Which season is your favorite? Spring is mine. When Spring arrives, the earth is beautiful. God’s creation shines. It sings with the rustle of new green leaves in a sunny breeze and birds chirping and bumble bees humming as they hover over colorful blossoms. Like a ray of sunshine in a dreary world of rain and dark clouds, Spring brings hope for a better tomorrow and strength to overcome the struggles of today. A flower, a single flower, can bring a smile and beauty into an ugly sad mood.
It was December 1996 when my daughter, Cindy, died, and I felt the crashing waves of life threaten to wash over me and drag me out into a sea of despair. Life had been hard for her, now it was over. When the car wreck that took her life, left us stunned, my husband and I coped by putting our grief on hold and concentrating on giving support to others, including Cindy’s two beautiful daughters, ages nine and ten, who struggled to understand what happened to their mother.
It wasn’t until that Spring that grief’s water rose up to my chin, and waves of despair threatened to wash over me again. Exhausted, I couldn’t continue treading water. As was my habit, I sat on our pier overlooking our dead pond. Two summers before, we had doused it with a weed killer, an herbicide to control the hydrilla that had taken over and covered the surface. At first, we had thought the aquatic weed was beautiful, but when it covered the surface, we had to act. Weeds, like feelings, can overwhelm and get out of control if we don’t manage them as they arise. I think we over did the herbicide, because no green leaf had survived. Ugly as it was, the murky brown water matched my mood and I found myself sitting there for hours at a time, just staring into space, praying for solace. My world had died, it seemed appropriate that no green thing around me had survived, even the fish in the pond died. No sign of life had been seen since Cindy’s passing. Still, the pier was my peaceful spot, my place of solitude.
As I sat on the pier that Spring morning of 1997, the last frost had thawed, and the trees had scattered their yellow-green pollen across the top of the muddy brown water, I hugged my knees and sobbed. At last, I grieved my terrible loss. I cried out to God. I couldn’t form the words to express my pain, I just kept calling out to Him for help, for understanding. The scriptures say that when we can’t find the words to utter, the Holy Spirit will speak for us. All I know is after a long pitiful cry, I raised my head to wipe my swollen eyes and as I stared across the water, I saw it. My sign of hope. A single, beautiful broad leaf lily pad with a purple blossom floated near the waters edge across the pond from me. Laughter bubbled up from my throat and I stood, leaning toward the water. Yes, it was real. There was life. Beauty floated on the ugly, sad waters. I immediately raised my face to heaven and with tears of joy, I praised God, thanking Him for hearing my cry, my need to know life would go on. That like my dead pond, we would survive. Death would not win.
The beautiful story of Easter comes to mind. On Palm Sunday, Jesus came into Jerusalem riding on a donkey. People laid their cloaks on the ground in front of him, praising Him and shouting, “Hosanna! Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel.” (John 12:13). On Good Friday, they shouted, “Crucify him! Crucify him!” (John 19:6) And before He died on a cross, He asked His Heavenly Father to “forgive them they know not what they do”. It was a very sad day. His mother and friends, grieved. BUT, Easter Morning, they found He had risen from the dead. Death had not won! Through His death and resurrection, Jesus brought hope and salvation from death to us. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whosever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:16). Jesus is that single flower. The one that can bring a smile and beauty into an ugly, sad world. The “Lily of the Valley”, providing the hope of new life for all who believe. Our Cindy believed.
Today, the hydrilla has returned and we still struggle to keep it under control. Like our feelings, we struggle to maintain normalcy, but we don’t let the weeds of our grief control us. Life has been hard these past twenty years, but God has been with us. We all have found laughter again. Enjoying the sweet memories our Cindy left for us.
Do you grieve over the loss of loved ones? There is hope. Perhaps you are fearful of your own pending death. You don’t have to be afraid. Jesus came to provide eternal life. If you want to talk about your grief or fear, I am here for you. Please Email me.
Remember, wherever you are in life, you are always at the right place when you come to my website and read my blog. Come on back and share a slice of life with me.