We’re referring to spring as our mid-life awakening. After 15 years in ministry, we, along with our two energetic boys, are stepping out of church pastoring, packing our home, and following a stirring across the country. We can’t ignore the several-year tug to intentionally choose a slower-paced town (one we can afford), with space to roam, and creative souls with whom to connect.
The winter leading up to this decision has been marathonish. Much pruning. Much stripping away until I feel nubby and naked. Much shedding of protective, comfortable, layers.
Yet, deep go the roots. This stirring served as the catalyst to becoming our created, congruent selves.
And I’m scared, yet secure in the comfort of what deep-rooted dependency is teaching of my Savior’s nearness.
Our oldest son’s teacher assigned each student three caterpillars to care for through every stage. The goal? To eventually release dozens of butterflies as a class. One night Tanner collapsed in my lap, bawling, devastated about his three chrysalises that fell off his desk and perished on the floor. No chance of becoming butterflies, he saw only what seemed dead.
That’s how winter felt. Dead. No life. Waiting. Surrendering. Listening. But I allowed the winter to deepen my roots, to hold tight as God pruned and stripped away my comforts, plans, finances, identity, relationships, and all the extra that entangled selfishness in me, and found myself in the quiet of what deep roots offered.
This quiet became protection from noise and distraction and a temptation to burst out too quickly, to fly on my own accord, to create a self-manufactured bud where my roots still needed to go deeper, to become stronger, to be nourished by the gardener of my soul. The deeper the roots, the clearer He whispered, “Draw protection and answers from Me and Me alone.”
Deep go the roots as our family surrenders job titles, a paycheck, the nearness of family and friends, answers and control.
Deep go the roots as I cling to His truth and allow Him to lead me along quiet waters so He alone can restore my soul. Deep go my roots as I practice dwelling in the house of the Lord forever (Psalm 23:3,6).
The deeper the roots, the quieter and darker it becomes. Before, quiet felt paralyzing. Quiet felt like eternal winter, as if I’d be in this cocoon without hope of the day I can burst out a vibrant, free butterfly. But there’s something I’m finding God is doing with this gift of quiet. He’s inviting me to discover that when I meet Him in this space of silence, protection is quiet’s gift. Protection from pushing myself beyond a space I have to leave in order to calm the discomfort of no answers or next steps.
Quiet is actually the most holy gift, for it’s where I find His peace. An invitation to curl up in His arms and let His nearness wash over me, to sturdy my anxious thoughts, and attach these stirrings to a foundation that will not blow over when circumstances shift. The deeper the roots, the closer I grope in the dark to find Him right here.
So friend, if you’re like me and in a season of mid-life awakening, trust that winter will not last forever. Allow the pruning and stripping, allow what seems dead to be a surrender to go deeper. Let Him draw you to find comfort in His quiet nearness. And there, what do you hear?
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures. (Psalm 23:1-2)
The day after Tanner’s baby butterflies died, he came home grinning. “My teacher decided to combine everyone’s chrysalis together.”
Weeks later, from what seemed dead, thirty students walked outside, threw open their palms to the spring air and a flurry of monarchs ascended heavenward.
Spring will come and with it new answers. But one truth will not be forgotten: with every bud, flower, and butterfly bursting on scene is a beautiful reminder that what once seemed dead and cut back actually needed quiet and time, deep roots and surrender to create the very essence of life as it now is.Leave a Comment