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Since January, I have been sharing stories about the art of living; going through difficult times, healing from losses, and struggling with what seems to be impossible demands. These are snippets of the obstacles and challenges we face and how we gain confidence working through them.
My hope is that these stories will empower you to trust and believe in yourself and in God. Whatever you are facing, you can make it. I would love to get your feedback.
Introduction to this story
With each season there are new expectations.
Fall brings bright new colors as leaves turn red, yellow, and orange before falling, creating a lush carpet on the ground around them. The trees are preparing for hibernation to survive the cold of winter.
When winter arrives, we snuggle into our comforters or ski jackets when outdoors, enjoying hot chocolate and cookies.
Then, as the days get longer, the ground wakes up, and bulbs planted in autumn push their way up through the hard ground to add new color that promises a bright spring.
Throughout life we experience different seasons – not as predictable as the seasons of nature, but they are there. One of those seasons is going through the loss of a loved one you felt you could never live without, the winter of grief and the spring of a new beginning.
Here is a piece I wrote during such a time in my life.
Breath of Spring
Spring has come and with it, new hope. I feel a new life force breathing energy into my tired soul. In the darkest hours, I begin to feel deep within me the stirrings of new life. Just as daffodils and crocuses and tulips awaken in the chilly spring, eagerly pushing shoots of green upward to develop rich blooms of colors, I want to push out of winter’s gloom. Despite the late spring snow and cold, they are victorious. Like those bulbs, there is a deep longing within me to push out, grow and bloom again and be victorious.
Can you, oh Lord, breathe life into a dried-up old heart – breathe hope into the hopeless?
Can you remove overwhelming doubts and fears?
Can you restore life to those who so desperately cling to the hope that life can be happy again?
Do you ask more from us than we can give? Or is it within the constant stretching and demands and challenging of our minds and spirits that enable us to become what You knew we could be.
The consistency of new days dawning, the stability of the earth and the infallible design of the laws of nature remind us there will be a new morning, a new day, a new spring. The earth continues its rotation, the rain and snow fall, and the sun finds its way through the cloud cover. Bulbs planted in fall break through the still cold earth, exclaiming with new growth that spring has come – winter has been overcome.
It is against this backdrop of the laws of nature and the dependability and reliability of God, that we are able to survive. They form a background of consistency that remind us as we live through times of sorrow, when unseen forces disrupt and destroy what we cherish, that God is still with us.
It is within the backdrop of, “Why God, why have you taken everything away from me? Why do you let all these bad things happen,” that we begin to understand; He hasn’t left us.
It is here we learn how to deal with disruptions of nature, in mankind, and in ourselves when death and loss hit when least expected, tossing us around like discarded leaves before the wind. These changes, unexpected and unwanted, remind us there is a consistency in the world we live in.
Just as the earth keeps rotating, the rain and snow will fall, spring leads to the abundance of summer, and fall prepares us for winter, we will waken in the morning to a new day. Losses will come and go, but we will persevere.
Just as seasons rotate year after year, we too rotate from one period of time to another. Each season will have its demands for growth.
In the spring of my youth, I was full of hope and excitement.
The summer of my life was filled with the wonderful memories built with my husband, family, and friends.
When the season of fall arrived, my husband left me forever in death, and I entered winter, alone. I hibernated, like the bulbs in the ground and waited for spring to breathe new life into my lifeless soul and spirit.
And when I thought hope had left me forever, God breathed new life into me, releasing me from the frozen wasteland of grief and loss, reminding me life continues along with new blooms of spring.
As I sink my roots deeper in faith, I feel the breath of God strengthening me as He gives me His promise for a new tomorrow, a new time of contentment and pleasure.