Thawing our every winter

thawing out winterYours is the day, yours also the night;
you have established the heavenly lights and the sun. 
You have fixed all the boundaries of the earth;
you have made summer and winter.
Psalm 74:16-17 

Last winter

It was a Friday morning in January.
As a team leader for my homeschool group, I was meeting individually with other moms to check their records and answer questions.

I had set up an intricate schedule, staggering each appointment appropriately so everything would run smoothly.

Until I got that phone call. After being told by the lung surgeon that his cancer was too far gone, my dad had asked for hospice. And the phone call I received said they were on their way to meet with us.

I wasn’t ready. Not mentally. Not emotionally.

Winter was frigid.

I was frozen with indecision about abandoning my responsibilities of the morning. So when Stephanie offered to pray for me (instead of me praying for her), I said, “Yes!” She prayed for my peace, wisdom, confidence. And when Jeff walked in to clear all my remaining appointments, I flew to my parents’ house just in time to meet my dad’s new caregivers.

A warm spot in a cold winter.

This winter

I resigned as a team leader at the end of last school year. The demands for caring for my mom were now too great. So when Carol was assigned as my team leader, I was grateful.

Our first meeting in the fall was shortly after my mom’s death. I mainly cried through our time. And Carol prayed through my tears.

But last week, a new Friday morning in January, I met again with Carol.

Although I’m far from healed from the bitter cold winds of 2010, I can feel the thaw.

Carol prayed for me again. No tears this time. Just gratefulness for a God who knows what he’s doing. In every season.

Lord,
     Thank you…
for sending sunshine to our mornings,
for shining light into our darkness, and
for thawing our every winter.
     You are God, and there is none like you.

From of old no one has heard or perceived by the ear, no eye has seen a God besides you, who acts for those who wait for him.
Isaiah 64:4

* * *

Are you in a winter season now? Where do you find hope for spring?

 

 

26 comments:

Katie said...

Love this. Winter is so hard. BUT THERE IS ALWAYS HOPE FOR SPRING!

Did a post back in June about my own season of spring:
http://www.donotdepart.com/2010/06/spring_03.html

Thanks for sharing.

Barbara H. said...

I hadn't thought of my mom's death as a winter -- more like a constant ache that lessened but never went completely away. But I can see what you're saying and I'm glad you've been slowly experiencing a healing or thawing.

Lisa notes... said...

Katie,
I followed your link to “Spring” and found it very encouraging. 2010 “was a season of what felt like a forever Winter” for me. So now I’m looking forward to this new season of “growth and refreshment that will come from the nourishment of God's presence, through His Word.” You stated it well.

Hope your gardenias have put down good roots and will bring you lots of blooms this year!

Lisa notes... said...

Barbara,
It might seem a little twisted, but I find hope when I hear you and others say that you never quite stop missing your parents. It’s not that I want to keep the pain (I don’t!), but it does remind me of how much I still love them.

I know you still miss your mom, too, yet you’ve been able to swing back to joy. That’s the direction I want to keep heading…

Stephani said...

"feeling the thaw" I like that. I feel like I'm in a place where I will go from winter to winter as we do in the seasons of nature. I feel I'm thawing a bit from my most recent overwhelming physical and emotional exhaustion, but I know there is more ahead. One storm is passed but more is in the forcast. I'm trying now to take time out to sit in the sun as often as I can and to be better prepared for the inevitable storms to come. ~ I love your tender spirit.

Lisa notes... said...

Stephanie,
You have definitely been in a cold season for awhile now. :-( I pray that your fishing trip ahead will be a time to ‘sit out in the sun’. Soak it all in, friend! Praying for you often.

Michelle said...

I can't believe it's been a year since my dad died (January 2010).
I do miss him, but my spring is coming.
I dream about him sometimes, then wake up crying.
I have his picture as my desktop picture. I don't want to replace it with anything else. Although I have other pictures of him around our home. It's like a piece of me doesn't want to believe he is gone. As long as the picture is there it's something I can hold onto.
I call my mom twice I week. She has gone on with her life, she even has a guy friend. I cannot imagine having lost both parents in one year.
But God is good and with time I'll heal I'm sure.

Bless you!!

Julie said...

Lisa,
thank you for this post. I went back to read about your mom's death. 2010 was indeed a VERY hard year. ...for many people it seems. What with the hardships of our society and economy, and job losses, and lack of work, hurts and pains, foreclosures, and broken relationships..so many hurting. My first son left for Afghanistan first of March, and I felt such a sharp cold intake of breath in my soul,, and then holding that breath for the next 7 months as the area he was in was so violent. Hearing he was involved in an IED blast with concussion, yet others who died...so hard. but praising God. My mom found out her cancer had spread once again to her brain. It was the end of a 15 year cancer battle. She also had lung cancer.
What a hard journey to watch. We welcomed our Marine back and in the same weekend Kurt took a new job in Iowa, 15 hours away...and my mom just went down rapidly after that. Graciously she passed on Thanksgiving Day, which Kurt was here for a short weekend, so I had him with me to hold me up. Life is hard. I was filled up by your posts. Thank you. I know what you feel. Truly. Hugs to you. God is good and faithful. He loves us in the hard times...fully.

