Spring stirs up emotions within me that bring on reflection. I watch the death of winter sink into the ground and provide for the next season of life to flourish. I find this incredibly symbolic in my own experience as much death has taken its toll on our family in the harsh cold months. The grief can feel all-consuming much like the stinging of cold wind on my face. I often find myself yearning for comfort from my experiences, and my prayers to God are reflective of a time when there was nothing but despair. It’s in those places that He finds me, and I’m reminded of my own transformation over the years.
We lost Anthony in December of 2020. Covid. I shivered in the cold pleading with God, begging Him to make things different. My phone rang in the dead of night and the voice on the other end, with exhaustion and sadness, completely shattered my faith in a few short sentences. The reality that was laid out before me felt unreal—and yet in the midst of a pandemic, it all felt natural.
Our life was forever altered. Forever robbed. Forever cold.
As the days went by, I found my strength in my stepfather’s wisdom. I knew where I needed to be and how to move the pieces along as we prepared ourselves for the unthinkable. I watched my mother approach his casket in the funeral home. Her tears pooled up around her mask as she gently placed her left hand—the hand he once took—on his cold forehead. She turned to me signaling it was time to say goodbye.
Panic swept through my body, and my lungs tensed. I slowly walked to him, frantically searching for signs of life. I wanted so badly to hear his voice—just to hear him tell me he was okay. I laid my hand on his stiff arm and told him how much I loved him. I told him how much he meant to us. I told him that he didn’t have to choose us, but I was grateful he did. As I walked through the doors of that funeral home, I was once again reminded of how harsh winter felt in that small Oklahoma town.
The days turned into weeks, and I longed for the warmth of the sun. My heart and mind felt numb. I watched the trees die and felt as though we were kindred in our vulnerability. I prayed with fervor that God would sanitize my body from this pain. I felt in my soul that the only way to feel myself again was to void the suffering.
Then life sprang from the ground.
I watched as the earth pulled nutrients from death and decay to create beauty across our backyard. It was then that the sun’s radiance began to do the same for my soul. As I prayed that spring, I realized it was the hardship that created a new life in me. My thoughts slowly shifted from death to life as I watched my environment around me do the same.
Although the winter still feels cold and cruel, I am grateful this season can bring life.
I pray it does the same for you.