Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Spring (as in the season) (11/28/05)
TITLE: A Time To Rejoice
By Sherry Hoffcastle
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It was sometime in January and I distinctly remember the feeling of coldness seeping deep into my bones. It was winter in every sense of the word in my life. Bare, dark, and dreary were the words that would best describe my innermost places. I was hiking in the hills of Mt. Diablo and thinking how beautiful everything was. I wished that I were beautiful. There was a pond that was still frozen over. It was early afternoon but everything around me was still covered in frost. The air felt cold and wintry on my cheek and the same thoughts continued to grind their way around in my head.
ďYou could end it all here and nobody would even know.Ē
I kept walking, determined to ignore the pain. My surroundings were as cold as my insides.
How many times during the week had I thought about ways to end everything? There was the old stand-by, the favorite. Take too many pills and hope I donít wake up. For some reason though, I was fascinated with knives. I remember one time I took a knife to bed with me and hid it under my pillow, just in case I got up enough guts to actually do it. I was going downhill fast and not the booze, men, or even the job could make it better. I was in serious trouble. Despite Godís promises that there is a time and a season for everything, I didnít feel that spring was going to be coming at all. There was nothing for me to look forward to. I felt dead inside and out and actually wished it.
One Year Later
The brightness of the sun temporarily blinded me as I stepped outside in my new spring outfit. In the following months since that cold January, God had delivered me. I started to going to recovery meetings and actually learning how to communicate my wants and needs, but most importantly, how to forgive the people who I felt had driven me to my depression. I was amazed at how new everything looked around me. I had stayed in a mental hospital for nearly three weeks and when I got out, I couldnít stop praising God. Something happened while I was there. God spoke to me and nursed me back to healing. He provided Christian nurses to look after and fellowship with me. Somehow, He brought me back to the land of the living. Winter was over.
I never knew how much I took for granted, how much He had his hand on my life, in the midst of all the suffering. Whether I was aware of it or not, God had planted spring in me and the buds just needed a little watering before they grew out of the fertile soil that was my soul. I learned that there is always a way out, as long as I trust the Lord and believe that He really does love me and finds me worthy of his attention. Until then I had never believed that I was worthy of anything, not love and certainly not attention. Before God got a good hold on me, I didnít believe I was worth anything.
I praise Him that he allowed me to go through that cold winter so that I could see him take care of me the way that nobody else in my life ever had. I saw him put people directly in my path whose sole purpose was to love me. I saw him answer one prayer after another. I remember those frigid days with a kind of fondness now, because I know what happened after I cried out for help. I was saved and spring did come. It washed over me and embraced me. It saturated and filled up every missing piece. I am still soaking up the warmth of spring, still reveling in all he has done for me, these many years later. No matter the temperature, to me it will always be spring.
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