Forever Winters and the Coming of Spring

Please forgive my writing hiatus. I’ve been swept away by the coming of spring and the rush of energy that follows. Every morning I wake up and something new is popping out of the ground or shooting off tree limbs—the world around me transforming so fast I can’t keep up. My counters and table tops are overwhelmed with the white and golden and pink things I’ve collected and haphazardly stuffed into whatever containers are available. 

The world is new, refreshingly so.

One aspect of spring I find particularly encouraging is its consistency. Winter is dreary, cold, and dark. It’s hard to imagine a warm day full of sunshine when I’m huddled inside staring in disbelief at the thermostat. But just when I’m about to believe that this year winter might actually last forever—spring shows up. It is consistent in coming every single year. It never fails.

My freshmen year of college I made some poor decisions that landed me in a desperate place. Overwhelmed by class expectations, failed relationships, even the general bleakness of February, my entire world felt dark and hopeless, like winter. I vividly remember walking back from class one Friday afternoon, the reality of my situation falling heavy on my shoulders. It was just too much.

I was walking on autopilot, not really comprehending my surroundings, when a spot of yellow interrupted my dreary contemplations. A clump of daffodils were just beginning to flower along the roadside. Surprised out of my dreary contemplations, I stopped and actually looked around me—seeing the world for the first time in what seemed like months.

It’s too early for daffodils.

No other flowers were blooming on campus, in fact nothing else was blooming anywhere. And yet here were three little daffodils, sprouting up in all their hope-filled glory, as if they’d been intentionally buried in that exact spot months before and had spent all winter germinating in secret glee, anticipating the happy moment when they’d pop out of the dirt and interrupt my trudge of misery.

As cliche as it sounds, those little yellow flowers gave me just enough hope to push through a desperate moment, a reflection of a greater hope that later I would learn to cling to. I needed to believe that something was bigger than what I was experiencing, that my current reality would not be my forever. 

I fight to avoid platitudes, so my hope is that these words don’t come off general and stale. I’m not about handing someone a bandaid when they’ve got some serious wounds. But humor me in the possibility that there really is something out there as persistent as spring. Someone out there who is bigger than our current struggles and circumstances, someone that is constant, consistent, and faithful—like daffodils—to show up in our winters. 

I believe in this faithfulness because I have seen it, experienced it, and I know it to be true. I hope this season, in whatever circumstances or struggles you are experiencing, that spring surprises you with hope for something greater. 

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