Warm weather finally found its way to North Mississippi, just in time. It had nothing to do with Mother Nature, or the movement of the earth, and everything to do with God’s message for me on this beautiful spring day. Sunshine brightly washed over our screen porch, and a warm breeze stirred as our clowder of cats sat upon their favorite warm weather perches. As I stood in the doorway, God put a message upon my heart that will forever change my perspective of spring.
Today is a new day. After months of supporting Mom in caring for Dad during his final battle with cancer, and his passing on Sunday, God sent me a message on this new day. He sent me a message about Spring.
Let me back up just a few months to December. Each year, beginning in December, I pray that the Lord will provide me a word by which to live for the coming year. It’s not a new years resolution, rather it’s a word on which to focus…study, and live by. This year was no different from the last several. I began praying for God to show me my word. Of course our mighty God provided a word for me, just as He always does. 2017 would be “Grow”.
The word grow can mean many different things for different people. For me, this was my first full year as Women’s Ministry Director in our church. I assumed grow was going to be in relation to ministry. Never could I have seen the other way God would use the word “Grow” to speak to my heart, and to change my life.
During the months Dad was ill, I often found myself being stretched in many different directions. God was stretching me. He would lead me outside of my comfort zone, and teach me to grow in ways I hadn’t before imagined. Then, came March 19, 2017…the day my Dad passed from this life. It was the last day of winter. The last day of a season…or so I would discover when I awoke the next morning.
March 20, 2017 marked the first day of Spring. The day that God would send me a message that would forever change my life. You see, late on the 19th, I spent time in study and prayer. I needed God to comfort my heart. There were so many emotions rolling around as I processed the reality that a chapter of my life had ended. God provided me several scripture passages as a precursor to His message for me. Each one speaking deeply to the corners of my heart.
“In the same way I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born,” (Isaiah 66:9) began to speak to my heart. God was telling me that He would never allow the pain that I had experienced in my life to happen without a purpose. His purpose was something new…a new beginning. Immediately following my time in Isaiah God led me to 2 Corinthian 5:17. I’m not sure how I ended up there. Clearly it was His divine plan. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away. Behold, all things have become new.” There was the message of newness again. This time new was accompanied by the message that the old has passed away, and before me was something new. But God wasn’t finished yet.
Back to Isaiah God led me. Right to Isaiah 43:19. I’d never read it in the way that I did this time. “Behold, I will do something new, now it will spring forth; will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, rivers in the desert.” There it was! It was so clear. God’s message to me was one of rejoicing for He had a plan that came right down to the very day he ended the battle.
It would be about spring, newness, and growing! You see, God ended the battle on the last day of winter. He ended the battle on the very last day of a season. Then my almighty God provided me a new season of life…on the very day the Spring, a new season, would begin. Spring is a time of newness, rebirth, and growth. There it was! “GROW!” Yes, the old life had passed away, the battle had ended, and a new season of life was springing forth. A new season of growth, and of rebirth as Mom and I would begin to navigate life without Dad. This new season would be about growing in God.
It will take time to adjust, and time to heal. Just like a new baby, time is necessary for that baby to grow. Oh, but when that new-born baby springs forth, everything is fresh and new. It was on the first day of Spring this year, God met me at the end of the roadway He had created for me to navigate the wilderness, and He was showering me…and Mom, with a new season. A season in which we can GROW.