The False Springs of Life

Have you heard of “false spring”? This phenomenon in nature, where things warm up early, trees start to bud and sprout, and then *wham* it freezes again. Or perhaps you’ve seen the meme with the comical list of how our weather deceives us, “Winter, Fool’s Spring, 2nd Winter, Spring of Deception, 3rd Winter, Actual Spring, etc…” We laugh (and maybe cry a little) because once again we feel betrayed, and reluctantly have to pull out the wool sweaters, again.

I can’t help but think about the “false springs” in life. You know the ones. The sudden burst of a new idea, or passion, or growth, followed by the disappointment of a setback or failure. The time I enrolled in college to become a teacher only to realize that I didn’t actually like kids (shhh, don’t tell!). The time I married my best friend only to realize that he couldn’t fix all that was wrong with me. Or the dream of living overseas as a missionary coming to fruition only to find that all my baggage moved in right along with me.

How does one deal with these?

Before going through these experiences I thought I would respond beautifully if things didn’t go my way. I thought I would be thankful for the experience and ask God for the wisdom to see what was next. I thought I would be humble enough to see what growth and healing needed to happen in my life. Now, I did get there in the end, but that is not how it went down initially. And it certainly did not happen before a great deal of digging my heels in and (figuratively) crossing my arms and refusing to move. Can you picture it? Like a toddler refusing to move when her mother doesn’t buy her the sweet treat. Or walking in the direction she is told to but verrryyyy slowly whilst dragging her feet. I constantly battled the thoughts of “how do I get my life back?” and “can I just run away?” or “why would God do this to me?”

When I uncrossed my arms and released the opportunity or situation that didn’t go as planned, I still tended to self-protect and hole up against future letdowns. I responded by emotionally distancing myself from people in hopes of preventing further hurt. In the middle of those times I needed to ask myself the question, do I really believe God is good? Do I believe He has my best interest in mind? Not do I believe He’ll give me good things or easy circumstances, but do I believe He is good, and wants what is best? Do I TRUST Him?

What would it look like if instead of self-protecting, I looked to what God has done in the past, how He has met me and provided for me? How an idea or passion did result in great things. Or how the ‘failure’ of a new venture was actually a protection in the end. What if I look to the Bible for the promises it holds for my future? What if I acknowledge that all of these experiences are part of the process of God shaping me into who I really am, who He created me to be? When I do that, I can respond in gratitude for the disappointments, and seek healing and growth in the areas of life where needed.

So friends, don’t let the ‘false springs’ in life rob you of the growth and JOY that’s ahead! We want to encourage you to spend time reading the scripture listed below and reflecting on some of the ‘false springs’ you’ve experienced. Offer those disappointments back to God; invite Him into them. He will use your story to display His splendor if you let Him!

For Your Meditation:

  • Proverbs 16:9
  • Psalm 73:26
  • Isaiah 55:8-9
  • Isaiah 40:3
  • Hab 3:17-19

For Your Reflection:

  • What has been a ‘false spring’ in your life?
  • What dream have you given up on because of hurt or disappointment?
  • Will you name it and offer it back to God?
  • Who can you share your story with?

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