changes going on in our household, the meno-power can heighten the impact of change and drain my coping skills. It is like living in a soliloquy and having self-talk moments of pep versus discouragement, tears against hope.
Two special gifts from my compassionate and insightful daughters have stayed front and center of late.
The first is a glorious painting, created by my older daughter and gifted to me on the day she moved out.
Emblazoned on a vibrant sunset sky is the outline of a butterfly, with the words:
“And just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly.”
The second gift is also artistic: a hand-colored cascade of leaves and a note penned by my younger daughter. Her message reads:
“I love you SO much! You are BRAVE, you are STRONG, you are POWERFUL. You deserve to finally put yourself on the list. I am so proud of you—you have handled so much change so well! Let autumn be a reminder of how beautiful change can be! Without change, we would never enjoy the colors of fall, pumpkin patches, picking apples, corn mazes, the warm cozy scent of the season, or any of God’s greatest gifts this time of the year.”
Change of Season
So I am sharing with you the gift of encouragement, the glory of autumn this time of year, and the beauty of change. Whatever you are going through—be it a perfect storm of colliding life-altering changes or a perfect nightmare of epic proportions—I wish you beauty and hope amid the changes.
Just like the caterpillar who is convinced that the world is closing in, I know that change can be overwhelming. But with time, hope, and a little miracle—those changes can open up a new world of beauty ahead.