If you’ve been around me for any length of time, you know that I have a “word.” It’s my life word, my forever “one word” and IF I were to ever get a tattoo, it is probably the one word I would get tattooed somewhere on my body. And that word is BLOOM. However, tattoos are way too permanent and I can be a bit indecisive so I’m better off without it. *sidenote: I have no problems with tattoos, in fact I married a hunk of a man with MULTIPLE tattoos. I kid him all the time that we should have his arm insured because the amount of money he has spent on his “artwork,” err I mean tattoos 😉
This morning on my little Timehop app, I was reminded that on this day 2 years ago, my husband preached his very last sermon at our church in Ohio. We closed one chapter of our lives and set out to embrace the new chapter before us. I was sharing with someone this morning over coffee what that was like and it brought so many emotions to the surface. If I am honest, our time in Ohio felt like a very long winter, literally in some ways because Ohio is downright frigid and the winters last forever, but more so figuratively. There were some long, dark days where I felt like I was grasping for warmth. Many days where I asked, “Why here God?” And more days than I can count, pleading that God would hear the cry of my heart and move on my behalf. Now hear me out, there is not one ounce of my being that regrets moving to Ohio. My husband and I would both agree that it was the best thing we could have ever done for our marriage, being newlyweds who had never lived in the same town before we shared the same bed. It is also the place where my husband grew by leaps and bounds in his gifts and confidence. And most certainly, it is where we met and made some of the most life-giving and meaningful relationships that will carry us throughout the rest of our days.
In Come Away My Beloved by Frances J. Roberts she writes, “Wait for it as tulip bulbs anticipate the spring. The rarest of blooms are enhanced by the coldness of winter.”
This April marks 2 years since we have been back south. Since the South is home for us, I’d like to say that it felt like a true homecoming and it did in many ways, but for the most part, it was harder than we had anticipated. However, I can confidently say that where God has us and the people that he has placed among us, it feels Spring. The winter…Ohio; looking back, every bit of it was for a reason, it had a purpose. The “coldness of winter” enhanced me in ways that I didn’t realize then but I see now. It has allowed me to bloom in ways that I never thought possible. Had it not been for that “winter” I wouldn’t be prepared for the “spring” I find myself in now.
Have you found yourself in a “winter” season or are you in one now? Looking back or moving forward, in what ways has/will your “coldness of winter” enhance your ability to BLOOM once you can run freely into your next season, into “Spring?”