Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Solemn Season

C.S. Lewis alludes to it in The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. Always winter, never Christmas.

Have you ever felt that way? I had my own solemn season. Grief sprung to life in a deeply personal and painful way after someone close to me died. For about two months I walked through life in a daze, feeling the weight of both the wintery weather and the bleakness of the loss.

I had my husband, a caring church community, two sweet little daughters, thoughtful family members and a belief in an intimately loving God at the time, but I’d lie to you if I didn’t write that I felt utterly alone. Opening my eyelids in the morning took effort. The saying “face the day” took on a whole new meaning. Yet, I functioned. As many of you moms know, we serve through everything: sinus infections, vomiting and great sadness…our job doesn’t have a pause button.

Did I believe in the core of my being that hope still existed? Yes, but I couldn’t feel it, sense it, or remember what it smelled like. I had to trust it would survive, that I’d survive through a time that I even now, years later, find difficult to write about.

I bet you want to know what pulled me out of the darkness. Guess. I’m kidding. I’ll tell you.

A bundle of daffodils.

Certainly meals friends provided, meaningful phone calls, my husband’s hand squeezes and hugs from my girls lifted me daily, but I attest to this day it was the daffodils that flicked the lights back on. After one of our MOMS meetings, a friend from the group I led parked her car outside my home and had her young daughter come to my door clasping a handful of bright yellow daffodils. Wordless, she held them up for me to take as dimples appeared on her cheeks. I waved as my friend drove off with her daughter and brought the flowers into my home.

I’d survived the winter. I’d survived the loss and it took a bundle of daffodils to remind me that God was doing a new thing.

If you are currently in a solemn season I pray somehow and in some way you are shown the LIGHT of Christ.

It is also my hope that reading this serves as a powerful reminder that you never really know how God is using your small gestures and words.

*photos by flickr


  1. Those are the testimonies I get the most from; the seemingly small ones that others might wave away as coincidence. They're the biggest blessings for me.

    I'm glad you found your daffodils.

  2. This was an absolutely beautiful post! I'm glad you made it through your winter. And its definitely something to think about :)

  3. Tender and precious thoughts here, Wendy. Yes, I know that feeling. It's deeper than you would have ever imagined and I recall feeling myself slipping into an abyss of excuses and depression. Thank the Lord (literally) for those tender mercies that show us the way through those times. Kind of like that cool 'footprints' poem we always hear in church. In fact, exactly like that.

  4. Been there in that "winter" of grief when my loving Christian husband died and then my best friend, my mom, died. It is those small and precious gifts of tender mercies and grace that blessed me and brought me back to the sonshine.

  5. Wendy,
    Thank you for sharing such personal feelings. I am inspired every time I visit your blog. I will keep your words in mind the next time I find myself in a "winter".

  6. I commented on the old houses v. new house post. After I wrote it I wasn't sure if you would read through previous post comments to see it. It's there when you have the time :)

    Have a great day-

  7. Wendy, you are right there are seasons where we struggle to grip the hope that we know surrounds us. I am so pleased that you never wavered in your faith, and waited on God to show up. In His own way and in His own time!

    Thanks for being a blessing...

  8. I've certainly wandered through my own long dark winter, I never thought it would end. Thank goodness the Lord sheltered me and brought me out. When I try to wander back in He gently shephereds me back out by fillings me with the joy of Heaven.

  9. That is so true, God uses us when we don't even realize it. What a heartfelt, but beautiful story, Wendy! Thanks for sharing!

  10. What a special post. Thank you for sharing it Wendy.

  11. Love the parallel with the seasons, as you emerged from your winter. Those small gestures mean the very most, don't they, filled with such heart ...

  12. I really needed that today as I am a bit broken inside.
    Thanks, Wendy.

  13. I have felt like that, and you put it so well, Wendy. Thank you for baring your soul - you are part of THE LIGHT of Christ.

  14. Oh you precious soul. Thank you for your vulnerability.

    I went through a season like this, Wendy, and my sister gave me a piece of paper with the words written in marker: LORD GIVE ME ENOUGH GRACE FOR TODAY.

    I needed enough grace just to get through the day, sometimes the hour.

    Seems your grace came in the form of bright yellow flowers delivered by someone who loved you, from Someone (capital S) who loves you.

