It’s day eight of our state’s official quarantine. Truth be told, we’ve really been cooped up longer than that since Dad and Mom halted most our normal activities ten days before that. A self-made quarantine of sorts. What were we thinking?
So here we are…eighteen days into misery and wondering if there’s even a light at the end of the tunnel. Any hope for the future? Is there even an end to this road we’re currently on? Every time we get close to the trail closing…we hear about another extension. Last I heard it could possibly be the end of April.
We aren’t even in April yet. Signal the sad violin playing in the background.
I’m trying hard not to cry my eyeballs out because I’m sick of being in these four walls. Quarantines are horrid things for us extroverted folks. An occasional walk outdoors with my siblings helps…but there are precious few days of that since we have had rainy, overcast days most of the last several weeks.
This is not what I thought my Spring would look like. I always have loved spring. Light rain is always plentiful, but there are also days of sunshine and green things pushing up through the ground. The smell of the earth…the one moment that I crave planting a huge garden. (I usually come to my senses remembering that need for weeding that goes along with that thought and then scale it down a bit). Puffy white clouds in the blue sky and little mud puddles that draw every little boy for miles with an internal magnet of sorts. Rain coats. Mud boots. Umbrellas. Daffodils.
My mind is racing until I think of daffodils. Then my heart slows down a little. Breathes deep. One word blazes across my brain: Faithfulness.
Several years ago, while I walking through some tough times emotionally and trying to navigate adult life in the awkward way we are prone to do… I went to visit family in Ohio. I’m told that I adopt family every chance I get, so the family I went to visit aren’t actual blood relatives. But I know as sure as I’m sitting here typing that they are close as they come. “My big brother” has been there for our family and we’ve been there for him. His family is part of ours and his kiddos call me “Aunt Faith”. They are undoubtedly some of MY PEOPLE.
It was a time in all of our lives where we were seeing our own brokenness and were smart enough to admit we needed some guidance. Soul healing. Hope. I needed to hear that I would make it through the rough patch I was in the middle of and that one day, I would be okay. Some days are like that more than others.
At the end of a week of being Auntie- building forts in the living room with quilts, reading a hundred story books, riding bikes and playing dolls- we sat around the breakfast table the morning I was leaving for home again. I already felt better having gotten to talk through some things with my big brother. Tough as it was to hear, it was truth I needed from someone other than my parents. I had done a lot of praying. Plenty of crying. Lots of Scripture washing over my heart during the week.
As I was leaving, they gave me a gift: a pewter necklace with the engraving of a daffodil on the front and the words “Daffodil. Faith.” on the back. They explained that just like the rose is the symbol for love, the daffodil is the symbol for faith or faithfulness.
It was a time in my life that I needed that word. My world was shifting and I felt like all I had known was turning to dust in my hands. I needed faithfulness. I needed to know that one day, if I didn’t “faint and grow weary in well doing” that the fruit of the hard days and sleepless nights would come. There would be a reward at the end of this long, unknown, uncertain path. If. I. Could. Just. Hold. On.
Daffodils are like that. Despite the cold harsh winters, they show up as if on que every spring. Their presence reminds us that life comes after death. That joy comes after sadness. That color comes after the dreary, drab rain. That there are seasons and we must patiently wait for the vale to lift so we can see the sunlight again. Daffodils remind us that God is our steady and sure anchor in an ocean of improbability and doubt.
That necklace means even more to me today than it did nearly six years ago when I first put it on. The truth is…there were a lot of days that I put it on in the morning to remind myself. To remind myself that like the daffodil pushing through the soil like it does every year, God’s promises are trustworthy. We can’t always see them. We can’t always feel them. But we can always count on them. For just when we begin to wonder if spring has forgotten to grace us… the daffodil will emerge. Like clockwork. Predictable. Trustworthy. Faithful.
On day eight of our quarantine (or 18, if you’re like me!) I’m thinking of the daffodil and I’m grateful. I’m glad that God gave us visual reminders that He can be trusted. That He is faithful when the rest of the world crumbles and is uncertain and changes its mind. When all you know is broken promises. When the only reality is how bad we need toilet paper or our unemployment check. When we want to curl up and sleep through this season like it’s a bad dream. When we worry about stuff we can’t wrap our minds around and hope that somehow in all the mayhem we will find normal again.
In all that craziness we can know that there is One Who will always be the same. JESUS. Trustworthy. Dependable. Persistent against all odds. Pursuing us. Loving us. WITH US in the middle of our messes. Faithful.
As we face these moments of uncertainty…I think of the daffodils and the faithful God who made them. He’s got this.