Recently God’s been showing me His beauty in trees. I’ve been thinking a lot about the growth process from seed to mature tree, the root system, the necessities for growth like sun, water, time and season change. It’s the season change that has me thrown for a loop, even though I know it is necessary.

When Noah was born I felt like a summer tree in full bloom, fresh, green, full foliage, healthy. When he got sick and was in the hospital for 5 1/2 months, it was like after the first frost when a tree experiences shock from the temperature and light change. Even though the outward manifestation of fall is magnificent and glorious, the trees are experiencing messages from external forces that cause changes. Because the outward expression of the changes are so beautiful, I doubt the fall tree knows that its colorful leaves will not stay like that forever.

As I look back to life in the midst of Noah’s sickness and even in his death, I felt like a fall tree. Noah’s life was a beautiful expression of God’s love. His life was not in vain. He was a tree planted for the display of God’s righteousness. When I drive around and look at the amazing colors of fall this year, I am daily in awe of God’s creativity. If I had been God at the dawn of time, I would have thought leaving trees in a constant green, summer state was just fine. Thankfully for all of mankind, I wasn’t there! If I had left it summer or constant spring, the whole seed germination process would not have existed and earth would have died out a long time ago.

Anyway, currently, even though I know what happens with trees, I feel like a dead, dormant tree in the middle of winter. My branches feel bare and unlovely. I know Noah’s life changed my own and that his story encouraged others for a time, but I am a winter tree that doesn’t know that there is something called “spring” on the other side of this state of being. And, technically, that isn’t a promise…that spring comes after winter. Many trees can’t take the season change. An aspen in our front yard couldn’t take it. I know that spring is the season for fruit, but in the midst of winter, does a bare dormant apple tree know that it has the potential in the upcoming year for a beautiful harvest?



15 Responses

  1. Adrienne-
    I do believe that you will survive the winter. Some last longer than others but I believe you will be a beautiful cherry blossom tree sweet and beautiful and people will be drawn to your beauty. I’m not just talking about looks but the inner beauty. Its hard to get over losing someone you love, especially a child. I am praying for a short, mild winter for you. Hey, when you are in SD (I saw Kaija yesterday) if you have time, I would love to do lunch. I think you still have my e-mail so just let me know if it works. Praying for you! (((HUGS)))


  2. Adrienne,
    I wish I had the words to make your pain decrease, but I am afraid that I don’t. Just know that we continue to pray for you (Jason and Em, too)!
    You have displayed such faith and strength over the past 15 months and I truly believe that you will “feel” like a beautifully blossomed tree again! You are already beautiful to us!

  3. Adrienne,
    I can’t believe how much this is speaking to my own heart right now. I feel the exact same way, though for much different reasons. I know we all must go through different seasons of life, but my heart is soooo heavy on some days I don’t know if it will make it through this season. Thank you so much for your words, for your spirit, for your growth, for YOU!! You bless so many in so many ways………thank you for being authentic and real and sharing. Especially, thanks today for sharing what is similar in my own heart at the moment. May GOD come and wrap HIS arms around you in such a special way during this time and season. Though you feel like a ‘winter tree’, your spirit and heart is that full summer blossom tree and the beautiful colors of that fall tree. My heart aches for your pain as well. You are in my prayers constantly.

  4. “All the trees of the field will know that I the Lord bring down the tall tree and make the low tree grow tall. I dry up the green tree and make the dry tree flourish. I the Lord have spoken, and I will do it.” Ezekiel 17:24

    I love the tree analogy. You have shown us all what it means to be deeply rooted in faith, unwavering in the breeze or in this windstorm. I often wonder what kind of tree I will be when my windstorm comes. I think of you and your strength and faith and it has been such an encouragement for me to become even more rooted in Christ and His word. You have been such an encouragement to so many, I hope the verse in Ezekiel is an encouragement to you during these bleak days. You are definitely flourishing and lovely, even though you don’t feel like it right now. Wishing you a peaceful day and a great cup of coffee!


