I’m between jobs, and “between” has lasted longer than I expected.  It’s becoming more difficult not to be anxious about what might be next while I’m seeking the next season of life.  As a vocational minister, one struggle among several is that I’m not currently making a significant contribution to the Kingdom.  Wrestling through that struggle, I’ve been confronted by the reality that I’ve been running from one of God’s calls on my life for a while now.  That’s the call to write.

I recognized a long time ago that God gave me the gift of words.  I’ve also known for a long time that I wanted to write, but never pursued it seriously for various reasons.  “I’ll write someday,” I’d think.  Over the past few days, a burden has settled in my mind and heart.  I almost feel like God is telling me that – until I quit running from this call to write – the next season of life will be on pause.

If God is indeed calling me to write, then what can I write to make a meaningful contribution to His kingdom?  If there’s been an area of ministry in which I’ve felt especially competent, it’d be grief.  I don’t have any more education in counseling than the typical pastor has obtained.  I haven’t gained any more experience than the next minister.  God has simply given me an ability to be calm and comfortable during those times when a life on earth is no more (or soon will be no more).  And, He’s given me words for those times.

Some of my most beautiful and meaningful experiences have been around a patient’s death bed or in walking with a family through the process of grieving.  My circumstances over the past year have given me a new perspective.  My mom died on March 19,2015, after a sudden and short battle with cancer.  Her loss has presented any number of emotional challenges in the months since, yet I’ve been able to hold to the same truths that I’ve offered to other families in their grief.  I’ve been genuinely surprised at what a comfort that dynamic has provided.

My family now lives in the house that my mom called home from 1971 until she went to the hospital on March 6, 2015.  Working in the yard was a passion for her.  Every time I walk outside, reminders of her are always in sight.  Mom had favorite flowers in every season, and daffodils were winter’s winner.  She was a warm-weather lover, and daffodils are a harbinger that spring is on the way even if today’s air is bitterly cold.  Daffodils are a visual respite for anyone who loathes winter.  Much more than usual, I’ve been looking forward to the daffodils blooming this year.  Yesterday they finally made their appearance.

The winters of life aren’t governed by the calendar.  At some point all of us go through grief like it’s a miserable season that won’t end.  At some point we’re all searching for daffodils, figuratively if not literally.  We walk through dark times needing the hope of a small bright burst from the cold ground to remind us, “This won’t last forever.”   Daffodils are sticky notes on our hearts, lest we forget that the same God who takes away is the same God who gave what was taken in the first place.

“Searching For Daffodils” isn’t the most masculine sounding title for a blog.  Then again, I’ve never been confused with ‘macho’ (and the overwhelming majority of blog readers are female anyway)!  Sooner or later, we’re all seeking joy to replace sadness. We’ll eventually need peace to prevail over discontentment, for hope to fill the emptiness. We’re all searching for daffodils.  Is it possible that a blog can be an occasional vase of flowers on someone’s table of life?  If I don’t start, then I’ll never find out.  If I’ll write “someday” then someday is today.


33 responses

  1. Fellow Hope*writer here. Came over to check out your new blog. I think you have a great opportunity to be a voice of hope for those who are grieving.

    I love how you came by the name of your blog – what a wonderful way to pay tribute to your mother. I also admire how you are ok with a blog name that (in your own words) “isn’t the most masculine sounding title for a blog.” Own it!


  2. Andy I enjoyed reading your blog, “Searching for daffodils” and your mom had plenty of those as well as other beautiful flowers that we shared with each other. Joan was one of my special friends and her family has always seemed like part of my family. Continue on with your writing, you have a great talent with words. Looking forward to reading more.


  3. Andy I am so happy that “Someday” is today! I enjoyed reading your blog and you are gifted at writing! Use the gift that God have you to help others! I’m sure he is smiling at you now thinking it’s about time you stopped running! I can’t wait to read the next blog!


  4. Andy, I needed this today. I, too, await Spring impatiently. Thanks for putting a sticky note on my heart to remind me it’s just around the corner. Funny thing is I used to literally put sticky notes on my clothing over my heart as reminders when I was teaching school.
    I’m looking forward to seeing where you lead us in HIM.


    • I know it has been a while since we have been in contact, but I have to say back in Collegen you stood out as a very gifted man, and after reading your work I would have tl say you are an incredibly gift writer.I look forward to reading more. Take care old friend. Drop me few lines I when you get a chance.


  5. Hey Andy, this was a very good read. One of my closest friends lost her mother just this morning and I look forward to the day that she is ready for this to be shared with her. I’m glad you’re listening to God’s call and I am thankful that you have allowed us to part of your journey!


  6. Loved reading your words. As a grieving widow I crave reading words of hope and encouragement. I hope that you share your gift with me. Please let me know where I can join your blog.


    • Cathy, Everything about this blogging endeavor is new to me (including the page set-up). Right now, in the right sidebar there is supposed to be a “follow” link (it may be the WordPress “W” icon). If that doesn’t work, please let me know. I’ll be creating an e-mail list of everyone who comments or responds to notify that way as well.


  7. Look forward to following & reading your blog. I enjoyed this first contribution & pray God guides you in your writing & career path. It might be they are parallel paths.


  8. Dear Andy,
    God does work in mysterious ways and I believe He is using you in a mysterious way now. I am in a season of grief that feels as though it will never end. I keep searching and thinking it will get easier, but so far it has not. I am living in a house since last June, new to me, since my husband died on August 2, 2014. I know the yard is filled with lovely blooms just waiting to surprise me. Yesterday I looked out my bedroom window and saw a row of daffodils coming forth at the base of a very ugly tree. This is the first indication of what will be blooming in my yard. Can you imagine my surprise when I saw your blog and the title you chose. Thank you for the ‘sticky note’ idea. Faye, (sister in law) Donald, (husband) Jeanette, (first cousin) Toby, (brother in law) Tim, (Good friend) and Joan (first cousin) died between April 2014 and March 2015. God Bless you Andy in this mission for God.


  9. You have always been wonderful with words, Andy. I like this topic but also thing a more positive direction would be to talk about dealing with life and hope. You are so gifted and I look forward to some positive thoughts, too.


  10. Happy to be among the first to see this new blog site and read your post. I am overjoyed that Joan’s daffodils are giving you the sign that warmer, sunnier, better days are ahead. It’s as if she joined forces with God to speak through His creation of beautiful spring flowers that can sprout & bloom right through cold and snow. You do have a God given gift of communicating, both verbal and written, in a way that people can identify with, understand, and participate in. Thank you for your willingness to do this for God, yourself and all of us. I look forward to gaining comfort and insight from your future blog posts.


  11. LOVE IT!!! You have a great way with words and helping people, and I know your mama is smiling down on you!!! Now if you can manage to not kill her flowers….just kidding LOL! Although she does have some massive, BEAUTIFUL, Flowerbeds…… you might need to engage some help from Francis on maintaining them! I will be wait for your next post!


  12. Excited that God is leading you to this chapter of your life. Be obedient. For just a brief moment, I remembered putting daffodils on my late husband’s grave one year just before spring and thought how perfect this post in your blog is.


  13. I love the part that daffodils are sticky notes on our hearts 🙂 I’ve certainly had phases of life when I wondered when the light would come back on. This is a beautiful post and I’m so glad your someday is now!!


  14. Andy, beautiful words and I am happy to know that you are going to start sharing and developing your God-given talent of words. You are right, we all are searching for daffodils and I thank God that he has provided those symbols of Spring and rebirth. I know Joan would be proud to know that you are going to start writing today and I pray that your next season of life is on the near horizon and that is a season of plenty and of love and happiness.


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