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  • Writer's pictureKelly Neff

Who Knew Spring Could Mean so Many Things...?

Kelly Neff Speaks - Who Knew Spring Could Mean so Many Things - 3-19-19
Photo: Kelly Neff

I am very ready to welcome blue skies, sunshine, and warmer weather after a long, dreary skied winter. The months of January, February, and even into March are typically the months I struggle with depression the most. It truly amazes me how much light and sunshine play a role in my mental health and wellbeing.

As I sit here writing it is so wonderful to see sunshine spilling in through the french doors and it made me think about the fact that tomorrow is the official first day of spring. I became curious about the word spring and everything it means, so I googled its definition. As I began to read through the long list of definitions for spring on, I was blown away by all the implications.

I was already pondering the profound symbolism of spring being the season after winter and before summer, when new life begins to appear all around us. Spring is a time of new birth with green plants beginning to sprout up through the ground and trees that will soon begin to bud and bloom, filling the barren winter landscape with vibrant color once again. All are reminders that dark, desolate seasons do not last forever. A truth I have been clinging to for almost a year now.

I discovered the word spring has many profound symbolic applications for those who are wrestling with loss and a sense of overwhelming darkness. According to the online dictionary, the transitive form of the verb spring can mean many things. One meaning is, “to produce or disclose suddenly or unexpectedly.” Anyone who has experienced a devastating loss understands the deep emotions brought about by a sudden and unexpected hairpin turn in life. Whether you have lost a job, received an unfavorable diagnosis, said goodbye to a loved one, or faced any other radical, life-changing circumstances you feel caught off guard and unprepared for these unforeseen difficulties.

Another meaning of the word spring is, “to bend by force.” That is exactly what is happening when hurricane force winds of life bear down on you, because it is clearly not anything you would have ever signed up for willingly. You feel just like a palm tree in a typhoon being blown over to the point of snapping like a twig.

Or you may feel like this definition of spring, “to undergo or bring about the splitting or cracking of (wood).” Like a piece of firewood, you feel as if the very fibers of your being have been divided in two with a splitting maul and you are unable to be put back together and made whole again.

Maybe you can relate better to this definition, “to undergo the opening of (a leak).” You feel like the old galvanized pipe in my basement that suddenly sprang a leak and your emotions spew everywhere under the pressure. Your tears pour out endlessly as you search in vain for the shut-off valve.

Spring can also mean, “to make lame.” Whenever you experience crushing circumstances that injure you to the depths of your soul, there will be permanent damage left behind. Although it may be possible to walk again, you will most assuredly walk with a limp for the rest of your life.

Yet another definition of spring is, “to cause to operate suddenly, to spring a trap.” Here is where it can get dicey. You see, it is in these dark, excruciating, overwhelming times of pain that we begin to have thoughts that question God's goodness. Beware, my friend, lest you spring the trap that is lying in wait for you. Lying being the key term here, because it is in your weakest, most vulnerable times, that the enemy comes near, hoping to devour you before you even know what bit you. If you travel down this pathway you end up savagely bitten and torn to shreds, bleeding profusely, and caught in the predator’s snare.

Even when we choose to walk down this pathway there is still hope dear friend, because there is One who not only knows the definition of spring that means, “to release from confinement or custody,” it is also what He does best. He embodies the very definition of spring when it is used as a noun, “a source of supply.” He is the never-ending source of faith, hope, and love and when everything else in life falls away, it is these three things that remain.

My friend, may you be made new this spring, and may the spectacular awakening of colors renew your hope that dark seasons do not last forever and that a glorious new one is about to begin.


1 Corinthians 13:13

"And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love."

Isaiah 41:18

"I will make rivers flow on barren heights, and springs within the valleys. I will turn the desert into pools of water, and the parched ground into springs."

Isaiah 43:19

"See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland."

Spring Definitions:

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