Transition Seasons

By Wendy J Olson, Founder + Executive Director of Grit Plus Gumption

It happens every year: we spring forward, lose an hour, and everyone drags for a good solid week. We complain to one another on the sidelines of our kids’ soccer practice and in doctor’s office waiting rooms. For all that hopefulness we had on a Saturday when it was 85 degrees and sunny, by Monday we’re questioning our entire lives.

Or maybe that’s just us here in North Texas.

I’ve always loved the idea of spring. I look forward to it every year after one too many ice storms, and after I tire of wearing my fleece-lined leggings and hoodies. Stores start carrying Easter Bunnies and pastels and you start to remember the times when you looked forward to the new outfits and dresses your parents shoved you in for Easter Sunday service.

Ok, maybe that’s just me.

But with spring comes allergies, time changes, and rain. What seems like something hopeful with all its promise of warmth and new growth really brings about a painful transition of change.

Spring was always hard for me. Spring was the time of year when my first assault occurred, and it seemed like every April I was on steroids and unable to breathe. While I’ve healed my body and been able to curb many of my seasonal allergies, the trauma in the body is still healing. 

We’re all a work in progress.

I got outside over the weekend on a particularly lovely Saturday when it was sunny and 85. I planted flowers. I weeded my garden beds. I prepped for my spring garden. And I was hopeful. Then it was 39 out and the sun didn’t come up til 7:30am. Immediately I started to regret this transitional season.

And if this isn’t a metaphor for my healing, I don’t know what is.

We talk about gardening, digging up the roots, and seasons as a metaphor for healing at Grit Plus Gumption. See, I’m convinced we’re all just looking forward to summer, and spring happens to be that transitional season where growth happens, sure. But we have to go through weather changes, unpredictable weather occurrences, (thank you climate change,) and rain. Lots and lots of rain.

I’m learning that through the transitional seasons when God is working in our hearts to “refine” us, we have to go through a lot of storms. And that sucks.

We do art therapy on our retreats, and we were asked to paint what our life looks like right now. I painted myself paddling on the water with a storm ahead, and the words, ‘Keep Paddling.’ And I feel like that’s all I’ve been doing. Just paddling.

I’ve become an avid paddler over the last three years. There’s a big difference between kayaking and paddle boarding. One you can stabilize and fight the wind and the current. The other you just fight to stay in one place until the wind passes. I feel like all I’ve been doing lately is the latter. I’m just fighting to stay in one place. And that place is peace. 

I had a conversation in a story group I’m hosting about peace, and how it was something we actually have to fight for. It doesn’t just come to us. The world is the ocean and it is tempestuous. There are huge waves and squalls. And sometimes we’re in a kayak, and sometimes we’re on a paddle board. Very rarely are we on a big ship that can handle those sorts of storms and come out with ease. 

Even big ships have trouble in contemptuous waters.

It’s usually just us on the kayak, on the paddle board, struggling to move, fighting with all our might to stay in one place. And that place is fighting for peace in the midst of the storm.

That doesn’t mean we give up. It means we keep fighting. And we fight for peace. We fight to find it. We fight to keep it.

Don’t give up the fight.

Welcome to your transitional season.

Wendy J Olson is the Founder and Executive Director of Grit Plus Gumption Farmstead, a 501c3 nonprofit. She also works as a healing coach, facilitating the Allender Center modality of Story Work, (Narrative Focused Trauma Care. ) She walks with women through their stories of past hurts and traumas, guiding them to freedom and healing.

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