Winter usually fills me with dread, but I plan to relax and enjoy its slower pace this year. God showed me that every season has a purpose, and fruit only comes when my heart makes its way through each. Eccleciastes 3:1-8 says,
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace. (KJV)
My heart has been through four seasons in the past forty-three years. Just as fall, winter, spring, and summer form a cycle of growth for plants, the fruit of my heart comes from dying, resting, awakening, blooming, and then beginning the process all over again.
I fell in love for the first time in the fall. I was very young, and it was a beautiful example of what God wanted for me. I wasn’t ready to be loved, so I let it slip away.
My thirty-year marriage was a cold winter that left my heart numb and unable to function as it should. A fairy tale romance unthawed my heart but left me mired in the mud of reality as my prince rode off into the sunset when I professed my love for him.
Summer brought flowers and promises of sunlight that warmed my heart and gave me hope. Fruit ripened but spilled its seeds onto the ground before the season came to an end.
I know love will grow again in my heart. Such is the cycle of growth, life, and love. Winter is the perfect time for fields to be fallow, and my heart is yearning to be fallow for a season.
God reminded me to be thankful for every season, relax into obedience, and let Him transform and heal my heart as only He can. I know there will be beautiful fruit in my future, and I don’t have to know more than that. I have tasted love’s sweet fruit, and I know I will again. I also know there’s nothing better than ice and rest for an aching heart.
My heart may be aching, but I know it is only for a season. Pete Seeger says it beautifully in “Turn, Turn, Turn.”