“Let’s get the garden ready for spring Gigi!” The yellow rake that PopPop got her, already clutched in those tiny hands. “There’s so much to do in the garden after winter” she said like she’d been tending a garden for a hundred years.
As I cocked my head watching Ellie raking furiously, I felt a nudge. Is the same true when we endure a season of winter in our soul when the garden of the heart is left barren and littered with fallout from the storms?
Lately I’ve gotten several emails from sweet online friends telling me about their own journey when loss leached joy from their days, leaving them cold spiritually. A winter of the soul perhaps.
Over the years I’ve had several seasons like that, most recently after my mother passed away. That winter was a long one, with months, even years, stretched out bleak and void of beauty. My prayers were few and lifeless. After a couple of years, when the pain dulled a bit, I was left cold and hard inside.
But early one Saturday morning my daughter Stephanie called and asked me to breakfast on the square. We bundled up and walked past still dark storefronts to a cute little cafe overflowing with people. Breathing in the aroma of fresh brewed coffee I stepped over that threshold and felt something vaguely familiar…joy. Like the first crocus forcing her way through frozen ground, joy found her way and she promised me that spring was coming.
But what little Ellie said about our backyard garden, held truth for the garden of my heart, there was so much to do after a long winter. It took effort to cultivate my day to make time for prayer and Bible study. I had to surrender and allow the Father to prune away the ugly fear and twisted anger that consumed my life’s landscape. But with every surrender joy followed and eventually my winter melted into glorious spring.
If you’re in the midst of a personal winter, hold hope sweet one. Spring will find her way.
And if you’re just coming out of winter, don’t be discouraged with the task, there’s much to do in the garden after winter, but the reward is well worth the labor.
Sending you love today my friends
winter….what if you postpone the season? You may have to go back and revisit the very grief you strive to ignore. you can’t really cut seasons short. there’s beauty in all seasons.