“Forget about what’s happened; don’t keep going over old history. Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand-new. It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it? There it is! I’m making a road through the desert, rivers in the badlands." Isaiah 43: 18-19 The Message
Many years ago, when I was a little girl, our family went through a number of "new seasons", one on top of the other. My parents had separated and divorced before I was 10 and the years to follow meant a lot of change for all of us. In that process, my mom and my brother and I moved a number of times over a 5-6 year period. The Lord was giving us new starts and new neighbors and new perspective and new work to do for Him time and time again. It was a season of pruning, trusting and waiting. Even though much of that season was foggy and fast-paced and ever changing, the Lord was still working behind the scenes to heal, to provide to restore and to make all things new for each of us.
There are a lot of things I don't remember, but one thing I do remember is the excitement that each move brought for me. A new space, with a new room to settle into, a new neighborhood and new friends to explore, brought joy for me in a season I could not control.
I am nester. I love to cozy up to a blank space and make it my own. And even though change was hard each time, and there was a lot of rebirth happening with each move, my mother reminded us of how faithful our God had been each step of the way, and that seemed to make it easier too. Broken cold winter seasons of life are hard, and heartbreaking, and change can be painful, but when our faith is in the "Change Maker" and not just the process, He makes all things new out of our fractured and disjointed lives and He gives us new eyes to see His plans and purposes in the midst of them.
The excitement I had as little girl embracing her new seasons and new spaces during those years, is the same excitement I get when winter is ending and spring has sprung! My soul starts singing new melodies, and my spring cleaning OCD kicks into high gear. I begin nesting and preparing for the birth of a season I have been waiting for. A season that has been dormant under harsh winter cold, but is now bursting forth with new color and new changes. We've had a long hard winter this year, some of us (northerners) more than others. And even in the cold, weary, long suffering months of winter, the Lord is still working and growing us.
One early morning this past week as I was standing in my kitchen making the coffee, something beautiful caught my eye. For weeks and weeks the three Crape Myrtles in my front yard have been stark and naked and ugly. The gardener had cut all the brown and dying branches in early March to prepare them for a season of new birth. And even though I know this is necessary for the care and maintenance of the trees in my yard, I always hate it after it's done, because they look so small and sad and cold and barren. But this one particular morning I saw it. He was making it glorious again. New green leaves were clustering out of the stubs that had been chopped down in the winter months. He was making all things new again and spring was coming!
Some of us have been in hard winters of our personal lives recently too. Many of you are feeling cold and pruned and forgotten. Marriages are under fire, our churches are under fire, the economy is still in a struggle, jobs are hard to find, grief has rolled in on some like a heavy burden and winter seems to have come to stay. But take heart sweet friends! A new season IS bursting forth. Don't doubt it. We serve a God of surprise, and we have a choice to stand at the tomb of our circumstances and rest hopeless, or we can anticipate new life to spring forth and Resurrection day to come! And oh is it ever coming!!
He will make "roads through your deserts and rivers through your badlands", and the gray of winter will turn to green and He will give you new eyes to see eternity in the middle of this big messy world that we live in. Changing seasons can be painful, but when we let the Master Gardener use our broken lives for His glory, He makes all things new. Because He is a good and faithful God and He loves you more than you will ever know.
Believe it and Press on sweet friends!