Waiting for spring

In typical North Carolina fashion, we had a warm February that caused many of the trees and flowers in my yard and neighborhood to bloom early. While it was beautiful for a time, we hit a cold spell last week and woke up to sleet and snow on Sunday morning.

As we walked through our neighborhood after these random snow flurries, I noticed the sidewalks covered in petals from the trees that had prematurely bloomed. The daffodils at the end of our street were wilted, their petals frozen and drooping. Our rose bush was heavy with rain and partially flooded at its roots. If we had planted our vegetable garden last weekend like we were tempted to with the warm weather, the buds would have frozen over and died before they ever had a chance at growth. Everything had bloomed too early.

Lately, I too have been wanting to rush ahead to the spring, as it were. Not just the literal season of spring (though I am ready for warm weather) – but rather, to the next season of life. I’ve been feeling stuck where I am. Not that it’s a bad place to be by any means, but I’ve felt as though I’m not making the moves forward that I want to. Doors I thought I was ready to walk through have been closed one after the other, leaving me wondering “what’s next?” Whether it’s the goals I have with my career, my family, my writing or otherwise, I’ve felt temporarily grounded and stagnant. It’s hard to not feel frustrated by a lack of progress – and not for a lack of trying.

But, I don’t want to be like the February flowers that bloomed too early in a climate that wasn’t ready to sustain them in the long term. They bloomed because it felt like spring, looked like spring – but it was not spring. It was very much still winter and they would have been better off waiting until true spring arrived. They bloomed when the conditions around them weren’t ready, weren’t suitable for their growth and flourishing.

So while we might feel stuck in the waiting of winter, it might also be a season of preparation for what’s next. And if we were to rush ahead to the next season, it might be beautiful for a while… but it would ultimately crush us because we skipped a crucial step in the process. Waiting prepares you internally but it also prepares the world around you.

I don’t want to rush ahead to a season I’m not fully ready for yet. I don’t want to rush ahead to a season that God hasn’t called me to yet. Rather, I want to have patience in the winter, knowing that in due time, spring will arrive.

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens…” (Ecclesiastes 3:1)

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