by Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro (c) 2013
The leaves on some of the trees have begun to display fringes of orange and red while others have taken on the golden hue, which is a prelude to fall. It seems early for this in Northern California. Yet though the heat still presses in heavily from all sides during the day, there is an undeniable coolness in each morning’s air which forebodes the unstoppable changing of seasons.
The seasons of creation (spring, summer, autumn, winter and then spring again) remind us there are seasons in our lives as well. For me in our little family it has been an eventful seven days: all good; all God; yet still unquestionably emotionally intense and embodying the essence of the changing seasons of life.
On the one hand, last Monday began the great joy and blessing of three full days at The Creation Lab in Turlock, California initiating recording of a new Christmas worship CD. Preparation for this has entailed a constant “listening” in my heart the past few months for the eight new Christmas melodies and lyrics which would become the worship songs the Lord wanted composed and recorded for release on this project.
There is always somewhat of a spiritual struggle in this listening, composing, recording process, doing emotional and mental battle to fight back the negative whispers of the adversary who tries to tell me there are enough other songs out there already and that it is foolish for me to go into the studio to release more. And yet once there engaged in the arranging and recording process, Jesus always blesses me, affirming His assignment. This time, He gave me a vision of Himself laughing for joy in the corner of the room as we worked while angels cheered and danced rejoicing that Jesus would be more celebrated as a result of these songs. The Holy Spirit was very tangibly with us as gifted producer, Michael Everett, and pianist/keyboardist, Mark Davis, worked with me to arrange these songs on Monday and with Brandon Davis as we began the recording process on Tuesday and Wednesday. Michael and Mark continued with three more full, long days of work, while remotely I covered them in intercession. God’s will with this music is all we want. We want His sound released and nothing else. (Holy Spirit, come and renew the face of the earth. Holy Spirit, come and have Your way with us.)
Emotionally fulfilling and physically exhausting, preparing and releasing His music is part of a new, delightful, ongoing season into which the Lord led me seven years ago. The people He has brought into my life, the process and the fruit He brings through it in the lives of others, blesses me beyond measure!
This “Christmas Worship II” project will be complete for release next autumn for the 2014 Christmas season. Working on yet another worship project for Him this past week was a time for spiritual and emotional jubilation!
Simultaneously this week has brought changes in our household. Each of our three young adult children has been preparing for the next step of their individual journeys—all of which begin today. Our eldest starts her drive tonight with a fully loaded car to move to 750 miles away in search of her first full-time job since college graduation. Our son, who is the youngest, begins his second year of junior college. And I drove our middle daughter to the airport this morning to catch a pre-dawn flight back East returning to college for her third year. We will not see the girls again until Thanksgiving. All parents with grown children understand this releasing phase is part and parcel of parenthood.
Over the summer, my husband and I also finally purchased a home in an area to which we hope to transition in the future. It is a place where we have more space to breathe in God’s creation. So now we stand straddling the here and the there unsure of where, how or what God is doing, but at rest in Him until He reveals the next step.
Thus a family, we are undeniably in a time of transition. We are at a threshold looking back and forward at the same time, but as yet in between. And despite the profound goodness of that which seems to be coming, for a mother oh how letting go of what has been also hurts. There is a grief which goes along with the change of seasons—an acknowledgement of already missing that which is past and will not come again—even as one is engulfed in a wave of unabashed thanksgiving to God where every good memory is simultaneously stored and savored. Therefore though I know our daughters going on their way is right and good (and I am their BIGGEST cheerleader), this morning my mother’s heart still aches a bit. I waited a long time to be a mother raising children. It was a childhood dream. I never wanted it to end. And yet, the season is definitely done. It is time to let go and embrace that which is to come.
This morning as I grappled with momentary emotional overload after returning to my car alone in the airport parking lot, the Holy Spirit promptly engulfed me reminding me of two things. First, grief is good. It means we have chosen to care for others—to love (!) and to be vulnerable in that love. Secondly, He encouraged me that I needed to look at these pains as more than just grief for what is no longer. These were simultaneously His birth pangs for yet another season of service for Him which He was bringing.
During our brief time in this mortal life, He was always about using us in new and different ways through whom to reveal Himself so that others might recognize Him as God and begin to search for Him themselves. I was to embrace the birth pangs and look forward to the new and/or broadened ways in which I was now to go forth and serve Him.
Seeing the days before me with new eyes, I followed a prompting by His Spirit on the way home to drive to a nearby hill, park, watch the dawn and worship Him. The pastel colors which swept across the sky as evidence of the dawn to come deepened minute by minute as one by one every cloud received its gilded edges until finally the sun made its magnificent appearance above the horizon. Another day had come. It was no longer dark, but light.
“Lord, we greet this new day filled with the hope of what You will do with it. Through good and bad You are there to comfort and restore in ways which have eternally beautiful, wonderful effect. Indeed our hope is in You! Therefore even today we can and do rejoice! Selah!”
And now for each person who will read this, I pray a blessing. May God bless you today in a new and deeper way. May He reveal more of His most Sacred Heart. May you be renewed in spirit by His Living Water and may He flow through you to quench the otherwise unquenchable thirst of others even as He quenches yours. May He give you the strength to revel in every new dawn He allows in your life—even (or perhaps especially) when it may be accompanied by grief. In Jesus’ mighty, wonderful, beautiful name, Amenwww.eaglesnestfoundation.org
Elizabeth Fulgaro is a wife, mother, writer, inspirational speaker, worship leader, composer, singer & recording artist. Recently Elizabeth released her 5th and 6th worship CDs of original songs. The 5th is called GOD SEEKER, to give word and melody to our desire for Jesus to be Savior and Lord and to declare ourselves God seekers as compared to the gold-seeker mentality which predominates society (searching for life’s answers anywhere else besides in the Lord God.)
For books, worship cds, Bible studies and teachings written by Elizabeth Fulgaro, or to schedule her to come speak to your group please visit www.holyspiritpress.org Worship music with audio clips are available at www.cdbaby.com/Artist/ElizabethFulgaro on itunes and Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/Elizabeth-Fulgaro/14919192923?ref=ts&fref=ts where Elizabeth also posts worshipful prayers and teaches how to turn worry into worship for more of God’s power in our everyday lives.
Fulgaro is also a Certified Financial Planner and Accredited Financial Counselor with a heart for helping Christians understand and steward their finances God’s way.
Through Eagles Nest Foundation which Elizabeth founded in 2007 she provides spiritual support & encouragement to military and military families as well as those in physical and emotional battles (such as cancer, long-term illness) as well as those grieving a loss. Email email@example.com or visit www.eaglesnestfoundation.org for more information.
Eagles Nest Foundation is a 501(c)3 corporation. Contributions are tax-deductible. Thank you for your prayers and support!