Article #17. Seasons of the Soul: Embracing Springtime

Last week, I blogged about the spring season… and touched on the importance of embracing the season you’re in.

At first, I thought: We’ll just celebrate spring together and not really go into how we should embrace spring as our “now” season. After all, who finds it hard to embrace spring?

But then I realized, I may often believe I’m embracing it…. but the reality is that I’m trying to skip through it as fast as I can to get to summer. Sometimes I even pretend/dress/act as if it’s summertime already and then I get frustrated when the temperature inevitably drops for a day or three… or when we get a random frost after a promising string of seventy-four degree days.

I think it’s the same with my own heart, when there’s winter left inside of me yet. Sometimes, after a long, hard season of the soul (like a brutal, bitter winter), I sense a change in the wind. Spring is coming! Like that verse in Song of Solomon, “For lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; the flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle dove is heard in our land…” (Did you know the Bible is chock-full of riveting poetry like this?)

But it’s not quite summer yet. Embracing a spring season of the soul is a lot like embracing a New York spring. You can’t jump from winter to summer in a snap, and you may as well accept flip flops one day and a winter coat the next. Sometimes, it overlaps and you need sandals and a coat during the same day. That’s okay; it doesn’t mean you’re moving backwards. Just like sometimes you’re happy one hour and hurting all over again the next. And that’s okay, also.

Sometimes you need to cry after all, even when you thought your heart was fully healed. Seasonal transitions are seamless, an ombre-like fading. Even when we want the change to be sudden, secure, and well-defined, such is not the nature of the seasons. We shouldn’t stubbornly freeze without a coat here in this stage just because we know summer is almost here.

Seasons of the soul are much the same.

For the many months since I miscarried, I truly felt every ounce of grief had left me. Then yesterday, my would-be due date arrived. For two or three days leading up to yesterday, I felt the growing lump in my throat and tenderness of my heart gently setting in. But I wasn’t prepared for the waves that would overtake me that evening after work, when my sisters-in-law had flowers delivered with a note which simply read, “We can’t wait to meet your baby someday.” (In Heaven, that is.) For a brief moment, I felt I could control my emotions and spare myself the tears. And then I thought, maybe it would be healing just to let them out and get it over with. It was not like that though. And it surprised me. Once the tears began running off my chin like a silent river, they would not stop all that night.

I realized I’m still grieving.

Spring is a season of hope, but hope is an expectation, a taste of the fullness that is coming. It is not meant to be full-on summer yet. Spring is an overlap of winter and summer… with fragile yet hopeful buds and delicate blossoms; and it is perfectly normal, healthy, and right when they coexist for a time.

I can desperately rush through the process to get to the summer I so long for, or I can embrace the dual nature of my season called spring. I often think how I could actually be delaying my summer the longer I refuse to give in to it and patiently let it run its healthy course.

What about you? Might you find yourself in a spring season of the soul, where it’s difficult not to rush ahead of the process? I feel this about nature and my inner-life right now.

It’s comforting to remember that spring has its own beauty, and not only because summer is around the corner. Look around with gratitude. Hang in there. Embrace the process. Don’t waste the moments you need.

And finish strong. ❤

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