My favorite season is spring. I realize that as I write this we are heading in to fall. Fall is nice too. The changing colors of the leaves and all that…yeah, yeah. I hate orange. If I had my way, I would eliminate orange from the world with the exception of fall leaves and pumpkins. Still, fall is beautiful, I can’t deny that, but fall is a dying or if you insist, hibernation. The leaves change color and then they fall off the trees leaving them naked for winter. Sad.
Spring on the other hand is rejuvenation, color returning after a gray winter. I live in the Northwest so when I say gray winter, I mean it. I mean months of cloudy skies and rain. Not that I mind; I love the rain. But I really love when the first flowers return in the spring, and the leaves push out from buds on the trees. Now, that is beautiful. Tulips are my favorite flower, and they are the second flowers that arrive in the spring. When I see daffodils, I know tulips are coming. The return of flowers, leaves and birds never fails to make me feel hopeful.
As much as I love the spring, I can’t rush through fall and winter to get there. If I could I would rush through summer too, but you can’t rush spring.
I mention this because spring came in my heart on Sunday. It was not like spring on the calendar which is predictable. It was a sweet reawakening in my heart caught me by surprise. I went to church dragging my feet if you will. (More about why church is painful for me, and why I keep going anyway another time.) The point is, I was not expecting to get anything out of it. I was “doing my duty”, so to speak. I figured that if I went to church and did not end up at some point crying in the bathroom I would call the day a success. That was my plan.
But to my surprise, the meeting touched me. There was a message there for me, a healing sort of message. I was grateful, very grateful, but surprised. Why now? I have been searching for that for so long, and then when I didn’t expect it, there it was.
As I pondered this, I realized that there have been other signs of spiritual spring in my life recently. Again I wondered, why this, why now? The overall message really hasn’t changed. There was nothing significantly different about this meeting than other meetings that have made me cry in the past. The message was the same. The people were much the same. So what changed?
It must be me.
My heart is changing, and healing. I felt something different because I was ready to hear it. What I felt Sunday must have been there all along, but until I was ready, I couldn’t hear it. I couldn’t feel it.
Realizing that the “problem” all along has been me, of course, I began the “why didn’t I get this sooner”. We all do this right? I wondered: why was I so stubborn, so prideful, so whatever. That’s when I realized it.
You can’t rush spring, and you can’t rush healing.
I didn’t do anything wrong. I was not too stubborn. I was not too prideful. In fact I think I deserve some kudos for continuing to push forward when it was so hard. Healing takes time. Some wounds take longer to heal than others. But if we hold on through the cold, gray winter, spring will come.
This is not the end of my healing journey, not even close, I know that, but it is measurable progress and I am grateful for that. I started this post on Sunday night when I was feeling the warmth of spring, and now it is Monday night, and another winter storm is rolling in. It’s okay because I remind myself there will be more “springs” in the future.
|Petr Kratochvil http://publicdomainpictures.net|