Dianna said...

What a precious precious post, Lisa. You are such an encouragement to me as I have watched you walk through all of this. You've been tested by fire and yet come through without smelling of smoke...His amazing grace. I'm also enjoying our times together at Stephanie's. It is wonderful getting to see how we are willing to yield to the Lord in different areas of our lives. Love you!

HisFireFly said...

Praying into the thaw with you - that His fire would burn strong.

A Joyful Noise said...

I love it when you pointed out that even in the cold of winter, there are times when the sun breaks through and shines on us. It is such a blessing to have friends who pray and will pray for you!

Lisa notes... said...

Michelle,
So our dads died close to each other. Mine dad on Feb 14, ’10. I’ve had more dreams about my parents within this past year than all my years put together. Strange. My dad is usually healthy in my dreams—and even in my dream I sometimes ask, “But didn’t he have terminal cancer?”

So glad you can still call your mom and talk to her. You are a wonderful daughter to do that!

Lisa notes... said...

Julie,
Wow—your son must have some amazing stories of both good times and very sad times. You had a VERY difficult year yourself. I can’t imagine having to deal with all those traumas on so many different fronts at the same time. I love your final statement: “He loves us in the hard times…fully.” What a comfort that is, huh? So glad that He is crossing our paths, friend!

Dianna,
Love the smoke analogy. You have been such an encouragement to ME for quite awhile now. I still have the poem on my dresser “In the Midst” that you had on your blog in the summer that I then also pasted in my mom’s book when she was at the assisted living home. It is amazing how God graces us with just the right things and people at just the right time.

Yes, I am also enjoying our times at Stephanie’s. I just read what you did for Carroll about changing getting up time. Very impressive, girl! :-)

Laura said...

Lisa,
What a blessing to work side by side with women who pray with you in your deepest sorrows. Bless you in the winter of your heart and your faith in the coming spring.

Mari-Anna Frangén Stålnacke said...

Heartbreaking and heartwarming at the very same time. Great post, thank you. God bless you!

karlaokala said...

Thank you so much for sharing. Sometimes, in the middle of a tough season, it is hard to remember that seasons change, that they are not permanent, and that God is in control of all of it.

Loni said...

Ohhhh dear, I so understand that long winter. Our 16 year old son died 2 weeks before Christmas, 6 years ago, and it was a long, dark winter. Many prayed us through too. But the morning finally came, and joy in a new way is renewed. I understand when the tears don't come as often, and can get through a story without sobbing.

Hugs to you . . .

Joybird said...

No, but these last 2 years have been a thaw for me after what felt like a veritable ice age.

Brian Miller said...

smiles. glad you are feeling the thaw...i am walking out of winter one day at a time...

Courtney Walsh said...

Sometimes looking back IS the thing that gets us through...I know it's helped me more than once... and looking back on the hardest winters must make spring all the sweeter. Thank you for sharing your story. I really enjoyed it.

alittlebitograce said...

it's been winter here for just over a year as we've walked through a difficult situation with our church. somedays i feel like it will always be winter, only to see hope poking through like the earliest tulips. other days, i'm counting the buds coming up, only to get hit with another snowstorm. i continue to hold out hope that this winter will end. when i can't hope, my husband hopes for me.

Kati patrianoceu said...

I appreciated so much your comment on my blog yesterday, that you've never been a refugee. I appreciated the honesty. (not that I'm a refugee, come to think of it)

But likewise, I have never been where you are and have been for the last year. But it sounds like a painful place because you allow yourself to feel reality, which is a beautiful thing. I hope you never lose that!

J said...

Thank you for the reminder that Winter never stays too long. I am certain that God's ways are better than my own. You are wonderful to share such hope.

emily wierenga said...

dear lisa... i'm so sorry to hear about your mother passing :( oh, i ache for you. and these seasons... how God teaches us through them. another stirring post, friend. how grateful i am for you.

Lisa notes... said...

Loni,
Oh, how tragic to lose a 16-yr-old. I’m so sorry. No time is a good time. Right before Christmas must have been super hard. Thanks for sharing your story that morning did finally come for you again. I’m sure you are a blessing to many because of the loss you’ve had to deal with.

Bethany Ann said...

my winters are short and many -- seasons of a hard heart. He softens me every day, just in time to warm my children as i pray for grace.

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