The Winter Season

Looking out over the local park meadow, all I see are naked, black barked tree trunks and limbs. They seem to be reaching up to the overcast winter sky.

This scene appears empty and sad. No green leaves of summer, no colors of autumn. All that’s left are memories of a growing and thriving life.

I choose to see it in a different way. I see it as a reflection of a soul that has cleaned out its attic. A soul that waits for God. 

In the winter season I am stripped of my old ways. Remaining barren, with arms raised to the Lord, I wait for him to show me new ways to bud and grow. It’s an exciting time. I surrender old habits and tired attitudes. Soon he will tell me about effective and beautiful new ways to live.

I am in that suspended time between old and new. I'm not afraid. I've been there before.

Moving back to my parent’s house after graduating from college, I accepted a job at the local teaching hospital. I liked my job, and enjoyed reconnecting with family. It was a safe and fruitful time.

After about a year, I decided to move to Arizona with another nurse I knew. She had a friend in Tucson, and a line on a job.

I had Jack Squat. Talk about naked. I decided to go, knowing I'd have no friends, no family, no job. Totally stripped of my support system, I kissed my parents goodbye and went off across the country.

The buds of my new life started forming. I got a job at Tucson Medical Center. Housing was a bit trickier, but I finally found an apartment, and then a church community. It turned out to be a great move for me.

You know what the saddest sight is? It’s a tree with a leaf that refuses to fall.

That tree is holding on for dear life to the leaf, trying to hold off the winter season. Refusing to be barren.

If I had held on to the leaves of security, I would have missed out on that move. Instead of learning new things, and meeting new people, I’d still be grabbing on to that last leaf. I’d still be living my life at home.

I’m so glad I entered that silent, barren time. 

And just to prove that God has that sense of humor you always hear about, I met a guy who was attending the University of Arizona. He was originally from a town about twenty minutes away from my childhood home. I never would have met him in our home state.

We got married two years later. 

There's so much hope for a soul that has made room for God in the winter season. The Lord will fill that soul with more than can be imagined. It's the grace that makes the change; creating and sustaining a new life for the Lord.

In Tucson, my winter resulted a beautiful, new season.

May the Lord continue to bless my soul. With his silent help, my spiritual winter will also result in new life. A new season lived in closer unity with him.