A few years ago, while in Sweden, I had the privilege of meeting one of the top botanist of their country.
While Sweden is one of the most atheistic countries in the world, she is a Christian.
She spoke of seasons. She told me of winter and how when so many view it as a season of death, it is actually a season of internal growth. When the ground thaws and the sun warms the earth, the buds swell and the growth that has happened amidst the harsh cold come bursting forth. She used the metaphor to describe her prayer for the Swedish people. I have never forgotten it. I see it in my own life now.
I have traveled through Winter. There have been harsh winds of doubt, the frigid cold of loneliness. The rivers of everyday life have ceased to flow and life has slowed.
What do you do when the seasons change?
They do not change quickly (unless you live in Tennessee, this year has been crazy).
We do not transition from hard times in a moment, yet that is what is so often portrayed.
The ground of our hearts slowly starts to recover from the trauma and the pain that froze them.
There is a fear, as you hear the ice crack in the rivers as they start to flow, you aren’t sure what to expect.
You emerge from Winter like a newborn colt.
Your senses often overwhelmed, your legs shaky.
In an odd way, you have grown used to Winter.
You like the slower pace, it has brought you comfort and acted as a shield.
As your heart starts to thaw, you begin to feel, it feels like needles, like when your foot is asleep.
I do not speak of a frozen heart as a bad thing in this context.
I believe it is what God allows for us to deal with the overwhelming emotions that we have had to deal with during this season of hurt, of loss.
We emerge from this season with hesitancy.
While some would think you welcome it and frolic easily in the hope of blooming fields,
You are, more commonly….hesitant.
I fear that in going into this season I am betraying something of the ones prior.
I fear that I will forget, and I never want to forget something….someone.
In these moments that I must realize that I am not alone.
There is someone who will help me remember.
A wonderful counselor
A bringer of peace.
God is the author of our story.
It may be a different season, but it is still the same story.
I am not betraying the past, for it will always be part of my story.
The same author is at work.
He has been at work through it all.
As I take the trembling steps into this new season of hope, with faith that is shaky,
He is with me.
He was with me in the Winter.
He will be with me in the seasons to come.
It is ok to be shaky.
It is ok thaw, and for it to be a process.
It is ok, because we are not alone.
Just as we walked through the valleys of the shadows of death,
So will we walk, even hesitantly, through the hope filled fields that lay ahead.
May God bless us and keep us,
May He cause His face to shine upon us,
And give us peace.