I used to love winter. Anticipation grew as leaves turned to colors of amber, terracotta, burnt orange, and umber. Trees would lose their coverings and soon the whiteness would fall covering the ground in a blanket of sleep. I adored being the first one to step out onto a field covered in white and leave the first footprints across the scape. I didn’t even mind the cold as I wore sweaters and many comforting layers and adorned my feet with new slippers.
Last year, we made a life-changing move. We left the familiar to venture out into the great unknown. We cried our good-byes to long-time friends and set out.
Time past and we didn’t find a house to buy. Locating a church home became a challenge. Seeking the right medical team for my needs grew more difficult. And, oh, did I mention, we couldn’t find a house to buy?
My husband and I made several trips to see family. I returned again and helped pack up my parents to get them ready for a move of their own, and then winter came.
God gave me two words as I asked for guidance. “Rest and wait.”
And my brother died.
We cried. And mourned. I kept moving forward.
But winter didn’t end.
I cried out to God for help. I still felt sure we were in the place God brought us. But, we still couldn’t find a house. We had no church to call our own. Winter lasted, and we hadn’t put down roots.
Again, He said, “Rest and wait.”
I fell on my face seeking His touch. I received a card from a dear friend saying God had placed me on her heart during this long winter. She didn’t know our area was having an extended season. She was speaking of this difficult mourning period. God caused her to know.
So, I tried to wait and rest. I said my good-byes to my brother again and moved forward.
At least I tried.
But winter stayed.
No house. No church home. No connections.
This was such a deep challenge for me.
I was ready to give up many things. Pack in the writing. Forget trying to find either a group of writers for comradery or a Bible study gathering.
Even the few people we had met seemed to pull away.
I cried out for answers. Once again, God said,
“Rest and wait.”
What for? I really wanted to know. I begged for an answer. I cried out as David did when he asked God how long.
And yet, in all of it, God was removing layers from my heart. He brought me to a place of sacrificing some feelings I had babied. My Father allowed some strained relationships to move toward healing. He gave me the opportunity to step my foot into an area of creativity and encouragement I had shut up many years before.
And in the late summer, God brought me to a place of forgiveness. Forgiveness I didn’t know I needed to give. I opened the door of mourning and forgave my brother for dying. It wasn’t his fault, I know, but I needed to release that in order to continue into deeper layers of healing.
We’re facing winter again. Still no home. No real church connection. Haven’t found writers in my area to connect with.
I don’t have any more answers now than before. But God’s words still ring through my heart.
Rest and wait.
He has a plan. We’re part of it. And He’s still working, because He is God.
I think I’ll go buy a new sweater.
Photo credit: Unsplash-Jason Blackeye