Dear World Changer…

I wanted to be hopeful. I wanted to let joy and excitement invade my heart. But I was hesitant. I felt fear and allowed it to hinder my pursuit of hope. Because what if this was just a glimpse of what could be and not the real deal? Better to keep hope under wraps so my already vulnerable heart is protected from shattering again, right?

That was a lie I truly believed with every part of my being until one winter morning. The morning that felt like spring.

I awoke early to a dark room that made me feel tired and drained before my day had even begun. Without looking, I knew there was a pile of snow on the roof outside my window. All winter long the pile grew until it was a mountain that I couldn’t see over. I knew what to expect outside of my warm dark room so I almost didn’t pull back the curtain. But then I changed my mind and decided to open it up anyway. I was shocked to suddenly be standing in a room flooded with bright and natural sunlight. It had been so long since my space had been showered with sunshine. At some point during that cold and cloudy winter I had simply stopped opening the curtain and instead spent my mornings allowing my heart to soak up all the gloom from my light denied bedroom. But that morning as I simply stood in the brightness, I could hear the snow melting and see droplets of water falling just beyond the glass in front of me. While I reached to flip the lock on the window my logical brain was shouting, “Hey crazy girl! Why would you shatter the perfect illusion of a beautiful day by exposing yourself to a sure blast of icy cold air?!” But my vulnerable heart was completely enthralled by the bright sunlight and led me to crack the window despite the screaming in my head. I was again surprised as my expectations were shattered with the first wisp of warm air (well, warm for early March in Ottawa ha!) that gently blew through. I felt all bubbly inside as I stared out my window and thought, “Spring is coming!” But even before I could fully process that wonderful idea my mind was invaded by another thought that quickly travelled to the depths of my heart, “Don’t get too excited. There’s another snow storm expected by the end of the week.” Suddenly the bubbly feeling was gone and I no longer had the energy to go about my day. The hope had been snatched away just like I knew it would be. I sat down in defeat and wondered why I would let this happen to me again.

That’s when I heard it. This beautiful sound had been there all along, had actually been there for days, but I did not pay attention until that moment. The birds were singing outside my window. Their song came in through the opening with the sunshine and infused the space with hope again. That morning I was reminded that even if my roof took another dump of snow and my window remained locked due to more freezing weather, spring would still be coming. I knew that nothing was going to change that. Cold weather may delay the start of spring but eventually it will come. That realization sparked me back to life that morning as hope was restored and I was energized to continue on with my day. I ditched my winter parka for a lighter jacket and put on my cool girl shades. I even rolled down the car window for my dog in the back seat. I had a good day. And you know what? By the time I left work that afternoon the sun was nowhere to be found among the fog and rain that engulfed me as I walked across the parking lot. But my hope was not defeated in that seemingly gloomy moment. Because spring was still coming.

What ‘spring’ are you waiting for? Hope is fragile and flimsy if we don’t proactively protect it. The Bible says, “A hope deferred makes the heart sick” (Proverbs 13:12). Hope is beautiful and motivating but if it is not strong enough then we are susceptible to great pain. The fear of pain leads many of us to tear down the seeds of hope before they have a chance to take root and to block out any possibility of hope in the future. But our vulnerable human hearts desperately need hope. We need to tie our hope to the One who will never fail us. We need to draw from his never ending supply of courage to help us create space in our hearts for hope to bloom. Because hope is the breath of fresh air and the song of the birds that we all need during our winter season.

So, what spring season are you looking forward to? My prayer is that you don’t let the fear of disappointment and a sick heart and deferred hope hinder you from living a life of light and love. I pray that you are brave today and allow hope to bloom inside your heart so you can see the power and beauty of its radiance shining in you and through you. I pray that you shatter expectations today by making a choice to strengthen your hope instead of sheltering your heart. Delays are inevitable. I guarantee at some point in this journey you will see another snow fall before you feel the warm sunshine again. But I also guarantee you will see your victory. Do not give up today. Do not let go of victory to sit down in defeated hope. Take courage and listen for the song of the birds. Spring is still coming.

Praying for you always,

Charity xo

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