Are you in the winter of the soul, a season of darkness and barrenness? Maybe you wonder if there could ever be a spring again.
January is cold, even here in the South. The trees are bare. The ground is hard. The grass is pale. Life is asleep.
Sometimes my inner life looks like the winter landscape. Someone I love is gone, I feel rejected or deserted, and circumstances have sapped my hopes. The cold wind of loss whips at the tender skin of my cheeks, and I seek out shelter. A safe place.
Last week, I looked at my dead lawn and the naked oak tree limbs. And I suddenly realized the irony – we celebrate the New Year inside the season that brings us lifeless terrain. We celebrate new beginnings during winter, a time of death.
I remember times my life felt burned down to the ground. Lifeless. I wondered how I could get through the devastation. I wondered if I’d ever be happy again.
But in the midst of that winter of my soul, I clung to hope. And I clung to God. I’d lived long enough to know that spring isn’t just possible but probable.
How do you begin again in the middle of a personal winter?