Writing over at The Glorious Table today about waiting for spring literally and in the “winter seasons” of our lives. Turns out, the ways that we cope in both of those “winters” can be similar. Read below for a preview or link to the full post here.
The changing seasons are one of the most tangible ways we regularly witness God’s design. Each year begins with the dark, cold months of winter, wherein nothing seems to be happening. Thankfully, those months eventually give way to spring, filled with bright green shoots of life and budding trees. The following warmth of summer feels abundant, with lush foliage, bright flowers, and temperatures that let us get out and enjoy our surroundings. Then, predictably, the temperatures drop, descending through the fall months into winter again. And so it continues, the seasons as they have always been and will always be, until the Lord comes again.
We experience this literal waiting for spring each natural winter. However, we also experience it figuratively in the “winters” our lives. Being a human in this broken world means each of us will occasionally have winter-like seasons. These times can last anywhere from days to years, sometimes making the wait for “spring” incredibly difficult to endure. Let’s consider some different ways “winter” can manifest in our lives.
- Winter is getting an odd test result and knowing you won’t know the full truth until next week.
- Winter is a broken relationship and hoping it will someday be restored.
- Winter is applying for a desperately needed job, school, or opportunity and not knowing when you will hear back.
- Winter is a long health battle and being unsure which side of heaven the victory will be on.
- Winter is a difficult career season and not knowing when or if you will enjoy your work again.
- In short, winter is a hard season of waiting and hoping that spring will come as soon as possible.
Given that we all experience “winter” seasons when the world feels a little dark, cold, and lifeless, it is important that we explore ways to make it through. Rather than giving up in despair, these winter-like experiences are a time for “coping and hoping,” trying our best to believe God is doing his work out of sight just as he does with the natural world each year. In these difficult “winter” seasons, coping may look like:
- Calling on friends and family like we do during the holidays and coming together for support
- Hunkering down for a time as during a snowstorm and waiting for the worst to pass
- Gathering our creature comforts, favorite foods, comfy clothes and finding enjoyment where we can
- Treating it as we might during Advent, focusing on the hope that spring will surely come at some point
- Making sure to celebrate when and what we can, even when the future is unknown
- Remembering that all seasons are temporary
- Reminding ourselves of the truth that God is always working, even when it’s dark and cold
- Knowing that hope, in view of all that seems hopeless, is the stuff of deep faith
To assure you that these strategies are not just flippant suggestions from a carefree woman, I will share that my own life has only recently emerged from a lengthy “winter” experience. After years of transition and some career mismatches, our family finally seems to be entering a time of fruition and stability we have not known for a long time. I am so deeply grateful to be in this new spring season but, I remember all too clearly how hard that winter wait was, even as people reminded me spring would someday come.
To finish reading the full post, along with some encouraging verses, link here.