The pastor today was preaching in a section about hope, how hope is not for something you have now, but something you will have in the future. There are two kinds of hope, hope that is an 'I hope, I really hope' kind of hope, and the other hope that is based on promises. As I walked out from church that morning, I looked around at all the trees, and across the road where the couple was sitting those months ago I told you about, and they were bare. All the trees were bare, like something out of a film, although the sky wasn't gray, and there wasn't any black cats that crossed my path. Although, in Japan I hear that's good luck. And I looked around and felt a bit disappointed, like autumn and summer had come and gone so quickly in the short time that I was here, and now miserable winter was here to stay. Not that I so much mind the snow or cold, but it's the dark and gray that always makes me long for summer.

But you know the thing that pastor talked about, is that spring is certain. I can hope for the buds and the blossoms because I know that winter, which is when everything dies, is pretty temporary. In fact, hasn't God promised that the seasons and everything will remain until his coming? Which is the true Spring I'm waiting for. But I'm still waiting for spring. And I can laugh through winter then, can't I, because I know spring will definitely come. It always comes. It has to.

That didn't make me feel less sad when I walked out, and saw how bare everything was. But in my brain it did remind me that spring is on its way.

- Livi.