Spring is my favorite time of year. I enjoy Summer's heat, the colors of Autumn, snowstorms and Christmas lights in Winter. But I LOVE seeing the earth explode with color and life (and no I don't have allergies). God reminds us of his Gospel Grace "See I make all things new!" and I just revel in the longer days, warmer nights and the way things come to life. So what about this year? In the western US, they never really got a spring. It just jumped from a wet winter to summer. But for me, my precious spring - never came. And I've been wrestling with the reality of "Disappointment".
In her book "Rising Strong" author Brene Brown describes disappointment as "unmet expectations" and she notes something very powerful about these expectations. MANY of them begin as stealthy, sneaky assumptions. It's SUPPOSED to be like THIS! That's what our minds say anyway. And then we feel the disappointment emotionally, spiritually and physically. The antidote and recovery is really to acknowledge the story we've told ourselves, examine our assumptions, and set up clearly defined, communicated and agreed upon boundaries.
So, for me anyway, my spring has been filled with the Abominable of an East wind, that kept the chilly waters of Lake Michigan present throughout SE Wisconsin in April and May. We've had the Abominable of snow, which again showed up into late April. We've had the Abominable of widespread persistent clouds/rain for most of spring and the Abominable of Hudson Bay Canada - which is still 50% ice covered as of late June! It's like they just kept coming and messing up my spring and even early Summer. And these Abominables never seemed to make time to get on the same page with me!!
So I have been reminded of a couple things this spring.
- I am in control of a lot less than I think I am (hint - none of it... really).
- In a day an age of instant anything, seasons of patient endurance are important for our personal and spiritual growth.
- When I feel the impact of disappointment, it's really important for me to step back and examine my expectations and really look hard at my ASSUMPTIONS.
Lastly, I am reminded that when Abominables come attacking my expectations, God is often using them to redirect my focus, my vision and ultimately my path and the steps I take.
Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails. - Proverbs 19:6
In the end - Spring came. Flowers sprouted. Grass greened. Birds returned to singing. The sun did shine from time to time. Though it didn't come the way I wanted, assumed and expected - I still look around and marvel at the goodness of God and grateful that he directs my steps!