I didn’t fully realize it at the time, but later I’d wondered if possibly God had forewarned me of this season. It sounds odd, so forgive me for that. There was a night a few years earlier. I was at the bedside of someone really dear to me while she was getting closer to meeting Jesus face-to-face. My heart ached.
Not so many weeks before that night I’d thanked God that the grandparents I’d grown up knowing and loving would be at my wedding. I felt so grateful. Then a phone call happened. While I packed my suitcase—with regular clothes and just-in-case funeral clothes, I felt like I was being laughed at. Not by God of course, but laughed at nonetheless.
As I sat there next to her as she laid in her hospital bed, this phrase popped into my head. It startled me. I didn’t hear a sound, but it seemed like it wasn’t a phrase that I had put in my head, which confused me.
“Jackie, it’s winter right now, but there’s a beautiful springtime ahead.”
I actually looked around. I didn’t know if that was some sort of psychological response to grief—or if God was speaking directly to me. I couldn’t tell you for sure either way. The phrase didn’t make sense. The grass was green, flowers were starting to bloom; it wasn’t winter at all. There hadn’t been time to process it either because loss and grief are open wounds that need shelter. On a June day, I said goodbye as I held her hand. That was the first of three family funerals we’d attend in the next few years. Praying for loved ones through difficult diagnoses or degenerative disease has elements of faith that feel heartbreaking. Hope can seem to fracture in those moments when earnest prayers don’t turn into earthly healing; but the times when God isn’t calling us to bear the weight of being healers, He is always calling us to be pray-ers.
So many prayers seemed to stand still in that season, and my soul ached for the sweetness of whatever that “springtime” meant—or could mean.
This is part 10 of 31 in a personal story participating in the Write 31 Days Challenge. To start at the beginning or to see all the posts in order, click here. If you want to follow along, follow on social media or subscribe as a reader to Eclectic Affinity.
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