  15. Thanks for sharing this, Wendy. The smallest things can be the biggest miracles. Beautiful.

  16. It's amazing exactly what things God uses to show us his love and light, isn't it? And thanks for that reminder that we never know how we might be used to draw someone else out of winter.

  17. It's good to know I'm not the only one that went through it. And you're right... it's the "small gestures" that God does to remind us He's still with us. I remember during my grieving time... I sat on a park bench basking in the sun, hoping it would heal the pain and I'd be myself again... and out of no where God sent a white butterfly to comfort me. After that, I'd come across them everywhere I went, even at a time when they should still be in a cocoon. The funny thing was they were always white. They gave me joy to see. I thanked God for His awesomeness in using white butterflies to bring me back to me.

  18. Winter is a difficult place that we all enter. I'm glad you had support all around you and that God waited there with you until the daffodils showed up.

  19. Thank you for writing that post. It brought tears to my eyes. I want my words and actions to bring light in the midst of turmoil.


  20. Wendy, thank you so much for sharing this post with us. I've gone through "winters" before and it always amazes me how God helps push us through. It astounds me how he provides for us in those times.

  21. Janna, I'm glad my friend thought to bring me them and have her daughter deliver them! It added significance to the offering.

    Marybeth, made it through this one. But I know there might be more on the horizon. The hope is in the promise and that doesn't ever go away.

    Tess, and the slipping happens slowly sometimes, unnoticeable in its give. Thanks for relating with such kind words.

    Donna, death is...I couldn't even find a word to finish that. I am sorry for your losses. Even more, I'm thankful for your peace having come on the other side of them.

    Lazy Writer, as am I when I hop over to your shoe closet. Really, it takes an inventive and creative person to create such posts about shoes!!! Thank you.

    Jen, we attended Southland by the way...curious if that's where you go??? We are all just telling stories on these blogs. Never feel funny about my reading your posts. Every day I learn something new about how to better communicate through writing. Glad you reached out.

    Tamika, I got raw and real with Him too, though. But, like Jacob I hung on for the blessing and as God does in His own way...He blessed me indeed.

    T.Anne, I kept reading the words sheltered and shepherded in your comment. Yes, that is what our Father does. Both simultaneously. I'm glad you're He brought you out.

    Eileen, I think that is one of the things I adore about God. We could puff ourselves up believing our lofty actions have such great impact, when God is using the lowly, the weak, the small things to make the greatest impact.

    Thanks, Jessica. I keep hearing the church lady in my head. :D

    Joanne, it had to be winter that I endured that loss, didn't it? I tell her from time to time, but she'll never really know how much she impacted my soul.

    Bina, may God's radiant light shine on you today. Heal in His love.

    Beth, I blush to think God wants to use me sometimes. Yet again, I jump up and down at the same time!

    Jennifer, I am thoroughly enjoying getting to know you. You truly are one where I think, "I thank my God every time I remember you." (Bible verse...don't know which one, but like Prego's in there.)

    Jill, yes. Sometimes your emails have a wonderful way of making me smile, encouraged!

    Jody, ooohhhh, I like that..."draw someone else out of winter." OH, you are good!

    Ellie, glad you mentioned it. N.D. Wilson does a wonderful job of providing examples of how God speaks through nature in his book, Notes from the Tilt-A-Whirl.

    Heather, I love how *you* worded that..."God waited there until the daffodils showed up."

    Karen, thank you for the blessings. I very much want the same thing. To whom much is grace is given...or something along those lines. I know you get me.

    Cindy, You rock! Sorry, that just slipped out. It's true though. God is the ultimate provider.

    I took a risk, being very open about a season of my life and I'm not sorry for it. God has been pushing me to risk since I met him at age fifteen. I'm okay with that. My hope is in Him.
    Thank you for your warmth and the ways you related in your responses. I believed the lie that I was alone for too long.

    I live the rest of my life believing we are here to connect with each other and to delight in finding ways to make God laugh and smile.

    Now, go make God smile!
    ~ Wendy

  22. What a beautiful post, Wendy. The small things can be so vital in this earthly walk, can't they?

    God bless you today.

  23. Beautiful post, Wendy. Thanks for sharing.

  24. Wow. I love how God gives us these hugs and kisses in the dark times to show us how He cares.

    Beautiful writing, Wendy!


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