Monday, January 9, 2012

Growing in Winter

One thing everyone talked about upon discovery of my impending move to Oregon was how green things stayed in the winter.  Now, for a word of context here, when you tell someone you're moving, you discover that every single person on the planet has traveled to the exact coordinates you will be moving to, and they are a virtual guidebook of advice, recommendations, and words of warning.

Many of these are false, and you should ignore approximately 74.3% of all such outpourings.  However, this green winter thing is completely true.  I didn't realize just how true until I visited Oklahoma over Christmas and sliced my foot open on the sharp, dry, brown, drab, yucky "grass". (Exaggeration.  No such slashing occurred.)

Despite what "those people" told me, all trees here are not evergreen trees, and some do lose their leaves and look just as dead as any of their Midwestern counterparts.  Or so I thought.  Imagine my surprise, then, when last week I noticed all brown trees and bushes beginning to grow fur.

Or at least that's what it looked like.  Upon closer inspection, there is a variety of grayish-green, fuzzy-looking moss-ish substance on these "dead" trees.  At first, I was horrified.  This ugly, parasitic growth was disgusting!  Preying on these innocent trees attempting to hibernate for the winter, how dare they/it??

However, the longer and closer I looked, the more beautiful it became.  There is something magical about seeing the foliage I had assumed was done producing, ready for a long season of barrenness, coming to life again.  Though it was not the life I anticipated, it was lovely in a completely unexpected way.

What that tree is experiencing resonates with me and gives me hope.  Though there is no snow on the ground, I am experiencing my own winter.  I feel barren quite a bit lately.  My heart's desire is to pray, yet no words come.  I long to read my Bible, but I can't seem to focus on the words.  I ache to cry out to God, but I seem to have lost my voice.

And yet.

This tree assures me that something is happening inside of me.  Though I feel no movement, I find hope that there is a slow growth occurring inside my heart, a clearing-away of that which seems beautiful but lasts for only season.  Though it may appear ugly at first, it will become enchanting.

As I continue to struggle toward a firm foundation for my life and my marriage, I will take comfort that winter does not exist for God, but instead He is always planting, watering, and waiting for the fruit to appear.  I will take notice and eagerly wait alongside Him.


  1. Kaitlyn I was especially moved when reading this. Having just moved myself I can connect with how many people voice their opinion about the place where you are moving to. For me about 85 percent of the people scoffed or made comments like "you're going 'there', wow good luck". But despite its oddities, I find my new home rather quaint. Anywho, I really appreciate your candidness, I feel I am at a strange point of being caught between passion and complacency with the Lord.
    Thanks for your words, I hope you continue to enjoy the beautiful Portland winter. Sending my love!

  2. Merri- I am so excited for you, so many changes that are both wonderful and incredibly hard! I have loved reading YOUR first few posts and feel confident you'll embrace your new hometown well. Thanks so much for the comment and encouragement, I can't wait to read more about all of your new discoveries!