Sunday, March 23, 2014

Blessing In Spring

It's Sunday afternoon and as big chunky snowflakes fall I find myself internally rolling my eyes and thinking: "Not again... when is it ever going to end!?" Winter... it's lasting forever this year. This Winter, or so I've been told, has been unusually frigid, dark, snow-packed and long. It's been one helluva Winter!

As I sit huddled in front of this space heater, in an effort to warm my toes, I can't help but compare this winter to my heart after our last move to Muncie. Moving is so hard, you guys. And this... from a gal who has moved... let's see... um, eight times since I was young (moving when you're young counts, because it changes you). That's a few times and at this point you'd think I'd be good at this relocation business. Well, lemme tell you... I'm not. In fact, I think it's harder every time!

Moving can leave a person feeling depressed. In fact, if someone tells me they have moved (to a new state/country) and they don't feel sad, lonely or low... I figure they're either incredibly unselfaware (this is not a word, I know), or lying. There is no way the human heart can go from a place of attachment and familiarity to aloneness and not feel something in their heart. No way!

Depression can feel like Winter... cold, isolating, lacking in color, lonely and trapped. It can leave you feeling like: "What's the point? Why do I even keep at it? Will Spring EVER show?"

Indeed. Spring is always around the corner. And without Winter... there is never a Spring. Truth.

See, there is always hope in the relief and warmth of fresh days, and it is just beyond the horizon. This HAS to end at some point. It can't last forever. It just can't....

As I hold on to the hope of Spring, I can now pull the shades and see the meaning of Winter/Depression. It is not just a cold, bleak time... but a time to hunker down and observe what has importance in life; real importance. When we are in a season of darkness, it is an opportunity to look toward our Creator and the promise to us of better times. We look to the Creator when we are unsure where we fit, or what purpose we serve. The Creator offers us meaning, love, and identity at the core.

Only the Creator can offer this identity. Not our friends, our families, our church, our jobs, our hobbies, our sports, our gardens, our children, our pets... nothing, but God. Sure, these things can add to our identities, but they do not define it. They do not create our core. God created our core from the moment we were birthed... our core was filled with meaning, love and identity... and that is something that is often lost when we are filled with attachment and familiarity to the World. We allow ourselves to be distracted by things that hold little importance compared to the love of our Creator. Taking these things away though relocation is an opportunity to find our core again. To find the love again.

Now, don't get me wrong. If you are in a time of attachment and familiarity, and this is where God has placed you... live it up! Those of us weathering a Winter are envious of the warmth, encouragement and fullness you experience during this time of your life, because it's great! The Lord bless you in this time!

For those of us barely making it through the rough patch, Spring can only come when we've weathered a Winter. Some of us have harder Winters than others, but find blessing in that too. We must have hope that our God is great and he will see us through with his love. This is a time in which I find my core and let it bathe in the warmth of Spring. A time of blossom and enrichment. It's going to be a beautiful and loving Spring!

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven; Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted; Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the Earth; Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled; Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy; Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God; Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the children of God; Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you, for great is your reward in Heaven for in the same way they persecuted the prophets before you. - Matthew 5:3

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