Lifting hearts to God in thanks and praise.

BITTERSWEET SPRING

This is a guest post (meaning I asked someone to write) on
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by someone who wishes to remain anonymous. Enjoy!

Confession: I am a little obsessed with our peach tree. We planted it this winter, and it budded . . . then sprung into bloom this March. I fell in love with its promise.

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The peach tree’s beauties–glossy leaves, hopeful branches, purple blossoms, deepening roots–have been welcome distractions from a spring of grief.

After suffering a major loss in our family, I’ve found solace in the way that spring (somehow, even when neglected) keeps on springing all around us. When I was feeling so crushed by grief that I could hardly breathe, I breathed in the peach and orange and grapefruit blossoms. And in those sweet breaths, God breathed, “I haven’t forgotten you.” And “I will never forsake you.”

Those breaths have helped protect me from bitterness. They have humbled me, made me know my dependence. Over lunch with a friend who suffered a similar loss in childhood, we named the possibility of living bitter, soured lives after tragedy. I told her something my family has been saying over the phone, over the miles, over these difficult days: “I don’t know how you survive something like this without the LORD.” She said, “Not well–I can tell you that.” She was speaking not of her own grief but of the bitter burdens of relatives, burdens borne only with human muscle and human minds. Muscles aching with frailty. Minds aching with “what if?”

And so I have realized that I am blessed anew in this bittersweet spring, not just by sweet breaths of peaches and oranges and grapefruits-to-be but by a loving Shepherd who knows His sheep and leads us through. Who brings joy in the morning, and in the blossom.

And when I see the fruits of May, I know that their sweetness is a gift. A grace. A provision.
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May God bless you richly as you seek His face and taste His beauties, all the sweeter for the waiting.

Thank you, friend! Linking up with others sharing about their one word on the 15th of each month over at Melanie’s (click to read other posts):

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