Tuesday, April 14, 2015

beauty among the brown.

Today was an early Michigan Spring that begged us all outside.

For me, springtime absolutely takes the cake when it comes to the 4 seasons we experience here in the midwest and I take special delight in its arrival signs.   The first weed in the garden,  my first robin sighting,  and oh, the rejoicing when I first lay eyes on a blooming daffodil!

Last week, as a family we journeyed to spend a week in Florida.  I marveled the whole trip down.  Each state greener than the last as the temperatures rose and the clouds cleared.   Usually, about Virginia I find my daffodils.
I squeal, "there they are!" and my family teases me for the rest of the trip.
It's not quite the same on the trek back home.  Not so much marveling as mourning as we cross state lines back to Michigan. It's remarkable, really. The closer we get to the Mitten the cloudier and browner it gets.  Last year,  and I am not kidding -- the moment we passed the border to our home state,  it started raining.   5 years ago when we returned from a Spring Break trip a storm would come to pass in our lives.

Today I was neck deep in post vacation laundry chaos but finally made it out of my robe at noon to go outside to hang a couple of white shirts on the clothesline. I glanced around looking for emerging signs of life and suddenly remembered the special daffs that grew rogue amongst the brush and tangle behind the shed.   I couldn't find them at first and felt a bit desperate.  So special these daffodils because of the year my daughter Joy discovered them and came running into the house to gift them to me.
"They just have to be here" I thought.
And then I spotted them.
I was filled with gratitude.  As long as the earth endures!
Life bursting up through last year's death.
For me, among many things in the last 5 years, daffodils have been a symbol of God's goodness.
His sovereignty.
His grace.
His love.

5 years ago this night I was quietly admitted to the hospital and we numbly waited on my delivery of our 5th baby who was still, who had passed in my womb. We named her April. I don't think my typed words can rightly express how wonderful and beautifully made she was, how loved she is, and how painful it was. I speak of the pain in somewhat past tense as 5 years has given us much healing and hindsight. It's all I wanted back then, you know... to rush to the future, to restoration, back to the normal. But time does not speed nor slow. In this life we are given sorrow but promised that good will come from it. Friends,  so much good has come, I have been taught so much.  We are grateful.  Let's go out for coffee and I will tell you all about it.

That day, much like today Spring had sprung all around but I couldn't see it through my swollen eyes and broken heart.  Today I see. I trusted through the hurt that each new Spring, when the daffodils blossomed -  I'd know God's grace in greater measure.  The only way to move forward after you've handed over your lifeless baby to a nurse only to go home empty 5 minutes later, is to continue to lay it all down at the feet of Christ. The months and years went by and He is faithful.
My challenge, my lifeline during these times of trial is to see the gifts God gives,  trust His sufficiency, and rest in His love.

God can bring New Life to the hopeless heart.
His Grace is certain and His Salvation sure.
He will display beauty among the brown.

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