monday was a gloomy fall day. no sunshine all day with a constant sprinkling of rain—your standard bummer of a monday. as I walked on campus though I couldn’t help but feel so much joy at the beauty of fall!

being the daughter of an english major and prone to finding metaphors, I pondered how fall relates to my life and the gospel. changing colors, falling leaves, crisper air…what could I learn from this?

during the fall, everything begins to break down in preparation for winter. the leaves turn from greens to vibrant yellows, oranges, and reds, then finally to brown, where they then die and drift to the ground. the trees, bare and thin, stand tall and strong through the brutal winter winds and snow. months later, the sun breaks through the clouds and life blooms everywhere.

we too have experience our own falls and winters and springs, often times involuntary. however, as I gloried in the beauty of fall on monday, I realized that sometimes choosing to  go through a season of deconstructing and evaluating yourself can be healthy too.

what I mean by this, is taking time to really analyze who you are–what you believe, what your goals are, who you want to be become, etc. for me, this meant evaluating the current state of my testimony and spiritual growth, and deciding where I wanted it to be in order to be the person and disciple of God I knew I could be.

after this introspection, I realized to get from where I am to where I want to be I will need to work. I need to begin routines that can become healthy habits, like reading my scriptures, writing in my journal, and saying my prayers every night before bed. I have to take the time to start over, letting my old self die like the leaves around me, so a better me can bloom with time.

by nature of, well, nature, what follows this period of personal fall is a winter of standing tall and strong, despite the whirlwinds around you. as we try to better ourselves, especially in efforts to be closer to God, the adversary will do everything he can to pull you back to your old ways. don’t give up hope! change is possible, I promise.

as we mimic the trees and stand tall in spite of the storms around us, we will see the light of the sun (and the light of the Son) breaking through the clouds of trial, and a beautiful spring will bloom within us. we will be better and feel better than we did when we     started—which makes the winter time worth it.

in the overly quoted words of F. Scott Fitzgerald, “life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.” I invite you to take the opportunity to enjoy the season of beginnings and restart your life and see the joy that comes as a result. it is hard, but it is worth it.

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