Seasons have always fascinated me. It’s so interesting how we can be in the heat of summer, and long for what will be the chill of winter. A few weeks back (right as Christmas break had ended) the girls had their first “snow day” of the season, which means that school was cancelled long before anything flurry and white started falling from the sky. The grocery stores in town were quickly cleared of milk, bread, and eggs (as is custom here in the south, whenever we hear of any anticipated weather elements). Some days I think you could spill a cup of ice on the road in Franklin, Tennessee, and school would be cancelled. I love a good snow day too. For us, it usually means all the kids and grandkids taking refuge at Grammy’s. We stay in our PJs, get the fire going, and make a warm pot of soup.
I found myself waking up on this particular snow day, longing for the sights and smells of spring...the mornings full of crisp, cool air when Steven and I can enjoy a cup of coffee on the back porch...the afternoons when the grandkids are playing in the yard, and it’s warm enough for PopPops to take Noble fishing in the pond...Shaoey’s first softball game of the season. I also think back on our final days with Maria, and all the memories those days hold in my mind. I long to see her face, and to smell and kiss her chubby neck.
There’s this continuous longing in my heart of what’s already begun, but has not yet been made complete. And that is so stinking hard for me.
With each season that goes by, and each year that comes and goes, grief hasn’t left us. It’s not something that goes away when the snow melts, and the flowers start to bloom. It’s followed us from one season into the next, and it’s looked different for our family in each season. But, the Lord’s goodness and mercy hasn’t left us. Its followed us too, and its chased our heels when we’ve tried to run away.
What God began at the beginning of time, is not over yet. We may continue to wake up this side of heaven with a longing for the sights and smells of what is to come. With each day that passes, we are one day closer to that one day when we will SEE all things restored.
“When you SEE this, your heart will rejoice, and you will flourish like the grass; the hand of the LORD will be made known.” (Isaiah 66:14)
May the hope that spring (the season, and an eternal Spring) is indeed coming, be a theme for us all. It became an emblem of hope for the Chapmans in the cold, dark months of grief when our hearts were frozen hard within us. May you find and feel that hope deeply rooted in and through the person of Jesus. He has and is making all things new. Because the gospel is true, we can wait for that day with real hope...the ultimate day when icy winter gives way to the warmth of spring and a permanent glorious new life will spring forth.
Until then, soak up these chilly days with your people.
PS – A couple of quotes in this post were taken from my book, Choosing To See. You can get your copy here.