It was two years ago this spring when I launched this little hobby blog of mine. I was feeling so hopeful and inspired as I thought to be leaving dark days behind me in life. There was a renewal and strength inside of me where I learned to pray hard, look for the best in situations, discipline myself, give myself grace, and bloom where I was planted. I didn’t know I was going to need those skills and strength for the long, dark winter in my soul.
And those days got very dark very quickly for this plan-a-holic. Walking through the unknown when you are prone to needing a plan can be an emotionally cumbersome task. It’s like Michigan winter. You know that at some point it will end, but when it ends is another story.
The nice thing about winter is you know eventually all that is dead and dark springs back to life in the light someday. You plan for the gardens. You plan for the sports and cookouts. You plan for the windows to open and the fresh air and light to come back in. When winter seems to never end, your plans for spring hang in limbo.
When life as you know it goes dark and dead like winter, and all you hoped and dreamed of for your family will never come to fruition, it seems like a never ending winter in your soul. Life remains in limbo.
When you spend the majority of adult life reflecting and refining yourself to become a good wife and partner and then find yourself partnerless, life gets cold. Add in the physical loss of others you love at the same time and that winter can freeze your heart. A deep freeze is painful.
Have you ever had frostnip? It’s a few steps below frost bite. If you live in Michigan, you may have had it a few times. Your skin gets so cold it is numb at first. Then it hurts.
The thawing is the most painful part. The transition back to normal. It is hot and tingly and red and it burns. Nothing really helps to sooth the pain. Your skin just has to naturally warm back up. Sometimes this can take 15 minutes in front of a fireplace or a good part of the day depending how bad, but all of a sudden you realize the pain is gone.
Like winter into spring. The cold, snowy, frozen days slowly become warmer and then one day you realize there is no more snow and the sun stays out and winter is gone.
That’s kind of the place I’ve been in. The transition from the cold dark days of life. The uncertainty of where I will be. The uncertainty of budgets. The uncertainty of mothering and co-parenting. The uncertainty of my purpose and future. This transition has been painful.
But one day I woke up and it felt like spring in my heart. We will call it Michigan spring for this Michigan girl, because we all know that it can still snow in spring like the storm that came through this past weekend. And even though I have a few dark days here and there, my heart is coming back to life and being filled up with joy.
My biggest fear as an adult was losing my marriage. I wrote it down during a Bible study one day long before divorce was on the horizon. We were supposed to identify the thing that we felt would destroy us. We wrote If____, then God _____.
I wrote that if I lost my marriage, God would sustain me, but I didn’t really believe it. I really, truly felt in my heart that if my marriage crumbled, I would have a sad future.
When that “thing” actually happened, I took that fear through the winter in my soul. But I also took my mustard seed of faith with me. One week I was crying at my mom’s wondering how on earth I was going to find a good place to live, get a reliable car, move all the stuff from a 3,000 square foot home into an apartment on a limited time frame. By the next weekend I was driving a new car and signing a lease on the perfect tiny place for now, with my friends and family busting butt to help me get it all done.
Those days, I held onto my faith and trust in God with no more than a tiny seed. But the Bible says if we have only the faith as small as a mustard seed, we can move mountains. My marriage mountain may not have been moved, but I climbed to the top and God is still moving mountains in my life. He is still proving to me daily that I do not have to live as a slave to fear, but walk in the faith that He holds my future in His hands. That tiny seed of faith gets to grow in spring.
Life is still good. Even with mountains and uncertainties. Join me on my journey toward joy and climbing mountains in life. Keep making your house a loved filled home.
Hopefully Michigan will send us spring soon.
High five for home.
For behold, the winter is past; the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth, the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land.
~Song of Solomon 2:11-12