Maryland has had one of the coldest snowiest winters in years, or so the locals say; and this Carolina girl is not used to temperatures in the single digits or days without sunshine or spending 15 minutes bundling the little up for 5 minutes of outside playtime.
Yet, the winter outside is nothing compared to the winter that has been reigning in my heart. In the last two years my family has survived five moves, a year long deployment, and moving away from family, and I’m just now beginning to count the cost. The joy of being a whole little family again has become commonplace and the barriers I’ve placed around my heart are now glaring. Apathy and lethargy have been my emotional attempts to shield myself from further heartbreak and loneliness.
The consequences of employing such dangerous shields are many. Time with the Lord requires more effort and I feel like there are scales on my eyes. Application from what I read in God’s Word is hard to make when I don’t grasp what I read, even after reading it five times over. Frustration over a messy house or a grouchy child is quick to rear itself and I spend much of the day repenting over my attitude and praying God will change my heart to parent like He does. Real communication with my love is more difficult and I am tempted to act more like a roommate/housekeeper than a wife. Wishing to be in the South where things are familiar causes discontentment and I allow self-pity to wreak havoc.
Yet once again, the Lord continues to show his abundant and unending mercy to me. He faithfully meets me in the moments and breathes life into the dark corners of my heart. He continues to graciously forgive my attitude and remind me that I always have reason to hope that Spring is coming. Daily, he brings to mind passages like Philippians 4:4-8, which command me to:
rejoice in the Lord always. Again, I say, rejoice….be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God, and the peace of God, which surpasses ALL understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally brethren, whatever is true…meditate on these things…. (emphasis mine)
He uses this quote from Pope John Paul II to remind me of my God and his redemptive work for me on the cross: “Do not abandon yourselves to despair. We are Easter people and HALLELUJAH is our song.”
So when I am tempted to despair of winter, I will choose to rejoice, and to remember that hallelujah is my song….for Christ has already won the war. Winter will not last forever and the snow is already melting.