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Weekly Encouragement

Withering Leaves

The more we understand nature, the more we can lean from it.
          It’s always hard to let go of people, especially those whom we have loved. People move, college comes, relationships turn sour, and contacts get lost. I understood that there was a time and place for everything, and that some people are just in our lives for seasons, but I never understood why the ones we have held so close must leave our lives. I asked God to explain it to me, and with simplicity He did. This is how He explained it to me:  
             Everyone has been put into our lives for a specific amount of seasons. Although this is cliché, it is true. During the colder months the seasons of autumn and winter arrive. At this time the trees have spent majority of the warmer seasons growing and nurturing its leaves. Without the tree’s nourishment, the leaves begin to wither and eventually, depart from its branches. Due to cold weather, the tree is unable to provide for both itself and its leaves. In order to survive the tree extracts the nutrients from the leaves and stores it within itself.
The leaves turn in color which signifies a change as the nutrients are extracted. The branches remain strong, but the leaves wither and finally detach from the tree. It seems as if these fallen leaves are gone forever, but they’re not. They fade away into the soil the tree thrives on to continue its survival. As months pass spring arrives, new leaves are produced, and what was once gone is restored and replenished.
This same process is applicable to us. It is an analogy between the relationships in nature and those present in people’s lives. The relationships we establish are like the tree and its leaves. They depend upon the other for nutrients but supply it in different ways. Just as the tree lets go in order to equip itself for survival during the colder months, people have to do the same. Life may only present the option of letting go in order to prepare us for the future. Similar to the leaves, the people we depart from are not forgotten. Our experiences with them enable us to survive through the “winter months”. They are the fallen leaves whose minerals provide the lessons we have learned. 
It may be upsetting that a relationship established will deteriorate. Fortunately with God, this does not occur. We are the leaves that dwell on His evergreen tree that receives everything it needs to survive. We are the snow that lives upon God’s mountain tops that will never melt. God said although others will be replaced, He will not. He will be present in the fall and winter of our lives, and rejoice with us in the spring and summer. It is essential that we love people despite the season we may leave them in because letting go is a part of life and eventually all will be replaced and created new.
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