I have a Bellingham tradition.
It’s a moment every winter. I stare at my pants and socks and boots and layers and I just say screw it.
It happened yesterday.
I was getting ready to leave for a few hours and I was staring at my pants and boots and socks and legging and layers and I saw them. Tucked into my closet, long since worn.
What was it you ask?
Why my gold shorts.
Because even though it was 42 degrees out and there is still snow in my yard that hasn’t had enough concentrated sunshine to melt, I am READY for spring.
It hasn’t been a hard winter beside our snap of snow the last few weeks, but it’s still been winter.
It’s funny because as I sit here I think of how there are SO MANY WAYS that people use the theme of winter in their stories. I mean I’m share I’ve done it numerous times. You can talk about darkness or the lack of light and the absence of movement and things dying away and hibernation and all of those lovely ways you can paint a picture of the season.
And then when spring comes there is new life, rebirth, resurrection, light.
There are gold shorts.
When I bust out my gold shorts even when I have literally no reason to be wearing them because it’s still actually cold out, I am saying NOPE ALL DONE. I am saying to the world around me, let’s bring the color back, I am saying, let’s move on to the next.
Let’s take a deep breath and go.
I’ve spoken in church the last two weekends. (Insert eye roll here) and I’ve been reminded that I have something to bring to the table. I have words to say and give out and be apart of.
I’m more prone to forget that in winter.
I’m prone to forget to I have purpose and movement and can do more than I am doing.
The winter make us forget. It blankets our brain. It scoops up all the lies we’ve ever heard or been told and pushes them under the doorframe with the cold.
A few weeks ago on a Sunday all the lies crammed under the door and hit me. The anxiety started rolling over me and I felt it. I felt the thoughts pour over me. All the lies and anxieties and life struggles started to aggressively taunt me and remind me of everything I had and hadn’t done.
It was a completely familiar feeling that I’ve experienced so many times before.
I did what I needed to do, I took deep breathes and I laid on the floor and I talked to friends and eventually calmed my body down.
But since then I have been trying to push off shame and figure out why my anxiety has been spiking recently and figuring out what I need to release out of my life.
And then I put on my gold shorts again.
I put on my gold shorts and stood for spring. I stood for light and hope and for the ability to keep moving. I remembered that what I do is important. That I have a voice. A strength. And an ability to make change, bring change and bring peace.
I put on my gold shorts and took a breath because it’s coming. A breath, a push, the wind.
I put on my gold shorts and decided that spring was going to be here.
Spring is not coming, it is here. Spring is inside of us. The ability to make new, to bring light and hope and realness to all that is around us.
I did something I haven’t done in a long while today. I grabbed my bible off of my shelf.
(I know right?)
Anyway, there’s a passage in Nehemiah that came to mind today while I was thinking about things I give space to in my life.
“I am carrying in a great project and can’t go down”
Nehemiah didn’t have space for things. He knew he was carrying on a great project and couldn’t step away.
My anxiety that sprouted this winter isn’t because I can’t control something. It isn’t because I am not trusting God. It’s something that sometimes stirs up more and keeps me up and opens drawers that I try so hard to shut.
And then, then I put my gold shorts on.
And I am reminded that I am carrying on a great project.
That what I am doing is good and meaniful.
That anxiety and winter will come, but they won’t stay.
Did you hear that?
Anxiety and winter will come, but they won’t stay.
So do me a favor.
Put on those (metaphorical or not) gold shorts and show up for Monday.
Show up for Monday and remember you aren’t winter or darkness or anxiety.
You are spring.