Pieces of felt, scraps of material, and yarn filled a plastic bin to the point the lid barely fit. Remnants of years of teaching peeked out the sides as I worked to declutter a year ago. A teacher saves everything knowing that someday each and every scrap will be put to good use. Parting with each piece felt like saying goodbye to an old friend.
Sometimes letting go frees up space literally and figuratively. Emptying bins of scraps felt like saying goodbye to memories. Thirty years of memories to be exact. But what seemed like a lifetime was in reality a fleeting moment in time. We can look at life from the top of the mountain or from the bottom. It is all a matter of perspective. The pieces or remnants of our lives will still be there, but how we view them changes.
Last week as I was walking on a trail around a lake, I saw remnants of winter everywhere I turned. Several pine cones lay still in the grass, an abandoned nest clung to the branches of a tree, and tall weathered grasses portrayed a spot of color among its fronds. I looked at these pieces of winter and believed in my heart that spring would never arrive. My perspective was skewed and my outlook took a turn that looked rather bleak.
I caught myself yearning for more and in that moment I let myself change my thinking just a speck. As I rounded a curve on the path, my perspective changed. The remnants of winter now became the hope of spring and what looked lost was now found. (Luke 15:24) I knew that what I was really looking for was right in front of me and it looked like HOPE! ( Isaiah 40:31)
Hope that looks like new life ready to burst open at just the right moment. The promise of new beginnings shining as brightly as the sun as it wakes up from its long winter’s nap. It is the hope that began in the death and resurrection of Jesus and now lives in us. God’s way of reminding us that all is well.
When life is scattered and only remnants of who we are remain, God brings us His hope. (Titus 1:2) He takes our stories and weaves them into beautiful new chapters just waiting for someone to read. God takes the remnants of our lives and puts them together again. Brokenness becomes wholeness and endings turn into beautiful beginnings.
A year ago, I wrote these words for Five Minute Friday and they speak to me still today. You can click on the words to read the post in its entirety.
God never leaves nor abandons us. He wrote our stories but we choose the parts we are willing to display. He takes our fear of the unknown and our lack of courage and brings us in close to show us we are His. God takes any pieces that we purposely abandon or the parts of our story that others leave behind and shows us it is good. He leads the way to Himself through the emptiness, loneliness and anything else that challenges us throughout our stories. God speaks His beautiful truth and infuses our story with His strength and redemption. He promises when we are strong and courageous, He will personally lead us.
Let’s look for hope in the remnants of winter knowing spring is right around the corner. May we apply the promise of hope, which turns brokenness into wholeness and sorrow into joy, as one led personally by God.
Blessed by hope!
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