Revive//thoughts on spring and reasons to live

My beloved spoke, and said to me:

“Rise up, my love, my fair one,

And come away.

For lo, the winter is past,

The rain is over and gone.

The flowers appear on the earth;

The time of singing has come,

And the voice of the turtledove

Is heard in our land.

—Song of Solomon 2:10-12, NKJV

My dear reader, it has been a long semester.

After weeks of struggle, where I didn’t sleep enough, staying up til 1-2 in the morning, where each day felt like an eternity, where my brain whispered lies and dares to myself, where I barely had enough energy to reply to a text message, I looked up and outward and found Spring waiting for me. As I walked to and from classes that I didn’t want to go to, blossoming trees swayed above my brick-paved pathways, reminding me that hope is there, even in the quiet despair. 

Somewhere in the middle of the mess, the fifty missing assignments and screaming thoughts, I had forgotten to look around and realize that the robins had returned, the crocuses had bloomed, and that Winter had ended.

Every year, spring sneaks up on me, like a long-old friend that I haven’t seen in years, coming to visit out of the blue. There are years that I try to watch for it, but somehow, it always manages to surprise me.

Just days ago, I was wondering if my life actually mattered. As I write this, I struggle. But in the middle of the struggle, I have been reminded that hope exists. Reasons to live exist. Crocuses and hyacinths (my mom’s favorite flower) exist. Birds exist. Sunshine and 70° weather exists. Cold brew coffee exists. Laughter exists. Tattoos drawn on in pen by a friend exist. Long phone calls with your best friend exist. Love exists. It’s the little things that matter. If for nothing else, live for the little things. This is my late-at-night list. Read it and then write your own:

These are some of the things that have kept me going, kept my heart beating, among others. I’ll edit it later. But for now, this is a snapshot of what I love about life.

I hope you have such a list. Ideally, you wouldn’t need one on hand, but let’s be real here. Sometimes, you are alone, googling “reasons to live,” because you really need something to anchor onto when your brain is lying to you. You’re not alone in the struggle. I want you to know that. There are people who love you and want to support you, and there are people going through the same (or similar) things as you. Just as importantly, there are also people who you can support.

Sometimes, the reasons to live feel hollow. Sometimes, the people feel distant. But hope is there, just waiting. It may be a hot minute until you see it, a long while until you feel close to happy again, but it is there. Hold on.

It’s okay if you don’t really believe it right now, and if you don’t actually think it will ever get better. It’s okay if the only things carrying you forward are duty and obligation, but try to remember that this too will pass (or if it doesn’t, God has a plan). I know you don’t feel it right now. But please, hope.

So often this year, I was told, “I know you don’t feel like it, and I know it doesn’t fix it, but you have people who love you” and “it will get better. I know it doesn’t feel like it, but it will.” And I want to pass these words along to you because they’re true. Even when you don’t believe them.

For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees?

Romans 8:24, NKJV

Hope is different from optimism. Look at Psalm 139 and Psalm 42. The first is a very optimistic, happy Psalm, where the author rejoices in his relationship with God and can’t seem to get away from God, even in Hell. The second, however, is a desperate cry to God, in which the author can not find God but needs God and hopes in God. Both are good, both are Scripture, but I identify more with the last one. It is a beautiful thing to look to God for hope, especially when you do not know where He is. It is the embodiment of faith.

Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.

Psalms 42:5, NIV

Also, it may be a process. Maybe one day you are in high summer, with Psalm 139 on your lips and pockets of dandelions, then the next day, you are wondering where God went and you can’t seem to find any flowers. Hold onto hope throughout it all.

Things to do to when winter seems long:

● press flowers while you have them/take snapshots of your happy moments/write down all the small things that bring life meaning/jot your reasons to live in a notebook with a glitter pen.

○ talk to someone. Chances are, they are also going through winter, or have, and can offer encouragement and advice. Even if they are going through their own troubles, you are not a burden to them. Even if you just talk about the new pizza place or the latest Marvel movie, talk, you need social interaction.

• on a related note, don’t be afraid to tell someone that you are struggling. You do not have to fight demons alone. It does not make you weak to see a therapist or to call 988 – the suicide hotline.

○ read Job, and the Psalms, and know even the heroes of the faith struggled too.

• stop, and look around every now and then. Check to see if the crocuses have bloomed yet.

○ Drink tea. Sit and breathe. Find a quiet place to pray and cry to God, even if He feels distant. Do the little things that make life kinda sorta bearable.

• Be a blessing to someone. Check in on your people. Make sure that one friend eats. Send a letter or even just a meme.

○ take a nap. Watch an episode of your comfort show. Rest.

• shower. Maybe do laundry. Clean one thing. Wash a dish. Sweep the kitchen. (Little steps. It is okay if you cannot do it all at once).

I hope that someday you will look up and find that spring has bloomed, even in the middle of the storm. I hope that you are blessed with little things scattered throughout your week, like sprinkles on top of a sundae.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *