I’ve always loved winter. The very first day after a big snowfall when everything is covered in sparkling white snow; it looks magical. The cold air, the smell of apple cider and hot chocolate, and, of course, the countdown until Christmas. But suddenly January hits and the excitement of winter fades just as fast as it came. The snow loses its sparkle, the air turns bitter, and the sun seems to leave the sky making everything look uninviting and grey. During this part of the winter season it’s easy for me to feel worn out, alone, and hopeless that the sun will never shine again.
The feelings winter can bring on are a lot like the feelings I’ve been struggling with during this season of my life. I’ve spent most of it feeling exhausted from all the paperwork and the waiting around. Feeling lonely being away from family and friends, and losing hope that this will actually end.
To start off the new year, Michael and I decided to pick a word that we would focus on for the next twelve months. It took us a few weeks to make up our minds but the word we landed on was Faithful.
Faithful: Being thoroughly grounded to a long-continued and steadfast promise. Loyal, constant, steadfast.
What a beautiful but scary word to try and live by. For us to be faithful means to trust in God and His love for us, despite our circumstances. Believing that He is cultivating something beautiful in us and will carry us through this hard season.
There is no map laid out for us. No plan that we can physically see or hold that shows us what the next year is going to look like. Our winter season may linger into spring and maybe even into the summer. We really don’t know what this coming year will look like or where we will be. One thing is certain though: He is faithful. He has a plan and it is good. His promises never come up empty. Will it be easy? No. Will we struggle? Probably. But He wouldn’t put us through something that we couldn’t handle, and we have to trust that things will be better in the end.
He is using this time to strengthen us, to change our hearts, to help us grow, and remind us of His faithfulness and that He is creating something beautiful in this winter season.