Feb 16, 2012

Winter


When we told everyone we were moving to Minnesota, many people were more or less shocked.  Not so much that we were moving, but where we were moving to.  When you think of Minnesota, you think of cold, snow, below-freezing temperatures, heavy jackets, and more cold.  Honestly, the cold was a wee-bit intimidating for me.  I was very apprehensive about it.  Everyone who knows me knows that I am practically a sun worshipper.  I need the sun!  I love the heat!  I'm a Texan.  This was going to be a major change in climate.  Would I be able to do it?  I feared maybe I wouldn't.

I hadn't realized how scared I was until winter actually descended upon us.  Thank God, in his mercy, he gave Minnesota an extremely mild winter this year.  So much so that we are even having a snow drought.  But even mild here is colder than I'm used to. I've never worn long underwear in my life.  Now I can't go a day without them.  Staying warm is the name of the game.

The first time the temperature fell below freezing I was so scared.  But I gave my fear over to God and asked Him to carry me through this.  I know that sounds corny to many, but it was a real fear for me.  He not only carried me, but He made it one of the most beautiful days I've had since we've lived here.  The birds were even chirping.  I didn't even know there were still birds left here that hadn't already migrated south.  That little bird song brought the biggest smile to my face.

I've learned more in winter than I ever would have learned had I not lived in the depths of it.  I see winter in a whole new light.   Not just the yearly season, but also how we can experience winter in the cycles of our lives.  Many times I'm in a place where I don't "feel" God or love or acceptance.  Many times I have to go through a very tough time and wonder where God is in all of it.

And then I'm reminded of winter.  We HAVE to experience winter.  We can't grow without it.  It's part of the beautiful cycle of life.  If we didn't have this season of dormancy, we would never advance to the next season of growth.  When things (read feelings) seem 'dead' around you, rejoice - because it is when the growth is going on inside of you, in your heart.  Spring is just around the corner.  And then the glorious season of summer where you get to relish and enjoy the growth that Spring brought on only because you experienced winter.  We can't feel or see growth happening in winter.  That is where faith is.  That is when you continue on.  Keep trusting.  Keep living.

I've come to love winter!  I love the beauty I see in the 'dead' and dormancy all around me.  Sometimes the beauty takes my breath away.  I get to experience and see life in a whole new way.  And I'm humbled.  I'm full of gratitude.  I'm awed.  I thank God again and again that He allowed me to walk through the winter with a heart of thanks because now I will appreciate the spring and the summer more than I ever dreamed possible.  I won't take seasons of growth for granted any longer.  I'll live fully in each season, for I believe that's exactly the meaning of carpe diem.  But more importantly, it's the meaning of faith.


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