Springs & Winters

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I never find myself sitting down spending quality time with this blog when it’s been a painless season. Instead I find myself here when I’ve been learning and growing – often not in the most comfortable ways.

A few weeks ago I was talking with one of my best friends, Evan, giggling about some sort of ridiculous plan she had mapped out for me. It was one of those plans that you concoct for your close friends – for them to do something you know they want to do deep inside but need a push- like dying your hair blue or starting your own business. When I started explaining to her why I could never go through with her plan, she looked at me, daggers in her eyes, stopping me mid-sentence and just said “Yes. You’re worth it” with a confidence you could hear in her voice and see in her face.  

It hit me so hard because I’ve been doubting so much of myself lately. It’s been a season of winter and dry where I’ve let the songs of fear wash over me. It’s scary to feel like you’re not worth it, it’s scary to realize you’re trying to ‘fix’ people around you, it’s scary to realize you don’t know if you still want the things you’ve always told yourself you want, and it’s scary to not have a concrete plan of what the future looks like.

And that’s where I’ve found myself – floating and unsure and scared.

I’ve been learning a lot in my winter. I’ve been learning to find the Lord through my doubting. I’ve been learning to take care of myself. I’ve been learning I can’t fix everything. And I’ve been learning to listen to people like Ev who say I’m worth it when I feel small and unsure of myself.

In seasons of winter and drought we tend to carry a special tenderness in our demeanor. For me, it feels like when I’m spread thin, any small thing hits me more poignantly. It was in a dry season that Evan telling me I was worth it over something silly hit me like a truck and actually got through to me. When I’m in a winter a flower could make me cry and the Lord could teach me something at any moment on any day. It sounds awesome on the backend, but it’s uncomfortable in the middle. Winters force us to learn, and without them, I would never realize how strong I can be, how much I need people, and more than anything how much I need Jesus. Our lives are cyclical, our seasons are temporary, and as much as we love the spring, winter will circle back around – it will bring us back into that special tenderness.

However, even in your springs it doesn’t mean there aren’t traces of winter.  It’s still scary to feel like you’re not worth it, it’s still scary to realize you’re trying to fix people, and it’s still scary to not know what you want and what your plans are. Even in seasons of spring our problems and insecurities we grapple with don’t disappear, but we all need a few more Evans in our lives to remind us of who we are and what we’re worth – to remind us to embrace the spring seasons and to embrace who we are.

Because as tired as I might get of my own winter, The Lord always uses it to shape me into something better.

I’ve probably cried more days on this calendar year then my eyes have had dry days, but I never want to stop living this way. I never want to forget the true joy that comes after the dry times – the way the Lord shapes my heart shows me how to be better, how to be fuller. I never want to forget that when the Lord lets us go through falls and winters, there are always springs that follow.

I’m thankful that spring has come and this season of winter is closing, but I don’t doubt that winter will come again and teach me a special tenderness in a new way.

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