In the cold of winter there was a tree that I had been parking in front of each morning as I arrived at work. There was a time when that tree was bare and brittle. It had no leaves and nothing about it looked appealing or inviting. It offered no comfort or shelter for the birds. I often felt like that tree. Nothing in my life seemed to be going as it should. I felt like so much had been stripped away from me that I had nothing to offer. I couldn’t comfort anyone because I myself could not be comforted. I couldn’t offer anyone the shelter of my love because I didn’t feel taken care of or loved myself. Somehow parking in front of that tree each day gave me some sort of comfort. I could relate to it every time I looked at it. I would actually get mad if someone parked in “my” spot in front of this tree! After all I considered it my tree, and I’d cry if I wanted to! Ecclesiastes 3: 4 says that there is a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance.
I would look at the tree and tell myself that I would only allow myself to feel the way I did for a certain amount of time because I knew that God wanted a better life for me. I just didn’t know how to do it. Everything seemed overwhelming. The days turned into weeks and the weeks turned into months. However, as time passed, the tree started to look a little better. First it grew pretty pink flowers and as summer came it filled so full of bright green leaves that you could barely see the branches that they grew on.
I realized that like the tree, life changes. Nothing ever stays the same. Seasons come and go. People come and go. Heartaches come and go. I could look at things differently, and focus on the good things in my life that God had given me. By searching out the beauty around me, or in other people, my focus began to change. Instead of focusing on the things I couldn’t change, I began trying to notice any positive I could, even if it was the smallest of things. Here are some examples:
I have three healthy children who love me.
I have a home of my own.
I have a car that starts every day.
I have a job.
I have friends who care about me.
I have a faith that carries me.
So, even though everything changes maybe we should just roll with those changes, knowing that somehow things tend to work out and there is always something good to focus on instead. I took a picture of the tree when it was full of leaves as a reminder that changes will come, but in the end I pray that my life will be full because that’s the way I choose to see it.