One of the ladies led us in some time of reflection on Saturday morning. She showed us a series of photos of various stages of grape vine/vineyard growth -- some were new sprouts, some were snow covered and scraggly, others were in full bloom and bearing fruit... Part of the exercise was to think about what season you were in - are you in the winter gloom or the full bloom of spring or the harvest season?
I spent some time thinking about this, and the more I thought, the more it seemed like I was in February. In my opinion, February is usually the most lousy month of winter - dark, gloomy, snowy, cold... it's the darkest hour before the dawn of spring. I feel like I've been in a gloomy winter place for quite a while, with the pain of chronic health conditions and infertility, without much hope of spring.
Recently, a good friend of our church was violently shot in Haiti. And that really caused me some pause. We prayed fervently for his healing, and yet he died. But through it all, we watched his wife worship and praise God...pouring out her heart to her Daddy-God. and we watched God provide financially -- the website set up to fund raise for his medical expenses raised tens of thousands of dollars in a few short days. God was there.
Through this tragedy, hope began to sprout in my heart. Our friend died, but God's presence was in the midst of it all. God can provide in amazing ways - he can provide a family for us.
I can't explain it all fully--it is all very much a mystery --but somehow a death brought me hope.
Yesterday, I noticed that I have one small yellow crocus blooming in my garden. The first flowers of spring! Spring is such a gift to me -- I hate the cold and lifelessness of winter and am ever more in love with the glory of spring...each year spring is more beautiful and wonderful to me. Especially this year, in our new home and my little garden...and the sprouts of hope in my heart.
We sent in an application to an adoption agency this week. We are hoping to adopt from Africa this year and are praying that those sprouts of hope will blossom and bring children into our home and family.
I'm starting a new blog to document our journey - for anyone who is interested in following our adoption journey here's the link. I may still post some things here from time to time, but I have a feeling the other blog will be a focal point for a little while...