Spring Thaw

The earth breathed a collective sigh today. Spring made a peak from behind the clouds and brought sunshine and warmth to the cold, hard ground. Winter has seemed especially long and cold this year, and I know I have had it easy living here in the south compared to my more northern friends.

Does your heart ever feel that way? Like it has been living in a perpetual winter and it seems that the storms and clouds won’t go away long enough to thaw.

And then you exhale. Like someone who has been holding her breath too long for fear of the next cloud that will burst, you exhale. And you feel it… the warmth of spring. The warmth of the yellow rays of sunshine and the sweet scent of new blooms and buds in the air. And there is hope. And joy. And peace.  Remember this moment, this feeling of life being breathed back into you.

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Winter came that year when everything changed way too and way much too fast. The year of the diagnosis and hospitals and doctors. The year of going back to work full time. The year of having three teenagers all at the same time, and life… life just fell apart. And that year… well it just kept going into the next and before I knew it, there I was in a place I didn’t know my heart could go. Frostbitten, so cold and burned, and knowing I couldn’t take another step further or I might never find my way back.  So I breathed deeply and turned around.

Exhale. A deep breath and a pleading sigh.

In the same way the Spirit also joins to help in our weakness, because we do not know what to pray for as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with unspoken groanings. Romans 8:26

And God answers. The storms subside and you take a breath. Just for today. And again tomorrow, God answers and you take a breath and it is enough for that day. Until your days turn to weeks, then to months and you find yourself warm and the sun is on your face and the cold wintery places in your heart are thawed. You know that winter will come again, but next time…next time you won’t hold your breath. You will breathe deep and exhale, because next time you will remember this warmth and know that spring is around the corner and the warmth of The Son is still there, just behind the clouds.

Whatever it is you are facing today my sweet friend, take comfort in the knowledge that spring is coming. Exhale deeply tonight and hear the whispers of the Father warming your heart.

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Regrets and Do Overs

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Do Over!

Jeremiah 18:3-4 “So I went to the potter’s house, and sure enough, the potter was there, working away at his wheel. Whenever the pot the potter was working on turned out badly, as sometimes happens when you are working with clay, the potter would simply start over and use the same clay to make another pot.”

As kids playing games you would often hear “Do Over!” when the outcome was not what the vocal party had anticipated. As a forty-something or other, I often want to raise my voice and cry out so all can hear…” DO OVER!” THIS is really not how I had planned things to turn out. THIS is not what I pictured in my head. THIS was not part of my dream. Can I just start again? Please?

Don’t get me wrong. I love my husband, I love my kids, I love my family, friends and my life. But there are those moments…those times I look back and shake my head and wish I could take them back. Re-do them and do them right. Fix the hurt, undo the wrong, and press on to a better ending. Do over. But life doesn’t work that way. So if we can’t do over, what can we do? The do over is an opportunity to try or perform something a second time; to do something again from the beginning, especially because you did it badly the first time. Now, I certainly don’t wish to go back to elementary school (although the mandatory naps would be nice); the thought of re-doing the teen years, ummm, no thanks. While there are moments I wish I would have done differently, handled with more kindness and grace, made a better choice, all of those experiences have shaped who I am now.

So now what about do over moments? I have truly spent years letting guilt, shame and regret drag me down and storm over my life. But I’m telling you this, I know that God has so much more planned for me than to let me wallow in that place. And my friend, He has those same grace filled plans for you. To think, for even a moment, that in not sparing His own son that He would want us to stay in those dark places is just not the truth. Maybe there are some things that need to be made right with someone else. Maybe you need to make it right with yourself. Ultimately though, it has to be made right with your Creator, allowing Him room to re-mold the clay and make it into something new.

Philippians 3:12-14  “I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.”