If you live in Pennsylvania it’s not hard to tell what season we are in.
Snowmageddon has swept across the state leaving mounds of snow in it’s wake, and the reality that Winter is finally here!
For some they have meet this long awaited snow season with excitement. While others begrudgingly attempt to move through these days with the hope that a famous furry groundhog will soon report the coming of an early Spring.
In our home there was a mixture of emotions. Our young children squealed with delight, the teenagers gave thankful praise for a few extra days off school, and the hubby and I imagined some sweet moments cuddled up together by the fire.
For us we can handle the onslaught of winter storms when we know it will eventually come to an end. But it made me start to think . . . what happens when we are in a life season that seems to be lasting longer than the average four months of a wintertide?
I know I have gone through life seasons that felt like they would never come to an end. Like I was stuck living in Narnia during the time of the eternal winter in an oppressive state of depression. It’s not hard for me to relate that long, dark, cold, and dreary time in my life to winter because that is the season in which it started.
It began with the loss of a loved one in one winter. The heavy grief and depression carried through the year to the next winter only to be meet with another devastating loss. I felt like I was living in the land of perpetual grief, and at times I wondered if I would ever emerge into a new life-giving season.
Looking back now it’s easy to say it didn’t last forever. And as I was huddled up in my home this weekend I was reminded of some lessons I learned during that eternal winter.
First I learned to accept the season I was in. I didn’t want to be in a winter of grief. It felt completely unacceptable to me, and yet it wasn’t until I came to terms with it that I was able to move forward. I had to accept that it was what it was, and all of my distain for that time wasn’t going to change it.
Second I learned that I had a choice. I could either allow the eternal winter to freeze me and leave me stuck in the same place, or I could choose to do life even in the midst of it. During that time I intentionally choose to create moments of happiness in what felt like a season of despair. Just like this weekend when the snow came piling down, I made a choice to enjoy it with my children instead of viewing the snow as an unwanted guest.
Third I learned to find the beauty in winter. This was a hard one because during times of grief and loss, pain and strife, the only thing that seems beautiful is the times before all the pain initially occurred. But I forced myself to remember God’s word, “He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” Ecclesiastes 3:11. He was faithful to show me glimpses of beauty in the middle of my distress, and it gave me strength to keep moving.
And finally I frequently reminded myself that this too shall pass. The only things that last for all eternity are the words and truths from God. “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away” (Matt 24:35). His word says that someday all things will be made right, all tears will be washed away, and we will be with Him in beauty and peace for all eternity.
Perhaps today you are finding yourself in your own eternal winter. Wondering when this long life season will ever end. My prayer for you is that the lessons I learned from that similar time would bring you hope, and encourage you to move forward in faith until this season has come to an end.
Diane Swan is a Professional Christian Counselor, Speaker and Blogger who is passionate about using her God given gifts to assist ladies in living victorious lives in Christ. She enjoys sharing true life messages that relate to the complex lives of every day women and leaves them feeling equipped to be more than conquerors in all their battles. Diane and her husband Todd are the founders of Seven Swans Ministries, an organization devoted to living out the gifts of the Spirit by offering a unique array of services to encourage, edify and expand God’s kingdom. Connect with Diane anytime: Facebook – Pinterest – Twitter – Website