This has been a long winter.  I live in a very cold place that has seen record amounts of snow.

Before I had children I used to romanticize such winters, dreaming of frosted windows, bright stars, a roaring fire, snuggling with my man under warm covers.  Now it feels like our walls slowly start closing in on each other, the more days we’re stuck inside at home the smaller the whole house feels.  By the time it’s warm enough to get outside we’re all slightly crazy and in need of a long run through some fresh air.

Two days ago, as I took my dog out for her morning romp, I realized that it wasn’t as bitter cold: I could actually go out without mittens and not have numb fingers in a matter of seconds, I could hear birds singing (a sound I haven’t heard in three or four months), the sound of dripping water was loud and clear, the sun felt warm on my head, my heart felt light.  It’s like the fading of night just before dawn!  Spring is right around the corner.

Life has a way of following the same paths as nature.  I think its God’s way of helping us understand in as many ways as possible.

My life over the past four years has been a lot like this winter: very cold with a record amount of pain.  But there are days, sometimes weeks, sometimes months when I see the letting up of the bitter, I hear the birds singing, a light shines into a dark place, I hear a dripping sound, I know some long frozen place is finally melting, I feel the sweet closeness of a God who does not give up but continues to hold me close and walk with me through every difficult path and every amazing, wondrous path.

I had many romantic notions of where my life would go, where I would be living, what my family would look like, what beautiful experiences I would have.  I have learned that life is not a tame pet that goes where I tell it to.  And this is a blessing as much as the moments of spring, though it doesn’t always feel so, because it forces me to grow beyond what I thought possible.  It teaches me that winter has a beauty of its own and gives me an appreciation of the new life that comes next.

Spring is right around the corner!

Psalm 25:4-6?(New Living Translation)

?4 Show me the right path,

O Lord; point out the road for me to follow.?

5 Lead me by your truth and teach me,???

for you are the God who saves me.?????

All day long I put my hope in you.

6 Remember, O Lord, your compassion and unfailing love,??

which you have shown from long ages past.