  5. Your analogy is beautiful. It really spoke to my heart.

    I too am in the dead of winter. I’m not sure when or if the spring will come, but I do know that God is Sovereign and that He hasn’t forgotten about me. I will be praying that spring will be sooner than you hoped and more beautiful than you imagined.

  6. I think this post of yours is so very insightful. Your words make lots of sense to me. The only hopeful thing that comes to mind right now is Jeremiah 17:7-8, and I’m so thankful its words are true.

    I really appreciate you sharing your journey on your blog – my perspective on life and pain has been radically changed this year, and Noah’s story (coupled with your vulnerability in sharing it) has played a significant role in that. And it’s been a good change for my heart. Thank you.

  7. And yet you embrace the seasons as they come. Man, I love you girl!

    You continue to beautifully express the character of God, even though you may not feel like that’s what comes through.

    Those pictures are amazing. I’m praying He keeps washing over you, and especially when you least expect it.

  8. Adrienne,

    The trees that amaze and impress me are the ones in the high mountains of California, junipers or cypress, I believe, that grow high above all the other more beautiful ones. These trees, little more than shrubs, I understand are older than the redwoods. They are knarled, bent, twisted, and stunted, but they have survived and outlasted all the others. They are said to be some of the oldest trees on earth. They remind me that I may not end up being the most beautiful part of God’s victory parade, but I will be more than a conqueror as long as I follow the example of these special little trees and keep clinging to the rock. No wind can destroy us as we keep clinging to The Rock.



  9. There is a passage in Jeremiah 31 (3-4) that says, “He has loved you with an everlasting love, and He has drawn you to Him with unfailing love. He will rebuild you. You will again be happy and dance merrily with tambourines”.
    This is my favorite scripture passage as it speaks so pointedly of His ability and promise to bring you out of the winter you speak of here. I am praying earnestly for you to sense this drawing of yourself to Him, knowing that it brings you one day closer to the sweetness of spring. Just think how much better the fruit will taste this time around!

  10. Trees
    Joyce Kilmer

    I think that I shall never see
    A poem lovely as a tree

    A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
    Against the sweet earth’s flowing breast;

    A tree that looks at God all day,
    And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

    A tree that may in summer wear
    A nest of robins in her hair,

    Upon whose bosom snow has lain,
    Who intimately lives with rain.

    Poems are made by fools like me,
    But only God can make a tree.

  11. I can’t imagine what this “winter” in your life feels like. Scripture says that, “sorrow may last for a night, but JOY comes in the morning.” God promises this season won’t last forever, and I pray you and your husband receive more and more healing during this grief counseling and that you are both encouraged deep in your soul. Blessings to you, your husband and your sweet little girl.

  12. Your winter season sounds like teachings I’ve heard recently on the wildnerness spoken about in the Bible. Although the wildnerness can be a desloate and vast place, God is our oasis that will sustain us during that time. Draw close to Him in this time in your life and once you are on the other side of this wildnerness (or in the spring season to use your analogy) it WILL be more beautiful than anything you would have been able to conceive of on your own. I’m praying for you and lifting you up, just as Moses’ arms were lifted so the battle would be won, I (along with a zillion more people) are lifting you up in prayer so that this battle does not overtake you! All my love!

  13. Adrienne,

    Have you ever read “The Fall of Freddy the Leaf?” It is a symbolic children’s story about the cycles of life. It’s technically a children’s book, but it is accompanied by beautiful photography and it’s actually subtitled “A Story of Life for All Ages.” Your post brought it to my mind as I frequently use it in my classroom. I think you would like it as well. 🙂

    Kristin Z

  14. Adrienne-

    I so heard your heart in this post. I mean, the grief, the sadness, the loss.

    The scriptures that have been posted are so powerful, and I pray that God touches your heart with his promises for joy and peace and “spring.”

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