By the time March arrives, I’m a little battle-worn. I’m tired of cold, dreary days, limited sunshine, and colorless landscapes. I’m ready for that glorious new season brimming with beauty and blossoms—spring.
A friend voiced the same sentiment. “You know, I’m exhausted. I think the winter must be a writer’s bane. We hibernate in our caves so much that we sometimes forget there’s a world beyond our own four walls—until, that is, we glance outside and realize we almost missed the miracle.”
God’s natural order of things, but indeed, miraculous.
In my recent newsletter, I talked about the Ozarks and how these old hills and hollows suddenly shift from sleepy shades of winter to magnificent hues of spring. Dormant bulbs burst with color as dry, brown earth yields to green. Death takes a hike as new life arrives.
I’m awed by the process, really.
Who would think anything beautiful could be resurrected from dead underbrush and barren tree limbs?
Certainly, not me.
I remember one season when I thought winter would never end.
I was twelve when Daddy broke the news.
“We’re moving, kids. I’ve been offered a promotion up north. It’s a great opportunity.”
Moving, as in leaving our beloved hometown where everybody knew everybody, where we’d lived since I was a toddler—where my Nana and my cousins and my best friend still lived?
What about our home?
Banana splits at the corner drug store?
The fact I’d just signed up for cheerleading try-outs?
What about the Avon lady?
My favorite bike trail, the one I could circle a million times and never grow tired of?
And for crying-out-loud, what about Dusty—my furry pal we’d gotten as a pup? Would we take our treasured St. Bernard with us? Surely, we would!
“It’ll be an adventure, honey.” Mama hugged me close. “We’ll make new friends and everything will work out just fine. You’ll see.”
But I had my doubts.
A knot grew in the pit of my stomach.
Over the next several weeks, I said more goodbyes than I had during my entire twelve years on earth.
We left our home, our church, my school, and yes—even our dog. (Because…it was no easy feat uprooting a one-hundred-and-forty-pound animal. We gave her to another family who promised to care for her and love her just as we had.)
I savored a banana split at the corner drug store one last time.
I watched the Avon lady hug Mama and offer some parting samples.
I rode my bike around the well-worn trail, crying as I pedaled.
At twelve, I could not care less about more money, opportunities, or planning for college.
I didn’t care that my parents had hard decisions to make.
I refused to believe anything good could come from this sojourn into hell’s abyss.
I wasn’t trying to be profane. After all—besides his job with the state, Daddy was also a bi-vocational pastor. I didn’t use four-letter words like hell or I’d be sure to have my mouth washed out with soap. As a girl with a penchant for drama, though, I sure thought it.
After all—wasn’t this what hell was?
A sunless place devoid of joy?
You might think this is where I pause and tell you how wrong I was.
And really, I’d like to.
But I can’t.
Daddy’s new promotion did advance his career, though it came with more stress.
And we did live in a larger house, but it wasn’t home.
And like Mama assured, our move certainly was an adventure, however, everything was far from fine.
Let’s just say, my initial inklings about the small town in the northern corner of the state proved true. And our year there not only tested our mettle but made us wonder, too, if spring would ever come.
Please join me again Friday when I share more.
Until then—buckle up.
Your winter may linger (for a time), but spring’s coming.
Can’t shake the winter doldrums? Some seasons are like that. (The truth and what I learned from it.)
When I was twelve, we moved. What I learned from our journey into the abyss.
Long winters grow us. When spring arrives, we shake off defeat and prepare for rebirth.
THOUGHTS TO ENCOURAGE YOU
Winter isn’t forever. It’s a temporary holding pattern for growth.
The Polly Perfect persona is a fallacy. What you need to know if you’ve lost hope.
What we can learn from difficult seasons. Encouragement for the journey.
Have you experienced a difficult season?
What did you learn from it?
How does spring encourage you?
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And remember—please stop back on Friday when I share the rest of my story. I think you’ll be intrigued…and encouraged. (Okay. Shameless teaser, I know.)