I was pulling out of the driveway one morning when my seven-year-old noticed some flowers and said, “Look mom! They just keep popping up. Isn’t it hard for them to do that?”

“It’s what they do,” I said. “They just keep pushing until they bloom.”

As I drove him to school and looked at all of the tulips, dogwoods and redbud trees along the way I thought, no matter how hard or how long the winter, they are rooted in spring. No matter how crippling the cold is they were planted with the hope of beautiful blooms. Winter does end and spring does come, eventually.

My friend Rochelle lost her husband last August after a short battle with cancer. It’s been a long winter as she grieves his daily absence. I saw her last night as we came together with a group of ladies with Love Nashville and we put gifts together for women who work in strip clubs. Strippers also know much about winter. They know about feeling numb and lonely and hoping for spring, where they and their children can blossom. Rochelle cried, speaking of her life with Harry but said, “It’s time to get out again. It’s time to serve.”  Although her heart is still broken and the tears still easily come, Rochelle is rooted in spring.

Love Nashville (http://reclaiminghearts.com/lovenashvilletn/) has been visiting women who work in strip clubs for the last two years.  They bring them gifts throughout the year and on special days like Christmas, Valentines Day, and Mother’s Day and have provided backpacks for their children for back to school.  The women of Love Nashville have simply told the strippers that they are valuable and they are loved.  After a two-year winter of visiting the clubs, one of the strippers, Jenny (not her real name) contacted Love Nashville and wanted to have lunch. That lunch turned into others and each time Jenny heard that she was valuable and loved and had worth. She walked away from stripping and is making a new life for herself and her daughter.  Jenny is blossoming in a spring that she never imagined.

This may be your first day of spring after a 10-month, two-year or four-year winter but you kept pushing, believing and hoping for spring. Today, everything changes because the last day of winter has passed and spring has finally come. It’s time to blossom and fulfill all those unkept promises, speak all the unspoken words, live out the dreams that have been covered in dark cold and like Rochelle, it’s time to serve. It’s time to make that one final push and lift your head. It’s time to put on the coffee, open the windows, feel the sun and be alive. It’s time to bloom.

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