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Michelle Warner

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Spring Is Coming

Posted on April 6th, 2010

I adore the feeling when I wake up and see the sun peeking through my window. I love it even more when the sun spreads her warmth on the land, the snow melts away, and higher temperatures prevail. It’s no wonder my favorite season is spring when tiny, green, new life begins to poke its head up from the ground, and not too long after, colorful flowers bloom.

Even before I knew I would walk this cancer road, I’ve been thinking about the concept of seasons and specifically spring. Last January in the midst of a snowstorm, I drove from Chicago to Cincinnati to attend my future sister-in-law’s wedding shower. Driving through Chicago and Indianapolis was a breeze, however, when I approached Cincinnati the roads became ice rinks and my Mazda6 was sliding everywhere. I vividly remember clutching the steering wheel with white knuckles and driving 20 miles per hour through the hilly Cincinnati highways. Thankfully, I ultimately reached my destination but there were times I wondered if I’d ever make it.

A couple of months later, I recalled my harrowing driving experience as Jared and I drove that same route to my younger brother’s wedding. This time it was a much different scene: green grass on the sides of the hills, leaves beginning to develop on the trees, and sun lighting our way. I thought to myself, “Last time I was here, it felt like spring would never come, and now it’s in full swing.” Little did I know how much I would need that reminder in the days to come.

The last five months in the Warner household have felt quite winter-like. Not just because of our perpetually snow-covered deck, but because of this challenging cancer road. At times, this metaphorical blanket of snow (my health situation) feels like it will never melt. I imagine you can relate to similar disheartening feelings amidst your trying times. These winter seasons make us wonder if spring will ever come.

This past January after hearing of my impending chemo, I received an email from one of my good friends and former roommates. God has used her wisdom to encourage me, remind me of truth, and fill me with hope. She wrote:

“As I laid in bed tossing and turning over this news for you, begging God for some clarity on your behalf, I sat thinking of your time line and what’s ahead of you in the coming months. I couldn’t help but thinking at the end of these ten weeks will be spring. Spring to me is a time of rebirth, hope, anticipation, new life. Even better, it is the time of the resurrection of Jesus. What was such an incredible awful, painful, unbearable, emotionally and physically exhausting road for Jesus turned around in just a few days to be our reason for joy, dancing, new life, redemption, restoration, and a hope and a future with Jesus in heaven.  So, those thoughts became the focus of my prayer for you.”

The message and the timing of her words were perfect. I couldn’t articulate my appreciation for spring any better. I have treasured these reminders that God remains ever present in my situation even on those difficult days when hope feels a million miles away.

As I reflect on Easter weekend, I can’t help but think what a deplorable day it must have been for Jesus’ disciples as He was beaten, mocked, and ultimately crucified.  Their hopes must have been dashed as Jesus’ body was laid in the tomb—such a different ending than they had envisioned.

Luke 24 provides a glimpse of Jesus’ followers’ deflated spirits. In the passage Jesus approaches them (though they do not recognize Him), and asks them what they are discussing:

“They stood still, their faces downcast…‘Do you not know the things that have happened [in Jerusalem] these days?… About Jesus of Nazareth. He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. The chief priests and our rulers handed Him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified Him; but we had hoped that He was the One who was going to redeem Israel’” (Luke 24:17-21).

In the midst of my exhausting chemotherapy, I connect with the disciples’ word choice: “but we had hoped.” They had hoped that Jesus was the long-awaited Messiah, but due to His death, they struggled with despair. Though my circumstances are much different, at times I can empathize with their despondency.

Worn out from eight weeks of chemotherapy, I sometimes battle a loss of hope that this cancer road will ever be fully behind me. Though I am approaching the finish line now, there were moments I wondered how I would endure these ten weeks. All that I had hoped seemed like a distant cry from what I was experiencing.

I know I’m not alone. Even though your battle may look quite different than mine, most of us have had to fight a loss of hope at some point in our lives. Maybe for you it’s related to a strained relationship, a dream job, marriage, pregnancy, a medical issue, or some other disappointment.

However, I take great comfort in the fact that the hope of the two followers described above wasn’t left dangling. In accordance with His perfect plan, God restored hope for all of His followers when Jesus conquered the grave. Though there are days our circumstances may cause us to question God’s presence in our lives, I am learning that when our hope ultimately rests in God and His unchanging nature, we need not wonder if He will bring restoration. He already did through Jesus’ resurrection and the gift to His followers of eternal life in Heaven.

Because our Savior has risen, even when some seasons feel like never-ending harsh winters, we can trust that spring is coming. Listening to the birds chirping out my window, that has never felt more true.

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven…
He has made everything beautiful in its time” (Ecclesiastes 3:1,11).

4 Comments on “Spring Is Coming”

  • Lauren says:

    I’ve thought a lot of this too over the last few days, and have many times as I’ve been thinking and praying, thought of you and your sweet little self and how precious you are and what a woman of faith and God you are and how I’m grateful you’re my friend. This post will be life giving to many, I love you!

  • KJ says:

    I’ve been thinking a lot about you lately sweet girl. Know that I’m cheering for you, praying for you, and loving you from afar! You’re almost at the end of the 10 weeks- you ARE a warrior princess! The Lord is using you in mighty ways my dear! I loved this post- it hit me and is such a great reminder of the sacrifice our King made! Love you!

  • Julie E says:

    Hi Michelle! This is one of your OWP “advisees”. What a journey you are on! It reminded me of a quote that I read recently:

    “What you and I might rate as an absolute disaster, God may rate as a pimple-level problem that will pass. He views your life the way you view a movie after you’ve read the book. When something bad happens, you feel the air sucked out of the theater. Everyone else gasps at the crisis on the screen. Not you. Why? You’ve read the book. You know how the good guy gets out of the tight spot. God views your life with the same confidence. He’s not only read your story…he wrote it. ”

    Good thoughts and prayers are headed your way…

    Julie E.

  • Pegs says:

    You are right on the money when you write about about losing hope…I have said countless of times over the last year: “I had hoped that…Is this it?…Did you not say…” What a blessing to read that! I just learned about “turn arounds” in our lives today as well as God’s timing and the role they play in our purpose. What your ex-roommate said is exactly what I learned through the book of Esther today! Thanks for sharing. “The Lord longs to be gracious to you; He rises to show you compassion” (Isaiah 30:18). The Lord waits & longs for Spring to come. He waits & longs to grant our requests just as we do. Spring becomes so much more significant to us because of the hardship and coldness of winters. I pray for all of us, sisters, that we will carry Spring in us throughout the seasons and that renewal of spirit & mind by the power of the Holy Spirit will strengthen us as we wait on Him for our complete restoration. So I am sitting with you in the waiting room, waiting for your healing and mine to take place here…And while we wait, remembering & enjoying His grace.

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