While talking with my spiritual director about all of the discouragement in my life and dwindling friendships, she encouraged me to meditate on Jesus’ Agony in the garden. This is when He felt the most discouraged and friendless. How appropriate that I would be feeling this way now, during Lent and before his death and resurrection – the same time He felt it too. On Sunday, my dad came over and helped Blake and I work in the yard. We trimmed down nine of our trees. Needless to say, that was a lot of branches; most of them being really thick and heavy. As I drug them over my shoulder to our pile in the back yard, I had an image pop into my head. This physical sign of me carrying these branches over my shoulder, is reflective of my emotional crosses that I currently bare. What a beautiful image it was for me. And to leave all of my crosses in a pile, to step back and look them straight on, knowing that I carried them and then put them aside… Ah, freedom. It gives me hope and strength to know that we don’t have to carry our crosses forever. And we surely don’t have to carry them alone. As we were finishing up, I literally jumped for joy when I spotted two special surprises. A bird’s nest and a cocoon. Both signs of new life. Both signs of hope and blessings. Both signs of waiting hearts.