Spring won’t officially start for five days, but it feels as though it is already here. Yesterday was so breathtaking that I didn’t want to stay inside, and for a bookish introvert who prefers a sofa over a sidewalk, that is saying something. I’m starting to sense the changes, the metamorphosis taking place.
I was thinking about it as I drove to lunch yesterday: it is difficult for me to start something in the middle of winter. I thought back to January and my word for the year, the goals and resolutions I had made for 2015. We’ve had a lot of snow and ice and gray, and seasonal affective disorder is a real thing that makes it hard to gain any traction. I’ve thought a lot about blooming, but I have lacked the motivation.
Truthfully, the past few months of my life have been really lonely. I have struggled to know people and to let myself be known. It has not been pretty, or at least, I’ve never thought it to be. I wrestle and thrash and naively try to avoid the things that hurt, trying to escape those feelings that I would rather not experience.
The other day, I was reading from one of my favorite books and came across this passage:
“When I get lonely these days, I just think, so be lonely. Learn your way around loneliness. Make a map of it. Sit with it, for once in your life. Welcome to the human experience.”
There I was, trying to run away from the feeling, and when I wasn’t running away, I was trying to analyze it, wondering if loneliness here was just God’s way of preparing me to be called away, or if my desires to be known and loved were really only the bricks and mortar of this tower I’m building to make my own name great.
The enemy never stops. He finds the most remote and forgotten back doors to enter through. If the feeling itself is not painful enough, he will fill its nooks and crannies with doubt, making you wonder if you’re really in sin.
Who really wants to sit with feelings like loneliness?
I’m learning, slowly but surely, that blooming begins by simply being where you are. Blooming begins with the hard work of putting down roots in places that seem dark. Blooming requires a shift of perspective. I need to stop seeing these seasons of my life as emergencies that I have to rush to fix and start seeing them as opportunities to find and glorify God in my life.
I don’t have to strive to fix myself, to fill up the holes in my soul and heal the hurt in my heart. I don’t have to analyze and figure it out, and nothing I avoid is ever truly resolved. I just have to be willing to be where I am.
Because at the end of the day, seasons are just seasons. They aren’t meant to last forever.
I am always in awe of the rhythm of the world. The birds are never worried about what they will eat, the flowers don’t fret about what they will wear, and the person who trusts in the Lord — who searches for and finds His gracious hand in every situation — is like a tree planted by the water.
I want to be here now, even if here is feeling a little under the weather.
I know the sun will be back.