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.
[Tweet “When our lives are scattered and only remnants remain, God brings us hope. “]
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!
Join my mailing list!
Subscribers receive updates, newsletters, and FREE resources! Your information is safe and will never be shared.
If you're not receiving emails from me, check your spam folder and mark my emails as "not spam."
I love your perspective, Mary! Believing in the promises, the hope we have in Him, can be challenging. But He is faithful and when we trust Him, He will always lead us back to Himself. So thankful you are finally seeing some hints of spring! Blessings on your weekend!
I am thankful for the hints of spring and just found out we are expecting snow this week. Typical Midwest weather! I pray we all find our hope in God and trust in Him as we face the challenges in our life. Thank you for your sweet encouragement.
As a fellow teacher, I can relate to remnants. I have saved patterns for craft projects and scraps of this, that, and the other to make them. I can either look at what was, or I can envision that maybe I’ll use those patterns one day to make crafts and art projects with my grandchildren? Maybe He will remake the remnants into a new purpose? Great thought provoking post!
I figured my teacher analogy would resonate with a number of people. But holding onto remnants are just that if we don’t release them and let God make them whole. Just like we hope to use all those scraps we keep stored in a bin for the future. God takes the pieces and uses them for His glory. Praying for God’s purpose to bloom from the remnants.
Dear Mary, I was not able to read your post until today–but God knew just when I would need it the most! Thank you for the beautiful encouragement you have shared here: “The remnants of winter now became the hope of spring and what looked lost was now found.” What a shift in perspective, to see those ugly remnants as places of hope dawning anew. These words remind me so much of your book, and about finding the BRAVE that Jesus wants to bring to us. I only have 2 more days to go, but I have been savoring the words slowly, and letting the Lord open His path before me. Blessings to you my friend!
You’d be disappointed if I didn’t say….#hopechangeseverything Great post and I must compliment you on all the gorgeous IG images you’ve been posting lately. Boo-ti-full!!!
You’re right – I would be disappointed. God is our hope and it truly does change everything. I’m glad you are enjoying my IG photos. I wish they were all mine. Happy Weekend!
Mary, you have such a gentle way with expressing truth. I am so thankful for God’s hope.
Our winter has been very dry. So we have a lot of brown, but not much snow. The ice is melting off of ponds and lakes and geese and ducks are swimming in the chilled waters. I like the picture of those remnants in our lives that God takes and He uses to turn us toward hope.
Thank you and it is only because of God. The blessing in a long winter is that with the time change we have more daylight. Also, the sun has been making an appearance more often. I am watching God take the remnants of brokenness and restore them to hope. I pray you see the same happening in your own life.
The snow that blanketed our yard today doesn’t feel like a remnant, but I’m still holding on to hope. And isn’t that everything? That we can still cling to the hope we have in Christ when everything around us paints a different picture! P.S. Remnant is one of my absolute favorite Bible words! Blessings to you!
Winter just keeps lingering, doesn’t it? Hope is found when we keep our eyes focused on Jesus. It is not always easy but I know that His perspective is the one I want for my own. I love the word remnant too. Blessings to you as you finish your week with Jesus.
Here there are definitely lots of remnants of winter remaining, but over the last few days also signs that spring is on the way. Thanks for this encouragement to look for signs of hope even in the difficult seasons of life. In Jesus they are always there to be found, and a change of perspective can make all the difference!
We are somewhere between winter and spring is trying desperately to appear. But I love the signs of hope that come when we least expect it. May we keep our eyes open to the blessings that Jesus has along the way.
A mountaintop perspective can make such a difference, can’t it, Mary? Thank you for this hope-filled reminder. I love how you take us on your walk and determine in your soul to allow the hope of spring to overtake those discouraged feelings as you looked at the remnants of winter. Your reflections remind me of the song I woke up with this morning, “He’s alive, He’s alive inside us! We will rise up!” We saw and heard robins last week, and that always breathes hope into my heart, even though I still see snow. Spring and new life are coming! Love and hugs to you!
What a treat to hear and see robins. Spring is coming but it seems to be taking its time. I tend to view things from the bottom of the mountain and wonder why the way isn’t clear. But one walk around a lake can show me me so much more when I keep my eyes fixed on Jesus. I pray your eyes see clearly my friend!
Our pathways are still covered with snow. To find the hope of spring takes trust in what I cannot see! 🙂 Faith and His promises that He’s got our seasons under control that bring us to the ultimate goal of restoration within Him. I love how you turned the corner and a change of perspective occurred. That’s what happens when turn toward Him!
We continue to have snow showers. At least today warmed up to fifty degrees. But God does provide what we need to change perspective in any season. May we turn our eyes toward Jesus knowing He will lead us on the path we need.
Even on this day with a blizzard in the forecast, I’m remembering that yesterday, Tucker and I took a walk in the sunshine with the sound of running water from snow melt along with birdsong filling our ears. The buds are getting fat, and somewhere underneath all this snow, I know my crocuses are yawning and stretching. It feels good even to type these words as the wind howls outside.
I saw pictures on the news of the snow in the Northeast. I pray you are warm and safely inside today. We had several snow squalls today and I stopped to remind myself that it really is the middle of March and spring is coming. I am keeping a mountain top perspective knowing God promises new beginnings for all.
Dear Mary, this is a truly hope filled and beautiful post. My heart received it like a breath of Holy Spirit spring air blowing winter cobwebs away from my soul. Having kicked up dust and sand in the wilderness and been a valley dweller for years, I have tended to forget to check out the mountain top perspective. But you have gloriously reminded me that we can be physically or emotionally situated in a low place here while keeping the eyes of our heart on a higher view, on our eternally high seated, heavenly place with Christ Jesus. Thank you! Blessings, love and grateful hugs. xo <3
We don’t always look from the mountaintop because of the challenge to get to the top. It takes strength and stamina and we don’t always feel we are up to the task. We truly are all on the mountain top when our focus remains on God. May the Spirit continue to breathe into you as you remember that your brokenness looks only like wholeness in the eyes of God.
Amen! And since our hope is in God, it would not fail. Thanks for this reminder, Mary. Blessings to you.
Blessed to have you here today! God is our hope and He is enough. Blessings on your week!