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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Chasing Joy

I remember when we lived near the ocean and spent most of our free time on the beach. The kids would run back and forth along the shoreline, dodging in and out of the water. They would build their sand castles high with thick walls to hold back the water and protect their creation. They would often run straight out with their boards, chasing the waves and then wait expectantly to catch the perfect wave to ride back to shore.

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But the greatest thrill, the greatest wave of joy and happiness, was not really in them catching that wave, but in letting that wave catch them. When they let go of control and joined the wave in its chosen path.  When they allowed the motion and driving forces of the water to lift them up and carry them along.  That is when the feeling they had been searching for the whole time came. Exhilaration. Euphoria. Total abandonment and freedom.

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I see our (my) pursuit of happiness and joy that same way. We chase it down in buying things. We try to contain it with what we do. We go after the big job, the title, the house in just the right neighborhood, the right clothes, and the perfect kids. We perform our charitable acts because we know it’s what we ought to do… and we are left still feeling empty, still searching, and wondering when it will ever be good enough.

But it’s there, just waiting… waiting for the big exhale of expectation and the letting go of control.

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Left to my own plan, I’m going to drown.

My wall can’t be built high enough and my acts, on their own, will never be enough and my own efforts will never measure up. But God.

Yes, but God has a plan that will lift me above all of that and send me soaring. Sit still and listen. Stop being so busy. Stop talking and making noise so you can hear His whispers. Feel His breath upon your ear exhaling His grace into your heart. Because His grace… it’s good enough. It is more than enough.

 

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV

aloha