Spring Comes Even in Winter


          The mists hang low this morning. Like a soft lace shawl around our home, heaven is putting its arms around us.

It must know how very tired my husband and I are.

Yet, November is far from over.

          Just as I was waiting to rejoice that after weeks of hard work, I’ve more or less cleared up my yearly work portfolio well ahead of time, the news came that yet another programme was on the way, made that much heavier by a boss seeking to burnish his personal credentials through our efforts. Then came a meeting with my supervisor and suddenly, in addition to a packed-to-the-gills November, I found myself staring at 3 massive deadlines in an already crammed road leading to Christmas.

          Although I didn’t flail and weep as I am wont to do, a quiet anguish nonetheless lanced the calm waters within my heart.

          These past weeks, from a distance, I had been hearing God’s call to prepare for winter – but in a slightly different way than before.

To prepare for winter by intentional shedding of the weight of the year.

Once I heard it, I understood why I had been led to push myself these past weeks, why despite the worsening chaos at work, I had remained very focused on clearing my in-tray. I was preparing for a winter of quiet and rest. From something that I had feared and struggled through these past years, winter was now a time to look forwards to! And that knowledge filled me with happiness, for nothing compares with sitting by my Lord’s fireside, my head on His knee.

          But now, with the new tasks and deadlines, it seemed as if, in a single stroke, life had rendered that hope gone. From seeing the sun’s rays push deeper into my November, all the windows had now been shut tight and resolutely against the happy light. Why tell me to prepare for a quiet yet joyous time and yet allow these huge boulders to crowd the path? I asked God.

          All through our travelling through winding roads to the family wedding this weekend, I thought about those boulders which had to be cleared in such a short time. How on earth was I to accomplish that and yet keep still, in watchful silence in the lead up to Christmas?

          No direct answer came to my seeking.

          But something else did. Looking out at the friendly mists that gathered around our trees this morning, I realised that recently I had been seeing geese in some way or other a number of times. Just as a sudden sighting or hearing of the kingfisher’s call is a sign for me to Quieten Down and Listen Up, from this year, geese have become another avian sign to me. Seeing them soar determinedly across the skies told me that one season had ended and soon another would take its place. That it was time I too made ready to pack and move on to whatever lay ahead. With a sigh, I would then nervously and reluctantly move to comply.

          But this year, the geese began to herald something else. They began to come as a sign of hope where there appeared to be none.

The hopes of spring even in the deeps of winter.

          As I pondered the various geese sightings in recent weeks, slowly, a learning wove its way into my heart.

          Life seldom works out the way we envision it, no matter how well we plan. We could work hard, face down all the Goliaths in our way, do all the right things and still find the road ahead marked with rocks and stones. It is easy then to give way to fear and worry, to dejection and defeat.

          But we often forget that it’s not our job to actually move those boulders. That power to move mountains rests only with God. It’s not for us to put our worn shoulders against the burdens that can often be too much for us, and to heave and push till we break. And yet, we often do just that because we forget to take His yoke upon us. We might pray for strength and wisdom even as our first response to a problem is to swing into action to wear down or circumvent our hurdles. But what often slips our memory is to first ask what His will for us might be.

And that includes asking if we have any business going near those huge rocks in the first place.

          This is where I fell. Some weeks ago, God had sent an emissary to tell me to continue to keep my eyes upon Him and not upon the rocks in my path. Since then, I have been trying to do just that – but I’ve been doing it from a place too close to those boulders – because I thought it was up to me to get them out of my way. As a result, I’ve inadvertently allowed the coming work and deadlines to block out a lot of God’s light and the cold of anxiety and disappointment has slowly begun to trickle in.

        Today, as the early morn sun slowly warmed the mists to a gentle shimmering, my heart saw what heaven had been trying to tell me through the sighting of geese. Keeping my eyes on God meant exactly that – eyes on God. It was not as I had been doing, praying, yet with my gaze full on my work and studies.

          Still, even as the morn’s gentle lesson wound its arms around my heart, I remained by my window, uncertain. How do I do that? I asked God. How would I know I am doing it right, that I’m going about my Father’s business and not mine?

           Ever so slowly, on the breaths of eventide came the softest reply,

When you believe unwaveringly

that even in winter, spring can come. 



  1. So deeply inspirational, Caitlynne. I think our culture pushes us to do it ourselves. We claim to believe in God (or whatever name we place on him) but our actions show us otherwise. This is so lovely. Thank you for this reminder to depend on God, for all things. Amen!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. God always comes through with help when we ask and then accept the answer! I love that the geese are a sign of hope… they do rely on God to lead them on their journey and are a great example of trust!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Val, what a touching observation about the geese and the way they lean against God! With that I think you’ve fitted in an important piece of the puzzle. Now, it makes sense why God has made them a sign for me.


  3. I love the way you share your heart and your faith so openly (and beautifully) in your posts! I could feel your pain as your work world shifted and the “light at the end of the tunnel” faded away with all those new projects and deadlines. But I could also feel your hope as you saw those geese, and your relief when you realized what it meant. God will take care of you, no matter what. No matter how overwhelming work becomes. Keep your eyes on him, all through the Winter as he leads you to Spring!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Ann, for the assurance. I really needed to hear it. This week is one of those where all of us here need to hold tight to hopes ‐ but by not focusing on the mighty rocks just ahead. May we keep our eyes on Him as you’ve reminded, and may this hope buoy us on.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. This was such a beautiful post! We do often try to go it alone, thinking that it is up to us to change the tide. We pray, but at the same time we consider it our job to ‘remove the boulders’. Turning the boulders over to God is not an easy thing, but when we do, He helps us to navigate the journey that seemed impassable. There will always be boulders ahead of us, but as you say so eloquently, there will also be spring. And spring must begin in our hearts and in our minds. When we focus only on the problems, we can’t move forward at all. Praying for you in these November days and in the December days to come.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I like the way you’ve put it, Linda – that there will always be boulders along our paths. It pares things down to a size that is less intimidating! And yes, how true – before our eyes see the signs of spring, we must first believe it in our hearts and hold on to it in our minds.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Dear Caitlynne Grace,

    I love the picture of you sitting by your Lord’s fireside with your head on His knee. I often picture myself climbing into my loving Father’s lap like a child, to tell Him the woes and happy happenings of my day. He always listens for as long or as short, as teary or angry or frustrated as I am. And He never stops loving me.

    I also see you standing by your window watching the geese fly overhead because I have done that in recent weeks myself. Yes, like a previous comment, how trusting they are of their Creator. Thank you for sharing your thoughts here.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Reading your comment today, hope slips into my heart once more that our times are truly in God’s hand. That even as the waves of life swirl and swell to scare and to hurt, the sign of the geese bids us remember that ultimately, the storm will obey Him.


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