Owning Your Winters

I see life in seasons. I’m not sure when that started or who told me to see it that way, but it is a lens in which I view life.

Summer is my happy season. When things are fun in my life; when the kids come to visit; when the grandchildren are running around; when Connie and I are hanging out – that’s a Summer for me.

Spring is a beginning for me. Maybe I’ve started a new project. Or in the church, we are preparing for a mission trip, or iReach, or a new sermon series. Spring is preparation and newness for me.

Fall is a harvesting time. It is fruits of the labor. It’s how I feel when all the grass is cut at my house, the garage is cleaned up, my “Honey Do List” is complete, and I can go fishing. That is  my Fall feeling.

Winter is sadness, grief, loss. It is that time when tragedy strikes, or I’ve lost someone or something of value to me. Winter is a time in life for reflection and thought. It is that moment when one has to stop and take in the struggle and pains of life.

Seasons come in and out of life. It can literally be Spring outside, but Winter in our hearts. And that’s ok.

One of the most important aspects of grief is owning it. Not hiding from it – owning it. Sometimes grief wants to own us. When we are in the middle of a tragedy and we do not know how to put one foot in front of the other, it is key to know where the source of strength can be found. Sometimes we feel like there are so many questions and there are no answers. It’s ok to feel that way because the truth is, there are so many questions and we all want them answered immediately.

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” -Isaiah 41:10

When we experience loss, sometimes we just need to feel the presence of someone near us. God demonstrates this in a powerful way. He is our support. He will hold us up. As people who love God, we must demonstrate the same to those who are experiencing loss. It isn’t about what we say, it is about what we do. Be a presence for those who are grieving. Let them know you are there to help.

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.  When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.”- Isaiah 43:2

God tells us that He isn’t just an onlooker in our times of despair, He will pass through the rivers with us. He will be beside us in the fire and keep us from being burned. Never doubt the importance of others during times of hardship. God is not only there for you, but He will send people to help you walk through the “Winter.”

If you are experiencing loss and grief at this time in your life, know that God is near. Reach out to those who offer to help. Stay close to God through your local church, the scriptures, and prayer.

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.  Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea.” -Psalm 46:1-2

My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life.” -Psalm 119:50.

Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.”

-John 14:1-4

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